Saturday, April 26, 2008

Did anyone else hear the bizarre rant Tom Hamilton went on during the eighth inning of the Indians game Saturday?

Hamilton, the Indians radio voice since 1990, went after umpire Derryl Cousins after the latter missed a call at second base (he called a Cleveland runner out on a force when the Yankees' Robinson Cano never had possession of the baseball at second). Tribe manager Eric Wedge came out to argue, and was ejected.

Hamilton (and fellow radio voice Mike Hegan) said that Cousins was out of position, then criticized him for not getting help on the play.

Then things got really weird.

Hamilton brought up how Cousins was brought up to the Major Leagues during the 1979 umpires strike, implying that:

A) he was a bad umpire who was only in the majors because of a decision he made 29 years ago


B)was unethical in crossing the line -- again, 29 years ago.

What B had to do with missing the call at second is anyone's guess. Hamilton can get rather negative sometimes, but this was a different level. It wasn't constructive criticism; it was just mean.

From what I heard, Hegan didn't comment on Cousins' past, only the play itself.

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At 9:35 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

Unfortuately, that's Hamilton's Achilles' heel. While he's a fine play by play man, he can definitely get mean spirited.

We've seen it before when he trashes opposing players, and even cities the team is visiting. He did it to Marty Cordova when he was still with the Twins, and once on a West Coast swing, I heard him express regret that the team stays in San Francisco during trips to Oakland because the city's streets are dirty. Of course, Hamilton expressed it in a way that made it seem like San Francisco was in a fall-of-Rome state.

Then there was the time during spring training in 2006 when Hamilton spent a good 3-4 minutes of a broadcast ripping the scoreboard operator at Chain of Lakes Park because the ball-strike count got messed up. He repeatedly called into question the mental capacity of the scoreboard operator over the air to an audience of thousands.

Maybe Hamilton just lets his emotions get the better of him, but sometimes I wish WTAM would hit the "dump" button on him the way they do on an obnoxious caller.


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