Sensible nominations for the worst recent developments/scandals in sports would surely include the universal designated hitter in MLB, or the runner-on-second-base-in-extra-innings innovation, the continued employment of Angel Hernandez anywhere near a baseball field, or the defenestration of Jack Del Rio for the sin of speaking common sense.
But these would all be wrong. The worst sports story of the moment is the LA Dodgers’ suppression of the sportscraft of Roger Owens. Owens is a Dodger Stadium legend, for, among other talents, being able to toss a two-bag peanut assembly behind his back to someone seated deep in the middle of a section. Here’s a six-second clip of Roger’s most famous move:
Here’s a slightly longer clip from Twitter:
Roger Owens has been pitching peanuts for the Dodgers for 59 years! He's still got it! For more read @TomHoffarthSCNG upcoming story. pic.twitter.com/15w65ktwJf
— Camp Chronicles Season 5 Now Booking! (@JonathanKhamis) October 26, 2017
I’ve been on the receiving end of his accurate tosses on the Loge level, and it really is performance art, as the whole section gets into the action when he shows up. I had no idea he was still at it, but the Dodgers have decided his method is “hazardous” and must cease. The Los Angeles Times reports:
This is an “Only in L.A.” story: the celebrity peanut vendor who can toss a bag of peanuts behind his back, or between his legs.
Owens has pitched peanuts at presidential inauguration festivities, on “The Tonight Show,” and in two movies and three television series in which his role was always the same: peanut vendor. His wedding guests included Tom Bradley, then the mayor of Los Angeles, and Don Sutton, the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame pitcher.
TMZ is more blunt about it:
Typical of modern sports to continue sucking more and more joy out of the whole scene.