WEEI Red Sox Radio Network announcer Sean McDonough drew criticism online for seemingly mocking San Francisco Giants executive Farhan Zaidi’s name during a wild card game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
What happened: The issue was first brought to the public’s attention by Reuters tech correspondent Paresh Dave on Twitter on Wednesday, according to SF Gate.
- McDonough, 59, was amazed by the Giants’ 107th win on Sunday while talking to fellow play-by-play caster Will Flemming during a WEEI-FM radio call.
- “A lot of people are surprised by the Red Sox’s 92 wins. Tell me, who saw San Francisco’s 107 wins coming?” McDonough asked Flemming, to which the latter replied, “Maybe nobody outside of Farhan Zaidi and [Gabe] Kapler, they’ve just done an unbelievable job and who knows, maybe we can have a World Series reunion.”
- “Their GM’s name is ‘High Anxiety’?” McDonough asked. Flemming laughed at his fellow caster’s reply and quickly returned to his play-by-play commentary. He then mentioned Zaidi’s name again but with greater emphasis.
Online backlash: McDonough’s comment during Tuesday night’s game broadcast drew outrage online, with some people calling for the announcer to make a public apology.
- Some people have also defended the announcer by labeling his action as an “innocent joke.”
About the executive: Farhan Zaidi, the president of baseball operations for the Giants, is the first Muslim to become a general manager of any professional American sports franchise.
- A Canadian-born Pakistani, Zaidi grew up in the Philippines and attended high school in Manila. He later traveled to the U.S. to attend MIT. Zaidi received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
- Zaidi began his MLB career as a baseball operations assistant after being hired by Oakland A’s Billy Beane and general manager David Forst before the 2005 season, SF Chronicle reported.
- Zaidi was promoted to director of baseball operations in 2009 and later to assistant general manager/director of baseball operations in 2014, his MLB profile states.
- He then spent four years as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ general manager, beginning in 2014, before moving to the Giants in 2018.