Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wojciechowski Owes the Clubhouse Kids an Apology

Here's Wojciechowski's column on Radomski. Upshot: Radomski's testimony is going to shake the game to its foundations. That's fair. He's probably right.

But what I'm having a hard time understanding is Wojciechowski's insistence on insulting Radomski based on the fact that he's a former clubhouse attendant. Things Wojo says about him in the column:

"a 37-year-old nobody, a career jockstrap picker-upper, a glorified gofer who used to work for tips"

"He was a clubbie, and clubbies are supposed to shine up your cleats, fetch you the latest issue of Maxim and make sure there are enough forks and knives for the postgame food spread"

"a former no-name clubhouse assistant"

"A guy who retrieved sweaty sani socks off the clubhouse floor"

"a drug-selling weasel who picked up jerseys, but never wore one"

Look, I have no problem considering Radomski a scumbag for being a drug dealer, and though I disapprove of the term, I suppose he is technically a "rat" given that he has turned states' evidence.

But why the demeaning references to his job as a clubhouse attendant? A job, by the way, he was no longer performing at the time he began dealing drugs. Kids do that, job, and based on this and other stories about them, they do it at their peril. It's important work that allows the ballplayers we enjoy watching focus on their game without having to worry about their equipment. Referring to the tasks they perform (retrieving sani socks, doing gofer work, and working for tips) as epithets is offensive and uncalled for.

Wojo appears to be trying, albeit clumsily, to make a point about the lowly bringing down the high and mighty. In his efforts to do so, however, he has callously insulted hard working men and boys who do what they do because they love the game.

He owes the clubhouse kids an apology.

UPDATE: A fuller picture of what life is like for the Clubhouse Kids. (link via BTF).