The Detroit Tigers opened up a 4 game series against AL Central rival Minnesota on Thursday night. The Tigers’ starting 9 was this: Austin Jackson (CF), Brennan Boesch (LF), Magglio Ordonez (RF), Miguel Cabrera (1B), Victor Martinez (DH), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Carlos Guillen (2B), Alex Avila (C), and Wilson Betemit (3B).
You may have noticed that all of those names outside of Jackson and Boesch have a Latin-American sound to them. Ordonez, Cabrera, Martinez, and Guillen are all from Venezuela. Peralta and Betemit are both from the Dominican Republic. Avila is from Florida, but still has the Latin-American last name. Well you may not have noticed, but Tigers’ television broadcaster Rod Allen sure did. In fact, in looking at the lineup Rod said,
“we better have some rice and beans in the post-game spread.”
Now, this may just be a harmless statement, but it seems to me with all the criticism there is against racism in broadcasting these days, that Rod’s statement will not go entirely unnoticed. Rod does a great job in the booth for the Tigers, popularizing such phrases as “I see ya big fella,” and making use of the word “piece” when describing a pitcher’s pitch (i.e. change-piece, slide-piece, etc.). Should Rod be fired for this? No. But when Steve Lyons was fired by FOX for saying on television that he couldn’t find his wallet after Lou Piniella used a Spanish phrase during game 3 of the 2006 ALCS, it set a precedent. Rod was not on national TV, but what he said still may have offended some people.
Anyway, here’s to Rod Allen, and here’s to hoping that his joke doesn’t get taken too seriously and put an American treasure out of a job.
Don’t forget to listen to Kyle Madson on the KSSU Sport’s Block Every Tuesday from 6-10pm PST only on KSSU.com. Follow him on twitter @madsports8