Braves announcers and crusty old fuddy-duddies Joe Simpson and Chip Caray threw the saddest little mid-game tantrum Saturday night, during a Braves loss to the Dodgers. Braves hitters combined for three total hits and eight strikeouts on the night, and Braves starter Max Fried took the loss despite giving up just two hits and one earned run in his five innings of pitching. Plenty to gripe about right there, but no—Simpson and Caray were distracted with disgust over what several Dodgers players chose to wear....to batting practice.
So were the Dodgers players nude? Wearing codpieces? Were they taking batting practice while draped in the fresh hides of their enemies? No, it turns out they were taking batting practice in t-shirts. Regular old t-shirts.
For the most part this is Joe Simpson blathering on about doing things “the right way” and professionalism, and how Dodgers fans should be embarrassed that their favorite team—who spent the evening collecting their NL West-leading 59th win, on the road, against a very good Braves team—wore regular t-shirts to batting practice. Not to go all Allen Iverson, here, but we are talking about PRACTICE. Not a game! Not a game.
Their combined freakout really picks up around the 55-second mark, when Simpson all but dares Major League Baseball to punish the Dodgers, and spits out the words “such attire” like Chase Utley was wearing a “Fuck Joe Simpson” t-shirt. That’s about when Caray joins in, concern trolling over, of all things, MLB merchandise sales, getting absolutely nowhere as it no doubt dawns on him that the Dodgers and MLB could just sell—and probably do sell!—the t-shirts the various Dodgers chose to wear, and pivoting to the extremely parched “it’s called ‘a uniform’ for a reason” line.
Here’s something even funnier:
OOF. Really punches up Simpson’s line about how what Utley in particular was wearing during batting practice “was an embarrassment.”
A reporter asked Dodgers manager Dave Roberts about the Braves broadcast meltdown after the game, and Roberts said until he hears the audio he’s going to take it as a joke (skip to about 3:23 in the video):
“If anyone looks at our guys—and you mentioned Chase Utley—as ‘unprofessional’ or however they want to classify it. I didn’t hear the video, the audio, I want to hear it. I take it personal when people question our professionalism, because I’ll put our professionalism, the way we play the game and prepare every day, against anybody. I’ve gotta hear the audio, but that kind of sets me off a little bit.”
Congratulations to the Braves announcers for using the words “embarrassing,” “embarrassed,” “do things the right way,” “unprofessional,” “professionalism,” and “respect” in a conversation about the t-shirts baseball players wear while practicing.