MLB Network Radio host Casey Stern unloaded on longtime Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell Monday, over Boswell’s implication that Charlie Blackmon isn’t the true National League batting champion.
The SiriusXM host fired off an implication of his own, suggesting Boswell doesn’t “belong in the media,” while adding “I never want to be grouped in with somebody like that.”
Blackmon won his first NL batting title with a .331 average in 2017, edging out Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, both of whom ended their regular seasons with a .322 average.
After Games 162 came to their conclusion Sunday, Boswell articulated in a tweet that “Daniel Murphy edges Justin Turner for real NL batting title .3221 to .3217. Blackmon? Like last 11 fake Colorado BA champs he doesn’t count.” Seemingly, Boswell was suggesting that Blackmon, who played 81 games in the high altitude of Coors Field in Denver, should not be considered the rightful champion.
The Rockies’ official Twitter account responded to Boswell in kind.
“This is the kind of stuff about when you don’t belong in the media,” Stern told his co-host, former Major League pitcher Brad Lidge. “This is the kind of stuff… Now look, he didn’t call somebody a loser, as somebody in the media with a credential to get into Citi Field, called Terry Collins last week.”
“In this case, this is the same, similar kind of thing for me,” Stern continued. “This is a business that has a lot of very, very nice, healthy fish swimming in the pond, and then we have some that came from muddy waters are still are there, and it’s just not a safe place to swim, because in this kind of a thing, I never want to be grouped in with somebody like that.”
“What we talked about last week with Camden Yards clearly is not on display, I think, for a lot of people,” he said. “But even if it was, Brad, to go ahead and… there’s no reason to do that. That is to me the definition of trolling. That is coming up with some negativity just to kind of get reaction, and it’s sad, because somebody who’s been in the business that long shouldn’t need to be that desperate to get attention.
“But I wanted to bring that up, because anybody who sits there and wants to put up that kind of garbage in the media, I just don’t think it belongs. I think at some point we have to understand where stories for controversy and taking the other side are placed, and where they’re forced, and I thought it was pretty embarrassing to me to see a tweet like that.”
“That’s a great call. That’s a great word for it,” Lidge said. “It’s embarrassing, and I’m embarrassed for this guy, because, quite frankly, when you’re trying to justify certain things for your own team by slandering another team — even if there’s some slight reason to do it — when you’re tearing down other people… Case, it goes back to my expression: Blowing other people’s candles out doesn’t make yours burn brighter.
“Honestly, because you’re trying to say, ‘Oh, the Rockies, their numbers aren’t as good because they’re at Coors Field. Blah blah blah. Yada, yada, yada.’ I mean, come on, man.”
“You’re right. We talked about Camden Yards being what it is,” he added. “There’s a lot of ballparks that played really small this year because — look, quite frankly — the balls, they were different this year. I mean, what? You go to Arizona, the ball doesn’t jump out the air? Guys’ numbers aren’t a little bit inflated there? Cincinnati? I mean, there’s ballparks all around America.
“So anybody on the west coast, you automatically say, ‘Their batting average should be 20 points higher because the ball doesn’t carry anywhere at night there’? I mean, it is what it is. There’s no reason to say anything that negative and to try and make it a big deal.”
“Clearly,” Lidge went on, “this guy was just feeling like, ‘Here we are. The playoffs are starting. The Nats are in the postseason. I’m really excited about everything and I’m gonna really show my true patriotism by ripping somebody else, so that everybody’ll think I really have the Nationals’ back.’
“Come on, man. Just do your job. Don’t do things that you’re gonna regret in the future, because, clearly, you should be regretting this already, but if not, at some point you will be.”
“We step out. We’ll come back,” Stern threw to a commercial break. “No regrets here. Talk some Red Sox with Dave Dombrowski on the other side.”
Update (there was more, earlier in the segment)
“I did want to bring up something on Charlie Blackmon and get this out,” Stern said, “because I’ve got to basically get everything out of the way that I can with all of you that are listening today. Thomas Boswell, one of the members of the media for the Nationals.
“Now, the Nationals in general have the media that I like to call the warm and fuzziest in all of baseball because of how they are with their teams. [White Sox TV announcer] Hawk Harrelson would be proud of the way this group handles itself as a whole, so I’m not surprised by this.”
“But I saw a tweet,” he carried on. “For those of you who didn’t see it — and we’ll do penalty boxes on most disappointing team this season, and each of our choices — but here’s an early-bird special in the penalty box.”
Stern then proceeds to read Boswell’s tweet, as noted above.