Pirates announcer rants about Ronald Acuña, thinks 'jewelry' and 'stuff' would get him hit 'back in the day'

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Steven Brault hit Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. in the elbow with a pitch.

The Pirates led 5-2 in the fourth inning, and the Braves had a man on second with one out. The pitch hit Acuña on a 2-2 count. It clearly wasn’t intentional.

But that didn’t stop Pirates color commentator Steve Blass from unleashing a rant on Acuña — at least before his broadcast partner Greg Brown had a chance to slow him down.

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Steve Blass rips Ronald Acuña

Before Acuña had a chance to take first base, Blass, an MLB player from 1966-74, started in on his back-in-the-day rant.

“I was getting ready to say, you know,” Blass started. “With a young player doing all that stuff and all the jewelry and all the stuff, back in the day — I’m not saying it’s right or wrong.”

Before Blass had the opportunity to stick his foot further in his mouth, Brown interrupted him.

“Or that was done on purpose,” Brown interjected. “Hard to believe that was done on purpose on a 2-2 pitch.”

“No I’m not suggesting that,” Blass responded. “That’s why I qualified it back in the day.”


OK, Steve.

Steve Blass has a history of criticizing players whose cultural approach to baseball doesn't meet his own. (Getty)
Steve Blass has a history of criticizing players whose cultural approach to baseball doesn't meet his own. (Getty)

Tells Acuña ‘give it a rest’

Following a few seconds of awkward silence, Blass piped back in during the replay, holding little back on his feelings about Acuña, who looked toward the mound and grabbed his elbow.

“Give it a rest,” Blass said. “You think he’s trying to throw at you?”

While some initially believed Blass called Acuña a “prick,” that may not be the case.

It’s possible Blass said something like “give me a break” under his breath.


Blass has gone down this path before

It’s not the first time Blass has taken issue with a player who doesn’t fit a certain set of parameters that Blass apparently believes baseball players should emulate.

During a game between the Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals in 2017, Blass randomly took a shot at Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez, a Puerto Rico native who also doesn’t fit in with Blass’ baseball sensibilities.

"Anybody but Javier Baez,” Blass said. “He's a difficult player for me to root for. I'll put it that way."

“Is it because of his flashiness?” Brown responded.

“That’s a nice way of putting it, his flashiness,” Blass retorted.


If there were any lingering doubts about how Blass feels about the influence and style of cultures other than his own in baseball after his Baez comments, he put those to rest on Tuesday.

He’s not a fan.

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