Chris Welsh, the Cincinnati Reds' TV analyst, got into some hot water with Braves fans Wednesday night after the FOX Sports Ohio announcer publicly ridiculed Atlanta second baseman Ozzie Albies for his recent contract extension.
To be fair, 11Alive Sports also addressed the pros and cons of Albies' head-scratching deal last week, with the Braves infielder maxing out at only $45 million over the next nine seasons – an apparent below-market deal for an All-Star caliber talent with 30-homer potential.
That said, Welsh's over-the-top criticism might have come off as condescending, elitist and perhaps a little racist with the following on-air rant.
"It's funny, I’ve read a lot about it and I’ve read opinions on both sides. A lot of people are blaming the agent for letting him sign a deal like that. But Albies came from a very poor background, he’s from Curaçao, and when somebody offers you $35 million — I mean, he may not know the difference between 35 million dollars and $85 million.
"It's going to have a tremendous positive effect on his family and himself. Maybe the people in his immediate family or extended family. It changes the lives of so many people.
"And you don’t know what really happened behind the scenes. Did the Braves bring his family up into the office and talk to them directly? Did they only go through the agent? Did he feel pressure from one side or the other to sign this deal or not?
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"So it’s become kind of a lightning rod of a deal in baseball right now, because a lot of people look at it on the surface and say ‘Ozzie Albies has the chance to be a superstar player and make $100 million or more in this game and this contract’s going to take him until he's age 30.
"And if he’s 30 years old and the owners when he is 30 treat the free agents like they did this year, those 30-year-olds and over, he may not have a lot more money than anyone else out there looking for a job.
"It's a very complicated thing. I'm not very anxious to go blame the agent on that because I doubt very much that he went out and persuaded him to sign that contract that was a team-advantage contract. And then the other thing you’ve got to remember is that there are a lot of players right now who are shifting agencies, leaving one agency to get to a different agency.
"So the existing agent may be in a hurry to get that guy to sign a contract before he shifts and moves to a bigger agency. So there’s a lot of little things behind the scenes going on that we don’t know anything about, but that kind of money can change your life. And more power to him, he’s a pretty good ballplayer."
According to Braves.com beat reporter Mark Bowman, Welsh has already offered an in-person apology to Albies, visiting the Braves' clubhouse before the series finale with the Reds.
In that regard, the matter has likely been stripped of any more national outrage.
11Alive News wants to hear your take on Welsh's poorly constructed take.