Shooting or brushing back the messenger is two things. One is bad form. The second is that, until or unless the message is demonstrably libelous or slanderous, it rarely works to the shooter’s advantage. It doesn’t keep people from trying. And it doesn’t keep those folks from looking foolish. (Donaldus Minimus, call your office. You too, Hilarious Rodent Clinton.)
For non-Miami Marlins fans, Tommy Hutton sounded too much like a homer. For the Marlins’ thin skinned administration, Hutton wasn’t homer enough. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
But if it makes Hutton feel any better, now that he’s been pinked by the Marlins, even Hall of Fame broadcasters have been fired for calling or reporting games and their atmospheres honestly. Hutton has only to look at Tim McCarver and, well before him, Red Barber. He’s joining some pretty elite company.
You don’t need to be a medical expert to know what injuries do to formerly competent players. Unfortunately, fans buying their way into the ballpark don’t always have the patience to comprehend.
Whether you’re an extravagantly paid starter or a modestly paid second stringer. Joe Fan wants nothing more than to tell you to suck it up and play, and sometimes so does Joe Sportscaster or Joe Sportswriter. And unless the latter’s spent any time on the field or in the dugout, he or she isn’t all that inclined to look deeper.