Morning News Report; April 29, 2009


All the Lenoir County School system will let us know is that Kinston High School baseball coach (and 3-time blog pick ‘em champion) Jason Wade has been suspended for an “altercation with an umpire”.

But what Sports Editor Ryan Herman reports in today’s story is that JWade got into it with the umpire following the April 21 home game against South Lenoir and angrily called the umpire — who is an African-American — “Obama”.

My take: I’ve had a week to digest this and I’m still not sure what I think.

Everyone on this blog knows that I think the world of JWade — he’s an all-timer on this blog and (contrary to what some might say) he’s on the verge of turning around a Vikings baseball team that had sunk to a Goldsboro-type level.

But what did he mean by “Obama”? Was he complimenting the umpire for his similar appearance to the president? Was JWade confirming he was changing parties, a la Arlen Specter, to the Democratic Party?

Or was it more sinister — was JWade using “Obama” as a racial slur?

We don’t know — but JWade did tell Ryan in the above-linked story that “I regret what happened, and if I had it to do over again, I’d take everything back.”

I don’t think it was the latter of my three possibilities. I think JWade got into the heat of battle, was upset with an umpire who was (as I’ve heard from multiple sources) inconsistent all night long with both teams and erupted, albeit with the absolute wrong choice of words. I don’t know the coach as well as some of you do, but I’ve never heard even an inkling of racism from him.


President Obama welcomed the U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, to the Democratic Party this morning.

With Specter’s defection — and the impending win by Al Franken in Minnesota — the Dems would have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

My take: It’s this simple — Democrats have no one to blame but themselves if they don’t turn this mess around by 2012. They are going to be the overwhelming majority in both houses and have the executive branch locked up.


Obama has ordered an investigation into a photo op that included Air Force One flying low over the New York City skyline.

My take: This is how you know Obama really struck out on this one — even Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” was dissing him for it.

Stewart’s funniest line was that the White House could’ve photoshopped the plane — and that makes sense.

Stupid stunt and it cost the taxpayers $328,835 to boot.

The iPod shuffle

Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle of Milk — U2

Gin And Juice — Snoop Dogg & Dat N**** Daz

Precious Things — Tori Amos

Surfin’ USA — The Beach Boys

Respect — Aretha Franklin

23 Responses to Morning News Report; April 29, 2009

  1. guitarwrecker says:

    Arlen Specter has been negotiating his deal with the democrats for at least four years. Every one that contributed to his campaign ought to take his ass to court for fraud.

    And I wouldn’t call what Franken is doing in Minnesota an impending win, I’d call it outright theft. There is plenty of evidence to support that claim.

    Lastly, Obama’s people knew where AF1 would be. They always know where it will be and Obama “ordering” an investigation into it is simply misdirection and CYA on his part.

  2. trumpetingpenguin says:

    I must admit, this problem with the umpires in LC has been addressed over and over again. They are inconsistent and sometimes seem like they have no knowledge of the rules of the game. I will say one thing, I have been to many games in and around the county and this is not the first time I have heard of or seen a coach get lost in the heat of the moment. There was a bad call last year in Jr. Legion ball at GC and the visiting coach had a few choice words to say to the umpires.
    As for the other things, so what if Specter jumped to the other party. With the way things are going right now, it might not be a good idea to be an elected official!!! The Air Force 1 deal is a bit shady.

  3. guitarwrecker says:

    And as far as Coach Wade’s comment goes, I’d like to use the time honored liberal’s phrase “we don’t know the context, so we really can’t make a judgment”.

    Maybe Coach was comparing the umpire’s inconsistency with the inconsistencies of our new president? Lord knows, there are plenty.

  4. ballfan says:

    The J. Wade “case” being tried here on this blog and in public opinion really hinges on one thing, what did he mean when he called the umpire an OBAMA?

    Did he mean it just simply as a reference to the umpire’s looks (did he have big ears)? Was it just a slight at J. Wades dislike of Obama’s policies and the way he is running the country and he just was saying that the ump was running the game the same way? Or was it a slip of the tongue letting us all know J. Wade has a problem with Obama’s color and in turn was directing a racial slur at the umpire in question?

    It seems unlikely that it was a racial slur in my personal opinion due to the fact that his players seem to really like him even calling him a father figure. I do not agree that he is actually turning the team around and will actually have a winning baseball program. He does not have a JV team to develop up and coming young players nor does he have a large pool of AAU and travel ball players to choose from like the other two high schools. But he is making a difference in the program and bringing some pride to it.

    Wade really needs to say what he actually meant by his comment to the African American umpire if it really was NOT racially motivated. If it was, and even if it slipped out then he deserved the suspension. Something like that is wrong (assuming it was a racial comment) but especially bad when you are the coach of the baseball team at a majority African American school. Bottom line is don’t just regret it let us know what was meant by it, or it will continue to be an issue.

  5. bhatcher says:

    I was told by multiple people that the umpire in question looked like Barak Obama to a degree and that Jason used a play on words by saying something to the effect of “Obama, we need some change behind the plate.” It seems to me he was comparing the look of the umpire to the president. Was it smart, no, but worth suspending him over, NO!! The umpire didn’t even throw him out of the game for that comment and I would think that if the umpire took is as a racial jab, then he would have ejected Jason. If I were the ump and someone took a racial jab at me, I know damn well he would have been run out of the park. I have also heard that the similarity in looks was brought to coach’s attention by one of his black players, so is that kid wrong for doing that? NO!!!! I’ll say it again, it is a parent or two looking too far into things for whatever reason, and now the kids have lost a good coach and a good person because of it. You should be proud yourselves.

  6. PeteyPablo says:

    The guy switched parties bcause he about to be up for re-election and he does not think he can win as a republican. Sad….but all politicians care about these days is getting re-elected.

  7. ECPirates11 says:

    This goes back to your referee blog post back in the winter Hanks. Officiating all around has to get better. If it seems everyone is having problems over there in Lenoir and Greene counties, which have a common set of umpires, then maybe they should look into switching to a different group? I don’t know just a thought. I don’t know what else to do but it’s gotta get better. Umpires need more young people that know the game getting into it. Bring back heelsfan!

  8. bhatcher says:

    Heelsfan was terrible too!!!!!!!!!!

  9. ldm1228 says:

    Thank you bhatcher for telling the truth. You are right in what you were told of the incident. I was at the game and witnessed the the altercation. Coach Wade’s comment that “we’ve needed a change behind the plate this whole game” was just a joke referencing to Obama’s well known slogan. I’ve been told by players that the entire team (yes including the black players also) were joking the whole game about how much the umpire looked like the president. They even laughed at hearing the coach’s comment to the umpire. There was nothing racial meant by the comment and no one thought it was, except for 2 parents in the stands. The umpire didn’t even take offense to it.

    And Hanks, you misquoted in your editorial. Coach Wade did not call the umpire “an Obama.” Bhatcher got it right–Coach said “We’ve needed a change behind the plate all night Obama.” Please correct what you wrote as it makes what the coach said look to be more that it actually was.

    Let’s all remember that the team is supporting their coach and asking for his quick return. We should listen to the kids, because as everyone on this blog has been arguing, it’s the kids that matter the most.

  10. bakesta says:

    thank you ldm1228 and bhatcher for clarifying what was said. it seems like a very simple play on words that has been totally blown out of proportion.

    the statements by the players were the loudest on senior night. this guy is well-respected and obviously devoted to his team. the school needs to recognize that and bring him back now. no need to wait.

    he deserves a second chance – especially since he was called out on a single strike that seems as if it was no where near the plate.

  11. heelatious says:

    It’s political correctness on speed in this country right now, and now it’s invaded lil’, ol’ Lenoir County.

    It’s ridiculous that the head honchos bowed to what was probably a few complaints by thin-skinned parents to railroad Jason. As I stated on the other thread about this subject, parents, if you want to do your kids a huge favor when it comes to their athletic careers, whether it be rec, travel, or school ball…but out, and let the coach coach. If your kid is being abused physically or verbally, and when I say verbally “Hey Junior, get your butt in front of the ball or I’m going to yank your butt off the field” does not qualify, then by all means take action. If not, sit in the stands, or your lawn chair, and be supportive, and let the coaches instruct your kid.

    Too bad Jamie Foxx or Charles Barkley wasn’t the head baseball coach at KHS. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if they were.

  12. The Kid says:

    Moral to the story: When you are angry you shouldn’t try to be clever.

  13. ECPirates11 says:

    You’ve really gotta be kidding me that this is what was said and it’s been blown to this. The administration at KHS should be embarrassed along with those 2 idiotic parents. That’s unfreakinbelievable. I coached high school for 3 years and I’ve heard way worse. Coaches try to be funny. People are way too thin skinned these days. These kids today wouldn’t have survived playing on my team just 7 years ago. The party that should be punished is the KHS administration and baseball parents. WOW.

  14. greendog says:

    Sad thing .. is …reverse racism exists much more than people realize.. Much More!!.

  15. bhatcher says:

    Heelsfan, you know I am kidding. You and ole Patrick P were 2 of the best umps we had in the area. I always enjoyed playing when you guys called the games.

  16. ECPirates11 says:

    Whatever happened to ole Phillipee? Is he still around?

  17. bhatcher says:

    I think he is the AD or something at Woodington. I want to say he umps still, but not around here as much. I dont know for sure though.

  18. bhatcher says:

    Does anyone know how NL and SL did last night? I think that they both had games as well.

  19. ballfan says:

    I feel that Jason was wrongly accused and the KHS admin overreacted but I am sure they probably went by procedure with the suspension. Until investigating exactly what happened since the information was probably reported by misinformed, angry parents.

    The Jamie Fox and Charles Barkley comments were unnecessary. The entire country has been and still is racially divided to some extent so people overreact to situations on both sides. Stories of “the parents getting together” and railroading the coach and all of this about if he were a black coach just feeds the fire. In these post it has been reported that about two parents in the crowd were instigating the incident. So, the KHS parents as a whole should not be punished, the school should not abandon the baseball program and it has nothing to do with the team. The kids seem to really look up to Jason.

    I hope that Jason gets back to coaching the team and this whole situation is cleared up soon (very soon) since the season is ending!

  20. SPARETIME says:

    NL over Tarboro 15 to6 last night, I don’t know about SL

  21. Bryan Hanks says:

    ldm1228 — I made the change in the original post. My sincere apologies.

  22. 1bbfan says:

    The only one who should be in trouble, is the man in that blue suit behind home plate who was impersonating an umpire.Keep your chin up Jason. It”s obvious everyones on your side, except for a couple of trouble makers.

  23. 1bbfan says:

    The only thing i saw wrong during the game,was a man dressed in blue behind home plate trying to immetate an umpire. keep your head up Jason, somthing good will come out of this. All of us are behind you 100%. And so are your ball players.

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