Broadcasting legend Vin Scully uncharacteristically weighed in on politics in between pitches during an MLB game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Based on the 21-second riff in which he cried foul, as it were, about socialism, it’s probably reasonable to assume that Scully won’t be vacationing in Venezuela once he leaves the broadcast booth for the final time this fall.
Observing that the Brewers hitter in the top of the sixth inning, third baseman Hernan Perez, is from Venezuela, the sportscaster opined, albeit briefly, about the political and economic situation in that country.
“Can you imagine you’re a young kid playing in the United States from Venezuela and every time you look at the news, it’s a nightmare…socialism, failing to work as it always does. This time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello? Anyway 0 and 2.”
“That’s a hot take for a baseball game on a Friday night, but when you’re a legend like Scully, you can say just about whatever you want whenever you want,” The Daily Caller insisted about Scully on socialism.
Vin Scully, 88, is completing his record-setting 67th season as the voice of the Dodgers, and intends to retire at the conclusion of the current campaign. The much-honored broadcaster still calls most home games and some away games for the Dodgers.
As the New York Times and other media outlets have reported, Venezuela is on the verge of collapse as it struggles, among other things, with food shortages and electricity and water rationing.
Last month, a Univision reporter asked Bernie Sanders about what he deemed the failure of the socialist model in Venezuela implemented by President Huge Chavez and continued by his successor Nicolas Maduro. Sanders, a self-described socialist who is (or perhaps was) running for president as a Democrat, sounding somewwhat like a “dodger,” so to speak, replied that while he has an opinion on the crisis, at that time he was entirely focused on his own presidential campaign.
In the past, Bernie Sanders has spoken approvingly of the socialist regimes in Nicaragua and Cuba, two countries he has visited.
According to McLeans, upon coming to power in response to voter dissatisfaction with pervasive corruption, Hugo Chavez “completely rewired” the country’s economy. “Industries were nationalized. Price controls were implemented. Farmland was expropriated. The currency was devalued. As a result, not surprisingly, the economy completely collapsed. At the same time, its democratic institutions were also assaulted.”
Based on Scully’s brief remarks, it’s also unlikely that Vin Scully would feel the Bern.
“It’s safe to say Bernie Sanders probably failed to secure the Vin Scully vote during the California primary,” the Death and Taxes website quipped.
“The food shortage, precipitated by Chavez’s economic policies and a precipitous drop in oil revenue, is the worst in the country’s history,” Foreign Policy explained. “Maduro, who succeeded Chavez in March 2013 and may face a recall vote this year, seems to have no answers for the unfolding crisis…his tenure is increasingly at risk thanks to the shortsighted economic controls and state expropriations of private companies championed by his mentor, whose dreams of creating a Socialist state are now in tatters.”
Whether it was appropriate for Vin Scully to give his take on socialism Venezuelan style during a baseball game is an open question, Yahoo Sports noted.
“It’s about as strong a statement as you’ll hear Scully make behind the microphone. It certainly had people talking, though for once not everyone agreed with his opinion. Some also did not agree with him using his platform as a baseball announcer to share a political opinion of that magnitude, but we highly doubt Scully cares. Nor should he. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, Vin Scully is just like the rest of us. He has stories, he has thoughts, and he certainly has opinions. It’s also his right to share them.”
[Photo by Alex Gallardo/AP]