Another incident involved Shawn Green™s dilemma of sitting out a game during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in 2004. Lyons joked that Green struggling with the decision, and he never had a bar mitzvah, so he couldn™t even take advantage of receiving money as a gift.He states, œI like Shawn a lot and I knew he was troubled by his decision to play or not. I was trying to make him feel better. I am not Jewish and I had no idea I was offending anyone.
œPeople don™t remember that earlier in that game, I said that I loved Shawn Green as a player and everyone wishes that they had a brother like him. I will stand up to that incident and admit that I made a mistake. Saying I didn’t mean it is never good enough in my business.”
Regarding the most recent exchange with Piniella, Lyons states, œMy joke was about a wallet, not about him speaking Spanish. I didn™t know that Lou was Spanish, but it wouldn’t have affected what I said because it didn’t matter what nationality he was.
œI didn’t even know my own nationality until I was 21 years old and somebody asked me. I had to call my Mom to find out. We never cared about ours or anybody else’s.
œI™ve never thought in terms of race. I have a biracial grandson. I like to have fun when doing a game. That™s how I got my job. The network always encouraged me to speak off the cuff. Lou laughed harder than anyone at what I said. We had dinner after the game and he said that was the best exchange we had.
The claim “I’ve never thought in terms of race,” is somewhat telling. Not everyone has the privilege of growing up in America without being reminded of their race on a daily basis. Lyons has yet to pursue a career in a field where his ethnic group or nationality was discriminated against.
It’s unfortunate that no one from Fox will take the opportunity to say what should’ve been said at the time of Lyons’ termination. “Psycho” was painfully unfunny and brought nothing to the table in terms of baseball insight. He might not have a racist bone in his body, but there’s nothing preventing the network from firing an annoying, widely disliked broadcaster. Lyons was hardly the only sophomoric presence on Fox, and that’s the nicest thing you can say about him. While he’d like us to believe the racial angle is an unfortunate pretext, Steve does himself few favors by reminding us he has “a biracial godson.”
The Washington Times’ Thom Lemke reports that MASN will not retain analyst Tom Paciorek for Nationals telecasts next season, predicting Harold Reynolds or Don Sutton might be under consideration. I watched a fair number of Nats games last year and can say with full confidence that Paciorek was at least as good at his job as Cristian Guzman.