Did SportsCenter go over the line with Bengie Molina joke?

SPORTSbyBROOKS thinks so. Here’s a look at the clip in question:

Brooks had this to say about the situation:

To be fair, I do think ESPN SportsCenter did go over the line in its portrayal of Molina in that situation. If Bristol was going to air such a clip, it should’ve been on SportsNation or Jim Rome is Burning. Not in the context of objective news coverage.

Bengie Molina even wrote about it on his blog:

Look, you can say I’m the slowest guy in baseball or in all of sports or in the entire world. I don’t take issue with that because I AM the slowest guy. I have always been the slowest guy. I can’t challenge that criticism. But ESPN’s intention was not to criticize but to humiliate.

I take what I do very seriously, which is why – despite my obvious lack of speed – I have managed to play in the major leagues for 11 seasons. I play hard. I play hurt. I respect the game, my teammates, the press, the fans. That’s how I was raised. It was the No. 1 thing.

I know I’m a public figure and I just have to take my lumps. But I would like those people at ESPN who, from a safe distance, make fun of players for a cheap laugh, to remember that players are actual people.

A big part of me thinks that Molina should develop some thicker skin. I don’t think ESPN was trying to humiliate him with the clip. I think they were making light of something that everyone already knows — Bengie Molina is slow. ESPN would have been better served had they highlighted a good play or two that Molina made to help the Giants win, but this clip was no different than the “Not Top 10” that SportsCenter runs regularly. No one sad that Molina didn’t hustle to try to score, but it was funny to see him thrown out given the lead he had on the ball. He should just shrug his shoulders and laugh it off.

In the end, SportsCenter is entertainment. Yes, there is serious sports discussion and analysis, but part of what has made SportsCenter great over the years is the show’s sense of humor. I think making light of someone’s foot speed (with regard to an athletic contest) is well within the limits of good taste. They should just take the time to highlight some of Molina’s good plays as well. He’s a long-time MLB catcher for a reason.

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