Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SweetSpot [Print without images]

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sometimes an analogy is just an analogy


Man, I should have seen this coming:
The Anti-Defamation League, which advocates against anti-Semitism and bigotry, also believed (Tim) McCarver's comments went too far.

"No matter what one thinks of the Yankees' treatment of Joe Torre, likening it to how Germany and Russia treated their generals who fell out of favor is an inappropriate comparison," the organization said in a statement.

In the fourth inning of Fox's broadcast, McCarver -- who was Torre's teammate with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969 -- accused the Yankees of "corporate childishness" in their dealings with Torre.

The Yankees did not mention their former manager, who led the team to 12 postseason appearances and four World Series titles, during ceremonies honoring the team's remarkable history at the last game at the old Yankee Stadium in 2008.

"You remember some of those despotic leaders in World War II, primarily in Russia and Germany, where they used to take those pictures that they had ... taken of former generals who were no longer alive, they had shot 'em," McCarver said Saturday. "They would airbrush the pictures, and airbrushed the generals out of the pictures. In a sense, that's what the Yankees have done with Joe Torre. They have airbrushed his legacy. I mean, there's no sign of Joe Torre at the Stadium. And that's ridiculous. I don't understand it."

There is a large photo of Torre with late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner at one of the new stadium's gates. Torre, now manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, also appeared on a tribute video shown on the stadium scoreboard during a pregame ceremony Friday for Steinbrenner, who died July 6.

EARTH TO THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: It's an analogy. Maybe not the greatest analogy in the world, and I'm not even sure the Nazis went to a great deal of effort airbrushing photos. Stalin's Communists sure did, though. Probably because there were so many opportunities, as Stalin's various purges resulted in the executions of thousands of Russian officers, party officials, etc. No, killing millions of people isn't the same as airbrushing a manager out of the picture (whether literally or figuratively). But we could use more broadcasters who know the world existed before 1970. And if McCarver had limited the analogy to Stalin, he would have been perfectly within (my) acceptable boundaries.

Assuming, of course, that he was actually right about the Yankees removing Joe Torre from their history. Which he wasn't.

It's a funny thing, actually. McCarver has apologized -- "Although my analogy was inappropriate, in my opinion the underlying point remains true." -- but he's apologized for the wrong thing. What he should have said was, "Although my analogy was for the most part on point, I didn't realize that Joe Torre's photo can be seen inside the new Yankee Stadium. Next time I'm there, I will be sure to take the full tour."