As if the departure alone of Jason Benetti was not enough to give a White Sox fan a bad day, the details that emerged after certainly were. After reports that Jerry Reinsdorf was not a fan of Jason Benetti and comments leaked out that were allegedly made to him by White Sox executives, more news has now slipped out regarding the treatment of Jason Benetti during his time as the White Sox TV play-by-play announcer.
On 670 The Score, on Parkins and Spiegel, Jason Benetti was on explaining his move to the Detroit Tigers Organization. During that time, he detailed the heartbreaking process that lead him to move to the Tigers, despite having one year left on his contract.
On top of that, Benetti added a interesting little fact to the story he was telling. He said “you won’t be able to find in the last four months of the season a video of me eating on camera. Because evidently I am ‘disgusting’ when I eat on camera and I wasn’t supposed to anymore.” This coming from Jason Benetti himself is quite unsettling as a Sox fan, and just as a human being. These are not the types of things you should say to your star broadcaster, especially one that can easily up and leave like he did, as he is in high demand.
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Watching many of the White Sox broadcasts where they showed off the concessions and where Jason was eating them, I never once thought that he “looked disgusting” by any means. He was simply trying the food they were marketing to fans so they come to the park. There is nothing wrong with that, and it was a funny little segment hearing him critique the food.
Benetti ended up clarifying that that was not why he left, but it clearly is not something that he wants to hear. He said: “something like that, is really small, but matters to me… but please don’t think that is the reason I left, because of everything I said before.” I don’t blame him quite honestly. It seems he did not feel welcome in the organization, and judging by the comments alleged to have been made toward him, I’m not sure that many people would.
Benetti is one of the best play-by-play announcers in the game and across many sports. The White Sox will regret the way they treated him when the viewership numbers for the games decline due to this fact. Now, I’m not saying people will stop watching strictly because of Benetti’s departure, but this combined with a bunch of other factors will lead in a drop in viewership, and this is already shown by the lower attendance numbers last year.
We wish Jason Benetti nothing but the best of luck in Detroit and hopefully he does not have to deal with this kind of stuff in Detroit.