He’ll call you a nitwit, he’ll call you a dope, he’ll hang up on you when you’re speaking mid-sentence.
But this time, Howard Eskin looks like the nitwit. Because anyone who saw “Sports Final” on NBC Sunday night was subject to a two-minute rant on Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay that was completely undeserving.
The Cy Young Award winning Halladay was berated by Eskin for declining to speak with the media this weekend during an autograph signing. Eskin had this to say:
“Now, we in the media, we’re really the connection that bring you what the players are thinking. That’s one of the reasons that we, the media, talk to the players. The fans have not heard from Roy Halladay since the end of the season. Not heard, what he thinks about what he thinks about Cliff Lee coming to the Phillies. Not heard, what he thinks of the new Phillies rotation. Not heard, what he thinks of Jayson Werth moving on to the Washington Nationals.
Now I think you would like to know what one of the four best pitchers in baseball is thinking, all ‘feel good’ stuff. but, no. Roy Halladay did today what he does during most of the season. He does not speak to the media, other than game days when he becomes Steve Carlton afterwards. And Carlton did so, and not talked, because his family was criticized by one member of the media.
Fans and media worship Roy Halladay in this town, he didn’t even speak the next day after his playoff no-hitter. Major League Baseball, I’m told, forced him to speak to the media, but that was two days after his historical no-hitter.
Halladay told me and the rest of the media today that he would pass on talking… too bad. I thought we would all wanted to know what it’s like to be a part of this incredible pitching rotation. Heck, I’m told he didn’t even say ‘hello’ to Cliff Lee. But don’t feel bad for him… he did get a big check today… for signing autographs.”
For me, I just don’t see the point of this. The guy threw two no-hitters and won the Cy Young in the first year with his team. He talked to the media plenty over the course of the season, and I haven’t heard one bad thing about Roy Halladay… ever.
Leave him alone… let him workout two months before Spring Training, let him sign autographs… hell, let him fool around with your female friends that you’re really protective of. What the hell does it matter? If he keeps pitching the way that he does, let him do whatever he wants.
Eskin has been known to stir the pot, and that’s part of his persona. I get it, but why go after Halladay. We’ve seen in the past how radio hosts in this city have affected a player’s relationship with this city. I’m looking at you, Angelo Cataldi.
Cataldi was the mastermind behind the “Dirty 30″, a traveling pack of colossal jackasses that went to the NFL Draft in 1999 in support of the Eagles drafting Texas running back Ricky Williams. When the Eagles drafted Donovan McNabb instead, they booed as loudly as they could… loud enough to make you think the New York Knicks made a draft pick. McNabb has always said it never bothered him, but it was clear that the first impression of Philadelphia for McNabb was ruined.
The difference is Cataldi had 30 guys on his side for his cause, Eskin probably can’t find 30 supporters for his. In fact, Kyle Scott from Crossing Broad has written not one, but two pieces on Eskin’s unjustified tirades and inaccuracies.
Eskin continued bitching and complaining on his radio show yesterday saying that “[Halladay] has not uttered one word since the end of the season.”…
…read that second link from Crossing Broad. Eskin, though usually accurate, could not be more wrong in this case. And now this becomes a matter of getting your shit straight. Eskin has been working in this medium for more than 40 years. He’s not a dummy. This attack, however, is completely out of line and more than anything, inaccurate.
An apology from Eskin is unlikely, but it would really help clear the air with something like this.
When you’re wrong, you’re wrong.
And Howard Eskin… you ain’t right.
But I love your Whoppers…
…okay, I’m done now.