During Thursday night’s Yankees-White Sox game, Dustin Fowler was chasing down a foul ball when he collided with the right field wall. Fowler appeared shaken up after the collision, tried to put weight on that leg, and collapsed. He was carried and placed in a cart and carted off the field.
Shortly after, it was announced that Fowler had ruptured his patellar tendon and would require surgery, ending his season. This is the same injury that happened to Victor Cruz a few years back.
It’s tragic that a rookie’s big league debut ended with him going to the emergency room. Fowler didn’t even get a chance to hit.
What’s even more tragic is the fact that the radio announcers for the White Sox could be so blatantly disrespectful to Fowler, as pointed out by Deadspin’s Tim Burke.
Ed Farmer got the train rolling by neglecting Fowler’s limp and the appearance of distress, simply saying, “he might be hurt.” If the player is limping and grabbing onto the wall, clearly the poor guy is hurt.
Darrin Jackson, the color commentator, then chimed in with his own thoughts. “That’s a really bad move by the rookie making his major league debut.” He could not be more over-the-top disrespectful there if he tried. His first thoughts weren’t “that looks unfortunate, I hope he’s ok.” Instead, they were, “wow, what an idiot running into the wall there.” What a demonstration of class by Jackson. Before this game, Fowler had never played at Guaranteed Rate Field, which by the way is the worst name of a ballpark in the entire country. How can one have the audacity to blame a kid who is in no way familiar with the park? Fowler was trying to do what baseball players are paid to do – catch the ball. According to Jackson, that isn’t how the game works.
Following Jackson’s revolting remarks came Farmer butchering the name. He thought Tyler Wade was running down the line, not Dustin Fowler. If you’ve got a sheet with the names and positions of the players right in front of you, use it! At least Jackson didn’t screw this one up, correcting Farmer on his mistake.
Jackson then followed by saying, “that’s a good way to obviously get yourself carried off the field.” Clearly, respect has just gone by the wayside. The fact that Jackson doesn’t even think that being critical of a rookie doing what he’s supposed to do in an unfamiliar ballpark is bad is repulsive. He chose to blame the rookie playing for the Yankees instead of being critical of his own Chicago White Sox for failing to properly pad their wall. Hawk Harrelson’s homerism rubs off on everyone in the press box!
At the very least, Jackson should have to publicly issue an apology. There’s no excuse for ripping into a kid who went down with an awful injury. Albeit, they probably didn’t know the extent at the time. Nonetheless, if a player is down after a hard collision with a wall, it looks really bad if someone says something negative about the player.
Here’s to wishing Dustin Fowler a speedy recovery.
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