Wednesday, June 08, 2011

UPDATED Phillies Broadcaster Tom McCarthy Called Fernando Valenzuela a "Brownie" on the Air Was Kinda Insensitive

UPDATE, 10:41 a.m.: Context is everything, folks! From the top of the third inning of Monday's Phillies telecast:

McCarthy: Well, if [yesterday's question] was a cookie, that's a brownie right there.

Apologies to McCarthy for the snap judgment on my part. May I suggest "bear claw" next time?

UPDATE, 9:57 a.m.: Thanks for reader Jeff J. Snider for pointing this out:

I was watching the game -- I've watched the last two games on the Phillies' network because the Extra Innings package hasn't had the Dodger feed -- and I think this is WAY out of context. The impression I got, which might not be exactly right but I think is pretty close, is that they refer to an easy trivia question as a "cookie." I don't know the significance of that, but cookie definitely means "easy trivia question." So when the question was "Who was the first pitcher to win Rookie of the Year and Cy Young in the same season?," the broadcaster's point was that this was beyond easy. Even easier than a cookie. And whatever logic leads a man to call an easy question a cookie led him to call an even easier question a brownie. The QUESTION was the brownie, not Fernando.

Last night's question was "Who did the Phillies draft in the first round in 1972 before drafting Mike Schmidt in the second round?" The announcer said, "This one's not a cookie OR a brownie -- it's not any kind of pastry!" ["A question that's not a cookie....It's not a cookie. It's not even any kind of pastry, I don't think. I think this is a tough one."] The point being that this was a hard question.

So, offensive comment or simply poor judgment? Still investigating. Original post below:

Phillies announcers Chris Wheeler and Tom McCarthy.

And we're not talking Kevin Brown or Girl Scouts. Apparently the Phillies television broadcasting team of Tom McCarthy and Chris "Wheels" Wheeler is already known for saying stupid things, but this crosses the line from stupid to offensive. Thanks to SoSG readers Central Valley Fan and Fred's Brim for the heads-up.

From the bottom of the seventh inning during Monday's Phillies telecast:

McCarthy: Wheels, can you name the first pitcher in MLB history to win the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year in the same season?

Wheeler: [slightly exaggerated pronunciation] Fernando Valenzuela.

McCarthy: I knew it was a brownie.

Wheeler: [laughs]

McCarthy: You are correct. 1981. Boy did he, uh, step on to the scene in such a big way.

Wheeler: First team to beat him? Marty Bystrom and the Phillies.

McCarthy: Yep.

Wheeler: Mike Schmidt homered off him that night at Dodger Stadium and that was, that was a really exciting regular-season game because nobody had beaten Fernando to that point.

10 comments:

Jeff J. Snider said...

I was watching the game -- I've watched the last two games on the Phillies' network because the Extra Innings package hasn't had the Dodger feed -- and I think this is WAY out of context. The impression I got, which might not be exactly right but I think is pretty close, is that they refer to an easy trivia question as a "cookie." I don't know the significance of that, but cookie definitely means "easy trivia question." So when the question was "Who was the first pitcher to win Rookie of the Year and Cy Young in the same season?," the broadcaster's point was that this was beyond easy. Even easier than a cookie. And whatever logic leads a man to call an easy question a cookie led him to call an even easier question a brownie. The QUESTION was the brownie, not Fernando.

Last night's question was "Who did the Phillies draft in the first round in 1972 before drafting Mike Schmidt in the second round?" The announcer said, "This one's not a cookie OR a brownie -- it's not any kind of pastry!" The point being that this was a hard question.

Jeff J. Snider said...

Also, the broadcast partner with McCarthy was not Wheeler, it was Gary Matthews, which decreases the likelihood of McCarthy tossing around racial slurs.

Josh S. said...

^ This makes a ton of sense. It would take monumental balls for even the most racist of racists to let something like that out so casually.

Orel said...

Confirmed! Post updated.

Fred's Brim said...

Thanks for clearing this up, Jeff.

Now I feel bad for jumping to the conclusion so quickly

Orel said...

So we all learn.

Steve Sax said...

Orel, you have a tendency to jump to conclusions, because you're an eclair.

rbnlaw said...

I still hate the Phills. That's OK, right?

Central Valley Fan said...

It's my bad, I only half heard it, and threw the question out in the comments asking for verification.

Dusty Baker said...

When does a Cub Scout become a Boy Scout, again?