By HOWARD BERGER
TORONTO (Oct. 3) – The wacky universe of social media is at it again – simply because there is nothing capable of enriching the drab lives of countless millions. Today’s target: New York Yankees’ broadcaster and former pitcher David Cone, a member of the Toronto Blue Jays 1992 World Series team.
According to the righteously unfulfilled, Cone committed a heinous act of bigotry and racism during Tuesday night’s telecast of the Boston-New York ballgame at Yankee Stadium. It occurred when Japanese native Ichiro Suziuki was at the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning. Suzuki fell behind in the count against pitcher Vincente Padilla and grounded out to shortstop Jose Iglesias. As do all premier hitters, Suzuki shortened up on his swing with two strikes and ultimately hacked at the ball with a downward motion.
Cone – among the friendliest, most-dignified athletes I’ve ever encountered – watched a slow-motion replay of the ground-out and said, “Suzuki with the chop-stick.” I happened to be watching the telecast on the Yankees’ YES Network and I knew exactly what Cone was referring to – as would even the lamest viewer. It’s a term I heard numerous times while covering the Blue Jays in their championship years (1988-94) for The Fan-590; it simply means a chopping, defensive swing.
DAVID CONE, UNLEASHING ON BEHALF OF THE 1992 TORONTO BLUE JAYS.
The fact Suzuki is of Asian descent roused the ire of those looking for something; anything to snap them out of perpetual monotony. Twitter – and all its sophistication – apparently erupted with animus, as if Cone were a raging bigot. How novel for the 140-character savants to go berserk.
If Cone is guilty of anything – and he isn’t – it might be a trivial moment of carelessness. Far-more bigoted and racially unrefined are those that drew an immediate connection between Suzuki’s heritage and the two-pronged device often used to channel Asian food from plate to mouth.
It was such an appalling blunder by Cone that the rabid, tempestuous New York Post – normally feasting on such “controversy” – didn’t care to print a single word… at least nothing I can find on its comprehensive website. Same with tabloid-cousin the New York Daily News.
Perhaps tonight’s presidential debate at the University of Denver might inspire the Twitter twits to comment on something material… assuming, of course, they have the intellectual capacity.
And, that is rather lofty expectation.
FACEBOOK: HOWARD BERGER [THORNHILL ON]