Last Tuesday night, the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez allowed a monster HR “not by one of Detroit’s high-salaried thumpers, but a .219-hitting scrub named Ryan Raburn,” wrote the SF Chronicle’s Henry Schulman. “Baseball has an evil way of balancing it’s ledgers,” mused Schulman, who couldn’t have possibly meant he’d be taking a beating from Tigers closer Todd Jones a few days later.  From Sunday’s Detroit Free Press :

I can’t think of anybody who has ever played in the major leagues as a scrub — not even Bob Uecker.

When Tigers manager Jim Leyland saw the article, he was livid. We all were.

Ryan just laughed it off. What else could he do? He’d just been humiliated by a guy he’d never met.

The proper term for what Ryan does is: “A role player or backup.” He’s actually very useful. He plays outfield and infield in the big leagues. (I wonder if Schulman could do that?)

Sure we’ve got thick skin, and reporters don’t bother us for the most part. But when it’s a personal attack on a guy’s ability or perceived place in this game, enough is enough.

I’d rather be a scrub than be a guy who sits on the sideline and watches what happens and then writes about it. How about next time, Mr. Schulman, you just report on the game and you show Mr. Raburn and the hundreds of players on all clubs that fill out the big leagues some respect and call him a backup or a utility player.

Indeed, words that are very polite euphamisms for “scrub”.