Mike Schmidt is, unequivocally, the best Phillies player of all-time. He’s probably the best third baseman of all-time. He’s a Hall of Famer, a Phillies Wall of Famer, and a legend.
But he is not a good broadcaster, and it’s time he stopped talking into a microphone in any official capacity.
In the bottom of the second inning during Sunday’s Phillies-Braves game, Mike Schmidt made a Me Too joke. Let me set it up: with Brandon McCarthy pitching, broadcaster Tom McCarthy (no relation) threw to their on-the-ground guy Gregg Murphy, who was in the stands. Murph talked about the incident in early April in which Brandon McCarthy dislocated his shoulder and popped it back into place. Murph then talked about Brandon’s wife, Amanda McCarthy, and her very funny tweet about the situation.
Whoa so much happened. Dislocated your shoulder, made the out, popped it back in, then just walked around normal? But you still can’t do the dishes... seems fishy.— Amanda McCarthy (@Mrs_McCarthy32) April 11, 2018
Then Tom McCarthy picked back up, and Schmidt made a series of two really stupid, dumb jokes. You can hear them in the audio clip below.
If the embedded clip has been stripped out, you can listen here. If you can’t listen, the approximation of the “jokes” is below.
Mike Schmidt: I’ve got a dishwasher at home, actually: my wife.— Daniel J Walsh (@dan_j_walsh) April 29, 2018
Groans from press box.
Schmidt: I do the dishes, actually, but where’s the Me Too movement on that?
Rewound to get the exact quote here.— Daniel J Walsh (@dan_j_walsh) April 29, 2018
Schmidt: I’ve got a dishwasher at home myself: my wife. Quite actually ... that was bad, huh? Actually, I do the dishes most of the time. You’re staring at me. Me Too movement. Where does that fit in?
Essentially, Schmidt made a joke about how his wife does the dishes. Then he backtracked, realizing he’d just made a stupid 1950s joke about his wife, and made sure everyone knew that he does the dishes “most nights.” After Tom McCarthy gave a very quick and way too enthusiastic “attaboy” to Schmidt for his show of taking on one of the chores in the house he shares with his wife, Schmidt laid down the turd that is the Me Too joke. Where’s the Me Too movement on Schmidt taking on some of the household chores, AMIRITE?
Let’s start with joke No. 1, which I feel like is straight out of Jackie Gleason’s mouth on the Honeymooners. (That show is 60 years old.) It’s literally a half-step above a “take my wife, please” joke. If that joke didn’t appear in the comic strip “Blondie” at some point, I’ll eat my hat. But at least it’s a joke. It’s an old joke, but it’s an actual joke and recognizable as such.
But then he says “I actually do the dishes most nights,” because Schmidt wants to get credit for doing something at home — and he got vocal support from at least Tom McCarthy for admitting that he does a single household task. Because men should be applauded for doing any household chores, because it’s clearly not an expectation most have to deal with, right? But then he makes that showy, self-aggrandizing moment worse by adding a #MeToo joke to the end of it!
I don’t like to regulate what people joke about — I’ve heard good jokes about Me Too and about other sensitive topics — but if you’re going to joke about a serious topic, it has to be a good joke. “Where’s the Me Too movement on me doing household chores” isn’t a good joke. It’s not even a joke, because a joke has to make sense, and that absolutely doesn’t. It just ends up being disrespectful and dumb, because #MeToo is about giving a voice to women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted by men in the workplace, and calling attention to how prevalent it is. It’s not about the division of household labor! “I do housework! Me too! Where’s my Me Too movement for doing a single household task!?”
It’s a grandpa joke. And since that’s who Mike Schmidt is, it makes sense — it doesn’t make it right or good, but it makes sense. But he’s also a baseball broadcaster who routinely says things into microphones for public consumption. How is that something that a baseball broadcaster thinks is appropriate to joke about ON TELEVISION? What was his thought process? How did that come out of his mouth? Does he even know what Me Too is about? There’s no excuse for him not to, which makes it all even worse. It was just so, so awful, and listening to John Kruk say nothing and Tom McCarthy fall all over himself to make it all okay again made it even more cringey and dumb. Being baseball buddy broadcasters is always first, and respecting women is a distant second... or third, or fourth, or whatever — if it’s even on the list.
It’s worth nothing that Schmidt does apologize, or “apologize,” in the clip above. Tom McCarthy says at one point that one of the only women in the booth, their station manager Christine, was not happy about Schmidt’s dishwasher joke about his wife. That’s when he made the Me Too joke. About 20 seconds later, Schmidt apologized... for making the joke about his wife. Because she’s going to be so mad about her husband joking that she’s a dishwasher, guys! It’s like no one realized that making a Me Too “joke” was bad or worth apologizing for.
Let me be clear: Mike Schmidt was a legendary baseball player. But he’s not a great broadcaster, and it’s time to cancel the rest of his weekends in the booth this season — and forever. Normally, he adds nothing to the broadcast, but these days he’s actively making it worse, and he’s taking everyone else down with him.