A few minutes of the Aug. 15 Red Sox-Tigers baseball game is making the rounds as a video file on the Internet. But it’s not the action on the field that is catching everyone’s attention as much as the commentary in the broadcast booth.
Comedian Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke, co-stars of the TV drama “Rescue Me,” were serving as guest announcers on the New England Sports Network’s (NESN) telecast of the game when they learned that Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who had just made a difficult play, is Jewish.
Recalling Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade against a Jewish police officer who had arrested him for drunk-driving, Leary shouted, “Where’s Mel Gibson now! I hope in rehab they’re showing replays of that. A Jewish first baseman makes the play. … Call Jeffrey Katzenberg and ask for a job when you get out. We’ll have a whole Jewish infield by the time he gets out.”
“Bring back Sandy Koufax,” Leary then suggested, referring to the Hall of Fame pitcher, also a Jew. “We should have Sandy Koufax pitch at Mel’s head,” Clarke chimed in. When Leary was informed that Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler, who has a Star of David tattooed on his left calf and the dates of the Holocaust on his right calf, is also Jewish, Leary replied: “We got two Jews on this team, Mel! Where’s your father now, huh?”
JTA pointed out that another Jew, Adam Stern, plays for the Red Sox’s AAA farm team, and that the team’s executive vice president and general manager, Theo Epstein, is also Jewish. When Youkilis made the flashy play at first and tossed the ball to a fan, Clarke screamed: “The ball went to a fan! That’s more than Mel Gibson’s ever done!”
YouTube, the video-sharing Web site, was forced to remove the clip after NESN complained about copyright violation. But journalist Seth Mnookin posted a transcript of the broadcast on his blog, www.sethmnookin.com/blog, and the video is now on several other sites, including yoyenta.com.