Mr. Rooney vented his ire on Thursday about baseball, which he said he had never liked. Amid complaints about the game’s rules, types of statistics and the dominance of the New York Yankees, he seized upon the prevalence of Latin American players in the United States.
“I know all about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, but today’s baseball stars are all guys named Rodriguez to me,” Mr. Rooney wrote in the second paragraph of the column, which appeared in The Stamford Times of Stamford, Conn. “They’re apparently very good but they haven’t caught my interest.”
“Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have said it,” Mr. Rooney, 88, said when reached by telephone on Friday afternoon. He added that although he regretted the comment, he doubted he would apologize for it in a subsequent column. “It’s a name that seems common in baseball now. I certainly didn’t think of it in any derogatory sense.”
He added, “That’s what I do for a living, I write columns and have opinions, and some of them are pretty stupid.”