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Bengie Molina slams ESPN

May 13, 2010, 8:17 AM EDT

Bengie Molina angry.jpgLast week ESPN ran a slow-motion clip of Bengie Molina getting thrown out at the plate in a Giants-Marlins game as, bascially, the game’s only highlight on that night’s SportsCenter. What’s more, they slowed the clip down and set it to music meant to evoke “Chariots of Fire,” mocking Molina’s lack of speed.  As he was thrown out, the anchor yelled “get in there, slim!”  You can see the video here.

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Henry Schulman took great offense at this, writing a blog post slamming ESPN for the lack of respect shown to Molina. Yesterday Molina weighed in himself, slamming ESPN for its “cheap shot” and, while acknowledging that he’s perhaps the slowest player in baseball, saying that “ESPN’s intention was not to criticize but to humiliate.”

Molina closes by saying “All I can do is play the way I always have – with respect and
professionalism. It’s shame that ESPN, a once great network, won’t have
any idea what I’m talking about.”  It was a really well-done post, in my opinion, with Molina taking the high road while still making it clear that his feelings were hurt.

I take shots at players from time to time, and yes, I occasionally go a little too far, crossing the line that separates tough criticism and mockery.  I try hard to avoid it and I’m not proud of myself when I do it, but it happens, often as a result of a misguided attempt at humor.

I’m guessing that’s what happened with ESPN here too.  They do a zillion highlight reels a day, and you can’t blame them for wanting to go in a different direction with one for a change. I’m sure no one there had malice in their heart as they were putting it together, but the humor obviously fell flat, outweighed by mockery. It obviously hit Molina the wrong way.

They probably owe him an apology. In light of Molina’s blog post, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one came as early as this morning.

  1. Real Vikings fans wouldn't cheer for Favre - May 13, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    Not the type of thing that would bother me personally..especially if I was a professional athlete making $4million plus this year like Molina.
    But it obvious Molina was hurt by it and if I was the anchor that did the joke I’d want to call and apologize.

  2. BC - May 13, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    Molina needs to grow up.
    ESPN did something similar a while back when noted hot-head Prince Fielder stole a base. Didn’t hear a peep from him.

  3. Joey B - May 13, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    As I’ve tried to explain to people in here, there is nothing virtuous about being mean and insulting. Molina is slow. Papi is slow. Lowell is slow. We can acknowledge that without trying to emphasize it. If a teacher did that to one his students, they’d be tossed. Just because Molina is an adult, it doesn’t make it any more right.

  4. Bull Durham - May 13, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    I’m not normally on this side of the argument, but c’mon! This is not preschool! Molina is a PROFESSIONAL athlete part of whose job is to run. If he doesn’t do that well and someone wants to snicker at it, is that really something that requires an apology? If you want to make this a discussion about the status of sports broadcasting and what ESPN has done to it, that’s another story. But this one amusing/mocking highlight is not the crime.
    Captcha: controversial heavy – really, this can’t be a coincidence.

  5. Obo - May 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Schulman’s post wasn’t just about the shot at Molina. It was that they spent so much time on the Yankees and Red Sox and the only mention of the Giants game was that highlight of Molina. We didn’t see the final score, who pitched, who won. The Molina video wasn’t part of a comedy bit, a montage, or bloopers, it was the extent of their Giants coverage!

  6. Jonny5 - May 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Everyone is too sensitive these days. Poor Bengie can’t take a little ribbing like that? What does he cry everyday in the locker room when he has withstand the ribbing from teammates? This is ridiculous, big baby. If was running ESPN I would get my tech video guy to put a baby diaper and pacifier on him for the next clip I play of him, no background music, crying. Now that would be funny and humiliating all in one. I’d give him something to cry about in other words.

  7. Craig Calcaterra - May 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Maybe Molina should have a thicker skin, but he apparently doesn’t. I think, however, that even if Molina laughed this off, it was kind of poor on ESPN’s part. I’m not saying it’s a criminal offense or anything, but it’s the sort of thing that, if I had done it, I wouldn’t have been 100% proud of myself afterwards. Maybe it was the “get in there slim” that crossed the line for me. I dunno.

  8. YANKEES1996 - May 13, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Lets get together a a Major League ballpark and make highlight reel of all the Sportscenter anchors running from second to home and then set it to music and air it for the public. I am relatively sure that it would be funny, degrading and humilating. We can even throw in some negative comments for good effect.

  9. Jonny5 - May 13, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Maybe it’s the being born and raised in NJ thing for me I don’t know? Everyone breaks peoples balls around here, even people they don’t know. And they laugh it off then go on their way. Don’t judge us, it still beats how dogs greet eachother.

  10. Ralph Kramden - May 13, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    @Yankees1996 – Something you may enjoy, even if it’s from the Red Sox – A promo for the “Run To Home Base 9K Run” charity event featuring Dustin Pedroia and Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo.
    Pedroia: For those of you still on the fence I brought Don here to show you how unathletic you can be and still participate
    Orsillo: Wait, what?
    Pedroia: It doesn’t matter if you’re an MVP, or get winded from talking.
    Orsillo: That’s happened only like twice.
    (Captcha = bulk veterans. You’re right BD – it really can’t be coincidence!)

  11. Mac - May 13, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    ESPN is reading my mind. I spent some time trying to get footage of Brian McCann hitting a triple so I could score it to Vangelis.

  12. marklar - May 13, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    no other highlights in that game huh? how about Nate Schierholtz going 3-for-3 with his first home run of the season – a blast that landed middle 2nd deck or Matt Cain pitching six innings of no-hit ball. ESPN is lazy and seems to only report on team within 2 hours of Bristol

  13. MIGUEL - May 13, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    To all you a-holes bashing Bengie,F-OFF !!

  14. Jonny5 - May 13, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    He’s still a great ball player, I mean he is in the MLB an all. I just can’t help but to see him as an oversensitive baby in this case.

  15. DBlock - May 13, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    If your feelings are really hurt then take it as a favor and put down the burritos and drop some weight for your health and your team. That is how you get back at them, it is getting the last laugh. not crying and saying you hurt my feelings, it shows weakness and your admitting to the world your slow when everyone had already forgot about it. They just said what everyone was thinking and had a right to freedom of speech to make everyone laugh and now will have to watch what they say and bite their tongue next time a slowpoke gets gunned down. Your slow,deal with it. You have several brothers in the league, isnt that enough motivation for you!

  16. YANKEES1996 - May 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Thanks, that is pretty funny. Do you think Orsillo could out run Wall-e? I would still like to see some footage of the Sportscenter anchors though.

  17. Bob Tufts - May 13, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    If Molina had been sleeping with a co-worker, charged with sexual assault, peed out a window or took pictures of his genatalia, ESPN wouldn’t have covered it.
    A Steve Phillips interview of Tiger Woods would have been great. Woods dodging questions and Phillips asking for pick-up tips.

  18. Tony A - May 13, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    Now that’s funny…

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