“What you’d love to see is Swisher do here is knock it right off the temple of Chapman, and see how much fun it is to have a ball come off your head.” – Tom Hamilton, Cleveland Indians play-by-play man
Does Cleveland Indians radio voice Tom Hamilton now feel that justice has been served?
Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman suffered facial fractures after being hit by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez in a horrific incident during Cactus League play. The four second clip with the sound of ball hitting Chapman’s face is sickening.
Hamilton made his controversial remarks during the ninth inning of a game on May 27, 2013. Chapman had just fired two fastballs at 100 mph near the head of Nick Swisher, quickly getting the attention of the Indians dugout.
Hamilton then ranted on Chapman’s possible motives being “bush league” and that perhaps he might get away with such tactics back in Cuba.
Considering a player in that country recently ran on the field with a bat and took a full swing at a pitcher during a brawl, it’s possible that anything there is fair game.
The over-the-top call 10 months ago went viral, thanks to a Tom Hamilton fan page on social media. It got enough attention for MLB Advanced Media to force the link down.
Hamilton did not defuse the firestorm the next day proclaiming “what was said was said.” A quick Google search confirms that.
Hamilton’s wish from last May is now a reality, and he can now report to the Indians spring training facility, one that the team shares with the Cincinnati Reds. Hopefully he sends Chapman a get-well card.
There is no safety net on live broadcasts. Hamilton has excelled at his job for decades. Passion out of local announcers is normally good, even those accused of homer-ism.
It was one mistake out of thousands of events Hamilton has covered for the Indians and other outlets. There is almost no doubt he would love to take back a portion of his commentary on Chapman.
The lesson learned is to be careful what you wish for, and never wish for a player to get injured.