Baseball announcers often find something to complain about, but complaining about their own team’s organist daring to play while opposing batters are coming to the plate is a new one. That’s what Atlanta Braves’ color commentator Joe Simpson (seen at right above) did Sunday, though. With the Braves losing 7-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers in the top of the fourth, here’s what Simpson had to say:
“You know, I don’t get it. The Braves are getting smoked here, they just gave up another run, and the organist is playing songs for the team, the guys walking up to the plate, like there’s…like everybody’s holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya.’ I don’t get it.” Play-by-play voice Chip Caray (seen at left above) then breaks in with “A strike to Shaw,” and then Simpson continues “Something about that sticks in my craw. Seven to nothing…”
This got quite the litany of responses on Twitter, with many tagging organist Matthew Kaminski, and most defending him:
Joe Simpson is mad that the Braves' organist is playing happy music while the Braves are losing. No fun allowed if Braves aren't winning!
— Jason Foster (@ByJasonFoster) June 25, 2017
"Since the braves are losing why should anybody have fun at the park or do their job" Joe Simpson probably
— Reg (67 days left) (@rcater1) June 25, 2017
— cer (@cer1807) June 25, 2017
If I had a dime for every time I wanted Joe Simpson to shut up I would own the braves & they would still be in Atlanta. @bravesorganist
— Matt R. (@MatthensGA) June 26, 2017
— Rusty Jones (@reddogindy) June 26, 2017
— Anthony Dasher (@AnthonyDasher1) June 26, 2017
— Jeff Donahoo (@TheBravesJeff) June 27, 2017
— MikeBell929 (@MikeBellATL) June 26, 2017
Kaminski tweeted that he was just doing his job:
I don't have a choice of when I don't or do play – just doing what I'm told 😉
— Matthew Kaminski (@bravesorganist) June 25, 2017
Meanwhile, the Sports Organists Network And Trade Association (SONATA, yes, we see what you did there) chimed in with a statement:
Statement from SONATA President @Gilimber.
— SONATA (@SportsOrganists) June 25, 2017
And Kaminski apparently sent some other tweets he’s since deleted, as per Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA:
“Wow, my twitter feed just got flooded with tweets about Joe Simpson not wanting me to play when we’re losing,” Kaminski tweeted. “Unfortunately, I don’t decide when I play and don’t play. I’m asked to play songs that ‘play’ on players names and don’t have the choice to not follow those directions. I love Joe, Chip, Don, and Jim and they have always supported what I do. I hope this doesn’t change anything,” he said.
Yes, “announcer yells at organist” is a real story in 2017, and not a Brockmire plot. And we have a new suggested profile picture for Joe Simpson.
For what it’s worth, Caray and Simpson ranked 23rd out of 31 pairings in our local announcer rankings this year.