“Baseball’s too complex. Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic,” Cowherd said on-air on Thursday on his radio show, in a clunky effort to tie the supposed lack of intricacy in the game of baseball to the pending move of former ESPN personality Bill Simmons to HBO.
This is Cowherd logic; it makes sense to him.
Continuing: “The Dominican Republic is not been known, in my lifetime, as having, you know, world-class academic abilities.”
ESPN announced Friday that Cowherd would no longer appear on its TV or radio networks, though the blow was more a glancing one at his next employer, Fox Sports, than at Cowherd. Cowherd had reportedly been negotiating an early end to his contract with ESPN that would have brought his time on the Worldwide Leader to a close at the end of his next week, with multiple reports having him agreeing to terms with Fox to carry his brand of whatever it is that he does to appeal to people over there.
Fox, like ESPN, has a business relationship with Major League Baseball, most importantly in the realm of broadcast rights, and the MLB Players Association is using those broadcast rights as leverage against Cowherd. Sources close to the MLBPA suggested that its members – i.e. baseball players – would go as far as withholding cooperation with Cowherd’s employers in retaliation.
Cowherd, in what turned out to be his final ESPN show on Friday, tried to defend the comments that he had made on-air on Thursday, claiming that they had been taken out of context, then doubling down by citing cherry-picked data that he seemed to think would back his point about the educational attainment of those from the Dominican Republic.
The point he actually made, for the umpteenth time, is that he is stupefyingly tone-deaf. It was after the double-down that ESPN cut him loose a week early, and now Fox is warming up in the pen and about to get the call to come in the game.
– Story by Chris Graham