Tony Bruno is a syndicated radio sports talk host who relies on his spitfire vocal prowess and razor wit to keep his phone lines buzzing nationwide. However, last Friday night he went too far when he described a Latino player as an “illegal alien,” but I dare say he did not go far enough to lose his job — no one seems mad enough to warrant that type of action.
The funniest part is that it was not what he said that got him into hot water, but rather something he sent into the dark depths of the Internet. In one of his tweets regarding San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, he used some language that was both ignorant and racially charged in what could have been a case where the phone is a whole lot smarter than the user:
The tweet described Bochy as a: “Coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy.’’
In his now deleted tweet, Bruno chastised Bochy because he felt that Bochy ordered his relief pitcher and presumed “illegal alien” Ramón Ramirez to hit Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino with the baseball. This prompted both benches to clear into an ensuing brawl earning Victorino a three-game suspension for getting into an umpire’s face.
Bruno has since apologized for the tweet, but that has not stopped Bochy for coming out on Sunday and declaring Bruno a racist.
Baseball managers order their pitchers to hit players on the opposing team all the time — although they will be quick to deny it — much like police will insist they do not have ticket quotas. This is a part of baseball that is done to send a message to the opposing team, and basically that message is “Do not get too comfortable.” The practice of this often leads to baseball’s most classic physical clashes, although baseball does not take these clashes too kindly, and more times than not doles out punishments via financial fines and suspensions.
Tony Bruno has been on the air more than 20 years. He is respected as a sports analyst, and his vocal talents have even been included in the John Madden Football video game franchise from 2005-2007.
My point is that this man is not an idiot. I do not foresee him losing his job. However, I can see him being suspended for a couple of days, forced into some kind of sensibility training. He will be back at the microphone before any of us realize it. After all, America is a land that loves a comeback. America is not too crazy, about an immigrant unless his name is Balki or Superman, but America will always cheer for a comeback. If you do not believe me ask Carlos Irwin Esteves – or rather Charlie Sheen. America will always be ready to forgive and forget.
I cannot help but think back to last July during the All-Star game at Chase Field in Arizona when some Latino players refused to comment about the state’s controversial immigration law. Some of them went as far as to state that it had nothing to do with the game. Unfortunately it does.
I feel that it is somewhat hypocritical if Latino leaders expect the Latino community to raise an eyebrow of concern over this. Professional baseball players did the sideways shuffle when it came to them in Arizona. I do not think they expect us to stand with them, after the display last month when players wanted to discuss the home run derby over legislature.
As far as Ramirez is concerned, he has taken the high road and said that Bruno is entitled to his opinion, while putting the racial slur behind him. This is probably just a move to squelch any further fallout and concentrate on the last two remaining months of the season.
Follow Oscar Barajas on Twitter @Oscarcoatl.[Photo By mistycabal]