David Samson 9/11 reference Diamondbacks Screen grab: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

In today’s day and age of broadcasting, you can never be too careful. At least that’s what David Samson thought.

Appearing on CBS Sports HQ’s coverage of the 2023 World Series, the former Miami Marlins team president made reference to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ previous championship season, which came in 2001. In doing so, Samson made it clear that he was only referring to the Diamondbacks’ World Series victory over the New York Yankees 22 years ago, and not the terrorist attack on America that had happened two months prior.

“Could history repeat itself — not the 9/11 part — in 2023?” Samson said.

Appearing on Wednesday’s episode of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Samson was teased about the semi-viral moment — which he said he wasn’t even aware of. In offering an explanation, the host of Nothing Personal with David Samson said that he was simply making sure that nobody misinterpreted his comments.

“Why is that a big deal?” Samson asked. “If you’re the Diamondbacks, you want history to repeat and that was an amazing win they had in 2001 when everybody thought New York should win and it would have been a perfect story for them to win that particular World Series and people may remember the George Bush first pitch, etc.

“That was an amazing moment. So I thought the Diamondbacks would want history to repeat itself from ’01. And in the moment, while I was live on the air for CBS, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want that to be out there as a statement that I want history to repeat itself from 2001.’ So I said, ‘But, not the 9/11 part.'”

After Le Batard, co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner and producer Billy Gil pushed back that Samson’s addendum was superfluous and that nobody would have made that connection, Samson admitted that his neurosis simply got the best of him.

“One of my biggest issues on and off the court is that I play everything out in my head,” Samson said. “And I assume that everybody is looking at things and thinking about things the same way that I am. And it didn’t pass my brain test that I said, ‘I hope history repeats itself.’ So that’s why I felt I needed to clarify.”

Give Samson credit — better safe than sorry. And the reality is that the aftermath of 9/11 did serve as a backdrop to the 2001 World Series and may have been fresh in viewers’ minds with Arizona returning to the championship round and President Bush throwing out another first pitch.

On the other hand, it would be tough to argue that Samson’s comment did cross the line between cautious and uncomfortable. It also says a lot about his perception of himself that he assumed viewers might have thought that he was wishing for a repeat of the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.