This would be a good day for Roger McDowell to play the lottery. He’ll never be luckier than he is right now.
McDowell has been suspended for two weeks without pay and fined an undisclosed amount for alleged anti-gay slurs and his inappropriate conduct toward fans in San Francisco last week. He also has been ordered to take sensitivity training.
Say thank you, Roger.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig — who last week suspended Ozzie Guillen two games for something as trivial as Tweeting — could have slammed McDowell.
I’ve heard from several readers who believe the Braves should have fired him. I wasn’t in that camp, but I do believe a suspension of at least 30 games was in order.
“I understand the decision made today by the commissioner,” McDowell said in a statement. “I am embarrassed by my actions and I plan to give a personal apology to Mr. [Justin] Quinn and his family. I would also like to offer a public and heartfelt apology to the fans of San Francisco, to the Atlanta Braves organization, my family and to Major League Baseball.”
The official news release did not give specifics of McDowell’s exchange with fans. But neither did it dispute anything that has been reported or brought out at Quinn’s news conference last week. Allegations include various homophobic slurs, a crude joke involving a baseball bat and an exchange with Quinn, a father of two, who claimed McDowell said to him, “How much are your teeth worth?”
A story in Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle quoted another fan that corroborated many of Quinn’s claims.
In short, it is alleged McDowell spewed anti-gay remarks and made a quasi-threat to a fan. Whether he was joking or not, that can’t be tolerated.
Certainly, nobody was coming to McDowell’s defense Sunday. Even Braves team president John Schuerholz said, “We are clearly disappointed in Roger’s remarks and actions and the Atlanta Braves organization does not tolerate that kind of behavior.”
McDowell’s two-week suspension is retroactive to last Friday, which means he can return on Friday the 13th (go figure) against Philadelphia. It’s a little sooner than some might have expected.
Say thank you, Roger.
FOR LIVE BLOG ON TODAY’S GAME: Click here.
By Jeff Schultz