T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported that the Texas Rangers have identified and disciplined a team employee who who not only taped manager Ron Washington's clubhouse speech before Game Seven of the World Series, but then made the mistake of sharing it with the wrong person.
The audio file ended up being posted at Joesportsfan.com.
Still giddy about the Cardinals win, the St. Louis-based blog tried to hype Washington's comments as a "diatribe," but it's really just a normal, animated inspiration speech, with Washington trying to put the best possible light on Game Six while telling everyone to have fun, keep doing what they've been doing, and stay focused. Selected players also talk and laugh.
Anyone who's read Jim Bouton's Ball Four or Peter Gant's North Dallas Forty won't be at all surprised by the repeated, largely adverb-based profanity, including countless repetitions of the f-word and the two worst multi-syllable entries on George Carlin's famous list of "seven dirty words."
Sullivan notes that for the Rangers, the problem was not really the speech, but that the employee violated clubhouse "code."
"It's unacceptable," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "It was a private meeting for the team and privilege to be a part of the clubhouse and be in the clubhouse and have access to. Somebody used very poor judgment to tape it. That's not what the meeting was for."
But in the age of increasingly limited media access and carefully managed TV network dugout interviews, it's also great stuff, natural and real, and not a poor reflection on the team at all. As Adam Morris at Lone Star Ball wrote:
It helps illustrate why Ron Washington inspires the love and respect he does. It is primarily him (and it is very NSFW -- Eddie Murphy would blush at some of this) along with Michael Young saying some things before the game. And in listening to this, I thought once again that I love Wash and, for all the things I disagree with him on, love having him as our manager.
Of course, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Mac Engel surely speaks for all Rangers fans when he concludes:
The hardest part of listening to this recording isn't the language, but to hear the forced optimism from Wash, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and Mike Maddux. Knowing what we do now, it is painful to hear.
Ain't that the motherf—ing truth.
If profanity for profanity's sake offends you, don't listen to this. (In case you don't get it, that means "NSFW.")