A silly gotcha but Noel Sheppard is right, of course — had this come out of Sean Hannity’s mouth, the left’s phony outrage would be incandescent. The supposed racism here lies in how perilously close it skirts to saying “they all look alike to me,” but that’s not what he’s on about, I don’t think. He’s simply trying to say that he can’t keep track of the players in the league the way he could when he was younger (neither can I, for that matter) and to illustrate the point he reached for the most common baseball surname he could think of. There are, in fact, a ton of guys named “Rodriguez” in the league; nineteen to be precise, two of whom are the very best in the world at their respective positions and the third inching his way up to that same status. Rooney’s sin, such as it was, was to adorn a dismissive generalization with an example involving a minority. How “racist.”
Besides, even if his intentions were bad, he’s got three layers of Absolute Moral Authority insulation — he’s a liberal, he’s older than time and therefore either a “product of his generation” or senile or both, and no one takes him seriously anyway. That last one worked like a charm for Paris. Why shouldn’t it work for Grandpa Simpson?