Apology from Houston Astros broadcaster highlights glaring problem with "standards"

Apology from Houston Astros broadcaster highlights glaring problem with "standards"
Who possibly was offended by Blummer’s slip of the lip? Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

So Astros’ TV announcer Geoff Blum inadvertently dropped an “s-bomb” into a hot mic between innings of last Saturday night’s Astros game.

Blum, thinking the microphone was off, said, “We’re gonna Crawford Bock the s--- out of this thing.”

I’m not even sure what that means, but oh the humanity! My ears! How could he say such a vulgar thing!

Blum’s gaffe made sports sites across the Internet, and gave him an entry on the awfulannouncing.com website.

My reaction? Who the gives a s---?

Still, Blummer felt obliged, or maybe he was told to feel obliged, to go on social media for the standard non-apology apology.

“My apologies for the hot mic moment, i can get a little spicy in between innings!”

He wink-winked his mea culpa with emojis of a grimace face and glass of beer. I was more offended by his failure to capitalize the letter “i.” Punctuation counts, Blummer.

If he felt the need to apologize, it should have been for breaking the broadcaster’s rule: always assume a microphone is hot.

Seriously, though, who possibly was offended by Blummer’s slip of the lip? It’s a “Rated R for language” world. Even the Academy Awards isn’t safe from F-bomb threats and physical assaults. We have a former president who cusses up a storm at rallies, and a current president who recently called a reporter “a stupid son-of-a b-word” under his breath into a hot mic. Several years ago, as vice-president, he whispered an exuberant F-bomb in his excitement over Obamacare becoming law.

Blum isn’t running for political office, but I think he could beat both of those guys in Houston. As Dr. Rick would say, “nobody cares” if a public figure lets a naughty word loose.

You know, baseball games now are aired on Apple TV, where profanity is acceptable and widespread. The real obscenity with baseball on Apple TV has nothing to do dirty words – it’s those horrible announcers.

Astros fans love Blum. He’s part of the Astros’ respected TV crew with Todd Kalas and Julia Morales. We didn’t know how much we loved those three until we got a dose of those blathering Apple TV announcers.

Instead of apologizing, Blum should get a bonus from the Astros for handing them a kick-ass campaign on a silver platter. We could use a little boot in the keister around here.

Apologize? No, Blum needs to trademark his new catchphrase and cash in on T-shirts, mugs, koozies, billboards and souvenir beer cups.

Karbach Brewery, the makers of Crawford Bock, should hire Blum as its official spokesperson and give him a piece of the business. Blum’s offhand remark is perfect – it’s funny, slightly weird, and rallies this city behind the Astros. Most important, he remembered to name the product.

There may be some self-righteous parents who say, “My kids watch Astros games on TV and Blum’s comment was inappropriate. I shouldn’t have to worry about my kids hearing the devil’s words during a baseball game.”

To those parents, I have some advice. Do not do search the browsing history on your precious angels’ laptops.

Compared to catastrophic, career-ending boners by other sports announcers, Blum’s indelicate remark was practically a Sunday school sermon. For example …

Two years ago, Cincinnati Reds veteran play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was caught uttering a homophobic slur into on a hot mic. Brennaman was gone in a blink, fired by the Reds and dropped by Fox Sports’ coverage of the NFL. He now announces high school games on something called Chatterbox Sports.

Jimmy Hoffa will win Dancing with the Stars before we see Brennaman back in the big leagues.

Last year, Tigers color analyst Jack Morris was asked how he’d pitch to pitch to Shohei Ohtani. Morris answered, “be very, very careful,” which would have been fine if he didn’t use an offensive, cartoonish Japanese accent. Morris was suspended, reinstated, awaiting his next ignorant comment. That’s sort of his thing.

Nothing or nobody will top, actually sink below, announcer Matt Rowan’s racist comments while streaming a girls’prep basketball tournament game in Oklahoma last year. When the Norman High School team took a knee during the national anthem, Rowan, thinking he was in a break, unleashed a profanity-laced torrent of insults, including the N-word, into a live microphone, ending with “I hope they lose.”

Rowan later apologized for his comments, and blamed diabetes for his lapse of judgment.

“During the game my sugar was spiking. While not excusing my remarks, it is not unusual when my sugar spikes that I become disoriented and often say things that are not appropriate as well as hurtful,” Rowan said, adding, (if not for his diabetes) “I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements.”

Rowan was suspended from the rest of the tournament. By the way, not only did the Norman girls win that game, they went on to capture the Oklahoma state championship.

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Suns defeat Rockets, 110-105. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

Phoenix All-Star Devin Booker and Houston rookie Cam Whitmore got into a minor scuffle midway through the fourth quarter Thursday night and both players were called for a technical foul.

With a couple big blocks on the ensuing possession, Suns center Jusuf Nurkic was there to back his star teammate.

Booker scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 24 and the Suns held off the Rockets 110-105, with the teams set to meet again in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Nurkic had 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks before fouling out. His biggest moment came in the fourth, when he stuffed Whitmore twice on the possession following the scuffle, drawing huge roars from the Phoenix crowd.

“Very important — that's the team sticking together,” Booker said. “That goes a long way. That's what you need when things get tough, it gets to the thick of things and the energy is high. You want to know you have people on your team that are built like that.”

Booker scored 20 points in the first quarter to help give the Suns an 18-point lead they would never relinquish. He has scored at least 20 points in an NBA-high six quarters this season.

Three-time All-Star Bradley Beal missed his fifth straight game because of a hamstring injury.

The Suns took an 86-75 lead into the final quarter. Houston cut the advantage to six midway through the fourth, but Booker responded immediately with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine.

That led to the brief skirmish between Booker and Whitmore. Tempers stayed hot over the next few minutes — Houston's Alperen Sengun fouled out and then got two quick technicals, earning an ejection.

Booker hit both of the technical free throws, Nurkic followed with his two free throws from Sengun's foul, and that pushed the Suns' lead to 99-84. The Rockets would cut the lead to four with 16.9 seconds left, but Royce O'Neale hit two free throws to end the threat.

Jalen Green led Houston with 34 points. Fred VanVleet added 21. The Rockets connected on just 11 of 45 3-pointers and shot 33.3% from the field overall, which was their worst percentage of the season.

“It wasn't one of our better nights as far as guys getting open looks and making the extra pass,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “We had a few guys who had it going, but a few guys who were struggling.”

Phoenix has won seven of its past 10 — and nine in a row at home — as it tries to stay in the top six of the Western Conference playoff race and avoid the play-in tournament. The sliding Rockets have lost eight of 10.

“We're getting confident in this building,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said.

Booker's big first quarter pushed the Suns to a 33-17 lead. The four-time All-Star made 8 of 10 shots from the field, including a 33-foot 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Phoenix settled for a 64-53 halftime lead. Booker had 26 points before the break while Green led Houston with 21.

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