Found May 29, 2013 on Waiting For Next Year:
I was listening to Les Levine and Ken Carman talking to Richard Skinner, a radio personality from Cincinnati, on the topic of Tom Hamilton and his reaction to Nick Swisher getting buzzed by Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman. I also read the post at Cleveland Frowns yesterday as well as most of the comments there. I’m sure most Indians fans have seen the clip by this point, but when Nick Swisher saw a 100 mile-per-hour fastball barely miss the brim of his helmet, Tom Hamilton became about as incensed as I’ve ever heard him.  It was Hamilton’s opinion that Aroldis Chapman had intentionally thrown at the head of Nick Swisher. He was as understandably energized by the play as anyone who was watching it. Just a guess, but Hamilton would probably re-write exactly what he said if he had the chance. To his credit, Richard Skinner didn’t overreact talking to Levine and Carman and said that he told his Cincy-based audience yesterday afternoon to put themselves in Indians fans’ shoes. What if Chris Perez had thrown those same two pitches at Joey Votto? It’s so very simple, but it’s also perfect. Try and understand what an otherwise good man was caught up in when he said something that might have you questioning him. But for whatever reason rather than having that response to a situation, some portion of the population would prefer to engage in some kind of witchhunt to try and define everyone by their worst moments and have them extrapolated to the furthest negative degree. After thinking about it and discussing it on Twitter, my conclusion is just to wonder why Tom Hamilton’s enormous, well-documented track record doesn’t count for something. Make no mistake: I’m not saying that it is the job of Indians fans to support bad behavior. We’ve all played with fire in that realm. I tried to support Albert Belle at various points in my life whether he was running over a second baseman, or attempting to run down some Halloween vandals in his SUV. I also believe I was at the debut game for John Rocker as a Cleveland Indian and stood and applauded as he aggressively sprinted to the mound. I’ve used questionable judgment to try to be protective of people, but Tom Hamilton is far different. Consider this: If Tom Hamilton talks about baseball on the radio for the average two hours and 45 minutes that it takes to play a baseball game and does so for 162 games, that’s 445.5 hours of play-by-play per season. Yes, I know he sometimes misses games, and I know he doesn’t call every inning of every game. Tom Hamilton joined the Tribe in 1990 so he’s been doing this job for over 20 years. Point being that even if Tom Hamilton has five minutes of somewhat questionable commentary every single season, he’s not doing too bad. 1 For the purposes of this conversation let’s all agree that Tom Hamilton might have misstepped slightly when he spoke of Nick Swisher smoking a ball back up the middle—”off the pitcher’s temple”—as some kind of justice for a guy intentionally throwing at a batter’s head. One might defend Hamilton because one act is intentional and the other is not. Also suggesting a ball up the middle would be justice isn’t technically wishing for it either. Still, I think we can all agree the safer bet is leaving that bullet in the chamber rather than firing it out in a heated moment. Also, for the purposes of this conversation, let’s also agree that it was a mistake to mention that Aroldis Chapman might get away with throwing at people’s heads if he was playing the game in Cuba. Having listened to Tom Hamilton for as long as I have I’m willing to bet that he was referring to a different league of baseball with different cultural values. Similar can be said for Japan, which allows for only a certain number of non-Japanese players, or “gaijin,” on a given roster. I’m willing to bet this is what he meant as opposed to somehow invoking Cubans as being inferior people. In the end, Hamilton’s mistakes were leaving these negative interpretations open to suggestion when he was emotionally caught up in the moment. As to the suggestion that it would be justice to have a ball come back up the middle and hit Chapman, Hamilton briefly addressed it saying, “I’m not going to go over this. That sure wasn’t the intent to mean it that way.” And as a guy who has listened to hours and hours of Tom Hamilton that’s good enough for me. He’s earned it. Being caught up in the moment is exactly what everyone wants a broadcaster to do, by the way. So there’s the rub. Knowing what we know about Tom Hamilton and his history, he deserves support and the benefit of the doubt. He has enough of a track record that if this is determined to be his worst moment then he shouldn’t be defined by it. If Cleveland fans who know Hamilton better than anyone else don’t defend him, who will? And if you can’t stand up for the quality of a guy like Tom Hamilton, then who can you support? ___________________________________ Of course if the “questionable” commentary is of a certain inflammatory level there is no defense, but I don’t think what Hamilton said was anywhere near the Howard Cosell variety.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

MLB News: Chris Perez MRI reveals mild tendonitis in throwing shoulder

The Cleveland Indians have announced that closer Chris Perez will be shut down for roughly one week as he attempts to recover from mild tendonitis the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. Perez (2-1, 4.32 ERA, six saves) was pulled in the middle of an at-bat on Sunday afternoon after he was seen grimacing in pain.. The closer subequently took his first loss of the season as he...

Giambi, Masterson help end Indians losing streak

CLEVELAND -- This was the kind of night the Indians had in mind when they signed the aged veteran who had interviewed to be Colordao's manager.Smart, veteran presence still some pop in his bat understanding of the game (as the Rockies showed) ... the ability to hit right-handers. So with the Indians returning home on a five-game losing streak, manager Terry Francona did not...

Launching off with the Aeros: 5/21/13 – 5/27/13

The Akron Aeros stumbled over the past week, dropping five of seven games and falling to a 22-29 record. After the team's recent string of losses, the Aeros are 10 games behind the Erie SeaWolves and only 1.5 games ahead of the last-place Altoona Curve. Before heading out on the road, manager Edwin Rodriguez reiterated his belief that his team needs to focus on taking it one...

Aguilar, Moncrief's late-inning heroics give Aeros 15-inning win

AKRON, OH -- Down 2-1 in the ninth inning, first baseman Jesus Aguilar tied the game with an opposite field home run, just out of right fielder Steven Souza Jr.'s reach at the "It's A Whole New Ballgame" sign. After the two teams went six more innings, it almost literally was. The Akron Aeros (24-30) won 3-2 Thursday night in 15 innings, defeating the Harrisburg...

Indians 5 Reds 2: The Great Giambino to the rescue!

Your Cleveland Indians, losers of five straight and seven of eight, arrived back in Cleveland in dire need of a pick me up. “We needed to get a victory because we’ve been playing good baseball without much to show for it,” said last night’s starter Justin Masterson. The Big Nasty was the perfect pitcher to take the mound to attempt to end the skid. This is his job as the...

Bauer releases rap about Indians

Cleveland prospect Trevor Bauer has put out a rap song about the Indians. Bauer, who is pitching at Triple-A Columbus, wrote and recorded the song, called ''Gutter to the Grail'' for an Indians' blog called Wahoo's On First. The song mentions several Indians players, including pitchers Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Perez. Third baseman Mark...

Q&A: Mark Reynolds, Strikeouts and Bombs

Mark Reynolds knows who he is. The Cleveland Indians corner infielder is a slugger in the three-true-outcomes mode. His walk rate is maybe a little short of a purist’s TTO, but the long balls and strikeouts are certainly there. Reynolds has left the yard 193 times in 3,140 at bats; in three seasons, he has gone down by way of the K over 200 times. The 29-year-old former Oriole...

Aeros End Losing Streak, Win 6-3

AKRON, OH – It took a much improved team effort for the Akron Aeros to end their four-game losing streak as they defeated the Harrisburg Senators 6-3 on Wednesday night at Canal Park.  The Aeros' performance showed a major improvement in both steady pitching and hitting from the night before. Will Roberts had a very good outing Wednesday night, giving up three runs and six...

Second Thoughts Game #52: Indians 5, Reds 2

Pre-Game Commentary This Indians entered this game really struggling. They’d lost five straight for the second time this season and in the midst of a tough stretch of games that included two more games against a Cincinnati Reds team that has been as hot as the Indians are cold. The good news is that ace Justin Masterson would be taking the hill to try and stop the losing streak...

Second Thoughts Game #51: Indians 2, Reds 8

No command? No problem With no outs in the first inning, Zach McAllister allowed a run on three straight hits and ended up allowing three runs overall by the end of the frame while throwing over 20 pitches. McAllister had noticeable command issues and lack of feel for the strike zone. Heading into Tuesday night’s start, McAllister had pitched at least five innings and hadn...

Cleveland's Terry Francona wrestles NESN's Don Orsillo

The Cleveland Indians concluded a four game weekend series in Boston which marked the homecoming of manager Terry Francona. As you're well aware, Francona won two World Championships as manager of the Red Sox. During his tenure in Boston, Francona became good friends with TV play-by-play man Don Orsillo of NESN.  So when Orsillo had the first opportunity to say hello to...

Aroldis Chapman angers Nick Swisher with 100-mph pitch at head

Nick Swisher was upset with Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman for seemingly throwing at him on Monday afternoon in the Reds’ 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. Chapman struck out Asdrubal Cabrera on a 3-2 pitch to begin the ninth. He proceeded to uncork two wild ones in a row against Swisher. The first pitch [...]

Bats outhit Clippers, win 10-7

LOUISVIILE, KY – The Columbus Clippers dropped their second game of the series against the Louisville Bats 10-7 Wednesday morning. The Clippers have lost six of their seven games in the last week. Despite a decent performance from the Clippers’ bats, it was Louisville making all of the plays from the plate. The Bats scored in six of the eight innings—racking up ten runs in...

Reds-Indians Preview

Justin Masterson has often pitched like an ace this season, and now the Cleveland Indians need him to stop a season high-tying losing streak that began with his last outing. Looking to bounce back from a rough start, Masterson tries to end his team's five-game skid when their series with the red-hot Cincinnati Reds shifts to Progressive Field for two contests Wednesday night...

Series Preview: Rays at Indians

Tampa Bay Rays ( - ) at Cleveland Indians ( - ) Series 19, Games 54, 55 & 56 Progressive Field, Cleveland: Park Factor 96, Pitcher's Park. Friday, May 31st 7:05 EDT (STO) Matt Moore (8-0, 2.21) vs Corey Kluber (3-3, 4.57) Brett Myers injury complications has granted Kluber a reprieve from the worry of being removed from the rotation, but the way he has pitched...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.