Vin Scully is probably my favorite baseball broadcaster ever (sorry Eric Nadel, but he’d understand). The way he talks about the game, his delivery, and descriptions are all just fantastic and really a joy to listen to. Scully isn’t one to discuss politics, but he had a brutal take down of socialism on Friday during the LA Dodgers game against Milwaukee.
Vin Scully has strong feelings on socialism pic.twitter.com/7XEnF56EOy
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 18, 2016
A friend of mine pointed out on Twitter how Scully ended his commentary by just going, “anyway, 0-2…” The way Scully worked it into the broadcast didn’t seem out of place because the batter in this case is Venezuelan Hernan Perez. So it’s not like Scully decided to just point out the failure of socialism when, say, Californian Adrian Gonzalez is up to bat.
The only question is whether or not Scully should have made his comments during the game. The Right obviously loves what Scully did (and for good reason), but the reaction is completely different when Bob Costs goes off on a tangent about gun violence. Here’s what Ed wrote about Costas’ gun comments in 2012.
If you were watching what turned out to be an unexpectedly good and well-played game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys last night, then you’ve already seen this strange interlude from Bob Costas last night, in which he used 90 seconds of halftime analysis to pontificate on the need to make handguns illegal. Nothing Costas says in this clip is new or even terribly interesting — Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher used a gun to kill his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and himself, so no one should own guns — but the context of his anti-Second Amendment rant was incredibly bizarre, and not just because it came in the middle of a halftime show with “God Bless America” playing in the background:
The Right showed similar disdain to Costas’ comments on the Redskins’ nickname in 2013, by calling it “physically painful,” telling him to “go away,” saying he was turning into Keith Olbermann, and calling him “the patron midget of self-righteousness.” NBC was told to “go back to football” because “most NFL fans just want to be left alone to watch football.”
So if Costas’ comments are not fit for broadcast, why are Scully’s? Is it because Costas came off as didactic, while Scully’s comments were just so natural and conversational? Is it because Scully took down a political system which the Right is trying to fight against, while Costas is criticizing something which is in the Constitution? Or is it because the Right would prefer to hear things they agree with on TV, and just roll their eyes when someone with the opposing opinion decides to speak up.
Mark Townsend from Yahoo Sports probably has the best reaction to the Scully comments.
It’s about as strong a statement as you’ll hear Scully make behind the microphone. It certainly had people talking, though for once not everyone agreed with his opinion. Some also did not agree with him using his platform as a baseball announcer to share a political opinion of that magnitude, but we highly doubt Scully cares. Nor should he.
Right or wrong, agree or disagree, Vin Scully is just like the rest of us. He has stories, he has thoughts, and he certainly has opinions. It’s also his right to share them.
The same should go for Costas’ comments. Yes, Costas is wrong in his opinion. But if we on the Right are going to be okay with Scully’s commentary, we have to be okay with Costas deciding to go off on whatever tangent he wants to. It is free speech, after all.