Bob Costas Rails Against The Internet After Criticism For Going Nuclear On MLB Pitcher

from the standards dept

You would only really know this if you’re a baseball fan, but Bob Costas went ahead and stepped in it recently while calling a Cubs vs. Cardinals game. You see, relief pitcher Pedro Strop came out to work from the bullpen and promptly crapped himself on the mound (not literally). This, of course, is only in good keeping with the Chicago Cubs tradition of sucking, but apparently Costas decided to go in pretty hard on Strop when the pitcher pointed at the sky as he exited the game.

Whoa. That’s more than a little harsh relative to most MLB broadcasts and Costas heard about it from many internet sites and social media circles. Baseball fans tweeted, asking him what the deal was in delivering such a harsh line at a pitcher who simply had a rough outing. Websites, like Deadspin, offered up typically reasonable articles with equally reasonable headlines like “Holy shit, Bob Costas.” As a result of all of this, Costas has said he would apologize for his remarks.

But this is still all the internet’s fault, obviously.

“We can be disingenuous about it if we want, if it suits our purposes, but we all know this: We live in an age of faux outrage, of disproportionate outrage. Everything is shocking, over the top. ‘He savaged Pedro Strop’ — I mean, come on, come on. Let’s get a handle on this,” Costas said. “I could have done better and I will apologize. But . . . that’s just Internet stuff. I’m going to take care of it the same way I would have taken care of it if it was 1986. And that’s going to be that.”

In addition to those comments, the link includes an audio clip from a Costas interview on WFAN, in which he laments the fact that the internet took notice of his national broadcast and decided they didn’t care for it all that much. Costas hit the usual chords whenever someone from a traditional media outlet rails against the internet and social media: something something overreaction, something something fake outrage, something something we’re still the real media. But my favorite line was:

“The mainstream, which can be criticized, we have our own shortcomings, but we’re supposed to hue to a higher standard, both of ethics and of quality. The idea that in some desperate attempt to remain relevant, and to get more clicks, that we should dumb ourselves down to adopting the ethos of the mob, that’s something that I’m not good with.”

Look, I know I don’t really count as valid, because I’m from the internet, but I have a suggestion: it might not be the best plan to trot out the sacred and storied tradition of journalistic ethics in the broadcast media in reaction to a story about you going nuclear on a reliever, such that you, yourself, felt the need to apologize. Those two things mashed together don’t make any sense. Come on, Bob, it ain’t the internet’s fault you came of like a jerk.

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Comments on “Bob Costas Rails Against The Internet After Criticism For Going Nuclear On MLB Pitcher”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Perhaps, but coming from a member of the ‘traditional media’, which absolutely loves to blow things out of proportion when they’re not flat out making stuff up, the accusation against the internet of ‘overreacting’ is more than a little funny and hypocritical.

Less ‘what was said’, and more ‘who is saying it’ as it were.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He’s not wrong though. The internet absolutely does overreact like none other to anything which can be taken as offensive.

This has been happening forever, in quiet desperation on our part. Now that there’s an internet, we can finally scream about them AND be heard! They bitch because it’s no longer them to you periaod. Now it’s a conversation between equals, and they’re not up to that.

ac (profile) says:

he's right

Love him or hate him, he’s not wrong here. It was a little over the top, but hardly ‘going nuclear’ on the pitcher.

It seemed more a commentary on how athletes point to the heavens after a big play, and doing so after such poor play seemed out of place. What exactly is the unforgivable wording here? Calling the outing atrocious? Accurate. Certainly not worse than hundreds of other commentators say all the time.

And what’s techdirt’s reaction? More faux outrage, just as he says. Without the instant feedback loop of dozens of websites based entirely on over the top reactions (seriously, deadspin is a source of level headed journalism now?), this goes nowhere. Hence, internet-based mob mentality.

Costas is 100% correct here.

PCRob (profile) says:

Re: he's right

With all the DMCA’d links and nobody wanting to write what he said, I was getting the impression that he went off on some epic rant, spewing flecks of spittle as he drunkenly railed against some kid who royally fucked up.

The reality, then, was just a bit anti-climatic. I usually don’t agree with the lone disenting voice on an issue, because I like a good circle jerk as much as the next guy, but in this case I have to agree with you; not only was what Costas said not that big a deal, but there really was no reason for the “Moral Outrage of the Century” over reaction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: he's right

I felt much the same way. I had to scratch my head when I finally saw the video. People were outraged by this? You’d have to be looking pretty hard to get outraged.

Techdirt didn’t print the statement he made, and the linked video is pulled, so for those too lazy to look for it yourself, this is what outraged people so much:

“We can only ask, or wonder, that he is asking some departed relative for forgiveness for this atrocious performance.”

That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Costas didn’t “savage him” or “go nuclear” on him, as is being reported. He didn’t even raise his voice. He made a bad joke. It lasted all of 12 seconds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: he's right

…atrocious performance…

No more “atrocious” than pitchers that can pitch only one inning.

No more “atrocious” than designated hitters who can’t hit at least .250.

No more “atrocious” than a fielder who can’t throw a ball even close to another teammate from a standing position.

Nicci Stevens (profile) says:

Costas is a hypocrite

Costas doesn’t like the scrutiny given him by the public that he gave someone else. Sorry, pal, you’re a public figure, you put yourself in place to be scrutinized. Don’t like it? Give up your millions in salary and retire. Pedro Strop put himself in the same position. So far I haven’t heard any complaints from him or his agent. A rabid anti-gun person he, while not hiring them himself, avails himself of armed league security (you can decline this, Bob). He doesn’t seem to understand that the first amendment which allows himself to be a sawed-off buffoon allows the guns he so richly despised. Costas may once have been a decent sportscaster he has long since done this and seems to like the sound of his head rattling when he speaks.

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