Culture

EXCLUSIVE: ESPN Orders Broadcasters Not to Say Matt Harvey During Astros Game

Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey / Getty Images

The Washington Free Beacon has obtained an exclusive memo from an ESPN executive instructing broadcasters on how to avoid embarrassing memes and political sensitivities associated with Matt Harvey's upcoming start in Houston.

From: Connor Schell

To: BulsterOlney; DanSchulman; JessicaMendoza; R*****Lee; AaronBoone

BCC: Rob Manfred

Date: August 31, 2017

Subject: Revised Styleguide for Mets-Astros 9/2

The return of baseball to the Astrodome on Saturday is going to be one of the most widely watched and inspiring games of the season. We're expecting big numbers, but that comes with even bigger scrutiny given the events of the past week. The path we walk is filled with peril if we are not careful. The Mets have not made things any easier for us. Despite extensive lobbying from myself, Mr. Skipper, and Commissioner Manfred, the front office insists on starting Matt Harvey against the Astros on Saturday.

We are going to have to make adjustments so as to avoid the potential of internet memes, outraged petitions, and black-masked anarchists amassing in Bristol. Below is a revised style guide compiled after synergizing with our diversity consultants over at Precision Representation Strategies, LLC and our legal guys at Irend, McGar, Mentz & Howell. They have helpfully given us a list of words that must NOT be used during Saturday's broadcast, as well as some suggestions for making our baseball broadcasts more inclusive moving forward. PRS also supplied an example of dialogue to show you how to work around these issues.

Don’t let us down.

-Connor

Connor Schell

Executive Vice President of Content

ESPN

"I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion."

-Billie Jean King

  • Matt Harvey: This goes without saying.
  • Devastating, Overpower, Overwhelm, Flood, Power Pitcher: IBID
  • Swept: IBID
  • Home, Home run, Home plate umpire: Could trigger those who lost homes to the flooding
  • Safe: People in this city may not feel this way
  • Radar Gun Readings: We recommend not using the pitch or exit velocity trackers during this game in the event that one of those readings matches windspeeds from the Hurricane (between 80-130 mph)
  • Brandon Nimmo: although it is pronounced with a soft i a broadcaster could easily slip and say Nemo, reminding everybody of an underwater vessel—or city
  • Houston: This city is named after a 19th century white male. We're assuming he fought for the Confederacy. Treat it as a reverse Washington Football Team.
  • Ruben Carter: in the off chance the conversation somehow turns to the wrongfully imprisoned middleweight boxer, DO NOT refer to him by his nickname.
  • Wall: This city has a large Latino population.
  • Rebuild: We are aware that the Mets will have to reassemble their roster following this woeful season, but their plight pales in comparison to that of this city.
  • Bullpen: We are unsure of the lexicology, but advise clients that it is always best to avoid PETA's crosshairs

Example: Catcher Juan Centeno hits a homerun off of Matt Harvey.

Olney: The Astros beat the Mets in all three games the last time the Mets were the away team here in the city where the Astros play in 2012.

Schulman: Our own Buster Olney. Juan Centeno steps to the plate. Centeno, the back-up catcher called up after Gattis went to the DL. He's failed to reach base before recording an out in his last 5 at-bats. The pitcher for the Mets delivers … Centero drives it … Mets Left Fielder Brandon is on the warning track … he can only watch as the ball sails over the structure that separates the playing field from the stands while remaining in fair territory.

Boone: That was a shot and a surprising one from Centeno. That was only his third hit of the year that caused him to touch all four bases and register a run. Although we have no way of knowing it, the Mets pitcher doesn't seem to have the zip he once had.

Schulman: Terry Collins is out on the mound now. He's motioning to the place where other pitchers are kept in case they are needed. Now Mr. Lee, what do you make of the Mets Pitcher Matt's performance today?

Lee: I'm a football announcer. I'm not sure why I'm here.

Schulman: Well said Mr. Lee. That hit that resulted in a run brings the score to Astros 17, Mets 0

Mendoza: This performance has to weigh on the Mets as they leave behind a disappointing 2017 and look to 2018 to start a new chapter of their baseball lives, one filled with new hope, promise, and, hopefully, several billion dollars in federal aid.