Dale Pertroskey, the President of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a former PR hack in the Reagan Administration, has apologized for the furor over cancelling a celebration of "Bull Durham"- sort of.
Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon got their apology from the baseball Hall of Fame president, sort of.
Dale Petroskey admitted Friday he made a mistake, saying he should've called the actors last week before canceling a "Bull Durham" celebration because of their anti-war stance.
In an open letter to the 28,000 people who called or sent a letter or e-mail to the Hall, Petroskey blamed himself for bringing politics into the shrine.
"I inadvertently did exactly what I was trying to avoid," the former Reagan administration official wrote. "With the advantage of hindsight, it is clear I should have handled the matter differently.
I'll say. Of course, he never actually mentions whether or not he believes he did the right thing, just that he is sorry for the controversty he created. It all sounds like spin control from someone trying to save his bacon- and his lack of honesty did not go unnoticed by his target.
"Because Petroskey's actions resulted in a bipartisan, nationwide affirmation of free speech and the First Amendment, he has inadvertently done us all a favor," Robbins responded in a statement.
"I appreciate Petroskey's non-apology apology and his realization of the perils of paper trails."
Robbins explained his final remark by pointing out that Petroskey invited White House spokesman Ari Fleischer to speak at a Hall event last year.
In a release promoting the visit, Petroskey wrote: "We are thrilled to welcome him to Cooperstown and hear his perspective on life in the White House and the current political scene which, of course, includes the war on terrorism."
Petroskey was traveling Friday and unavailable for comment.
Right. I suppose if I were unable to justify my actions and afraid to defend them, I'd be unavailable for comment as well. Petroskey is correct about one thing- he did introduce politics into what should have been a celebration of baseball's place in American culture. Because of his short-sighted, narrow-minded intolerance of free speech and thought, he has made a mockery of himself and the Hall of Fame.
Memo to Mr. Petroskey: It's time to go, Dale. You have proven yourself singularly incapable of acting as an impartial steward of the American pasttime. Your self-serving devotion to Patriotic Correctness may have worked well in the Reagan White House, but it has no place in the great American game. It's time that you left the Hall of Fame in the hands of someone who will treat it with the respect and impartiality it deserves. Resign now- before you make an even larger mockery of yourself and the Hall of Fame.