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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crisis Magazine: DeMarco: When a Crowd Becomes a Mob

Yeah, but if was Crisissy Magazine, it would be a different story.

It was Victoria Day in Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays were hosting the Rays of Tampa Bay. The word “hosting,” however, hardly applied to the treatment that one Yunel Escobar, the Rays shortstop, received, who was lustfully booed each time he came to the plate.  When he homered in the 9th inning, he was booed again for employing his signature gesture as he crossed home plate—stretching his arms out to indicate the “safe” sign. Cuban-born, Escobar does not speak English. Through a translator, he expressed his astonishment: “It’s something I do every time I cross home plate.” But that is not the reason for Escobar’s status as a pariah.

Crowds are usually forgiving to athletes and are willing to put aside any number of offences ranging from DUI, PED, torturing animals, sexual promiscuity, siring numerous children out of wedlock, and involuntary manslaughter. What was it that Señor Escobar did that was so grievous and unforgiving?

Prior to a game back in 2012, Escobar inscribed three Spanish words on the black tape that ballplayers place under their eyes as a shield against the glare of the sun: Tu Er Maricón.  According to my Spanish dictionary, this means, “You are a sissy.”  It was not directed to anyone and did not imply a particular sexual orientation.  Spanish players have admitted that they toss this phrase around with each other in a joking and non-offensive way both in the clubhouse and on the field.  Miami Marlins manager, Ozzie Guillen, avers that he and his children use it around the house all the time.

...The Escobar incident is not about three words in Spanish that were directed toward and offended no-one.  It is about the power of the Media to assist in rendering people anonymous, homogeneous, and suggestible. This surely bodes ill for democracy. Political correctness, the morality of the Media, is not enlightening, but controlling. Its promotion of tolerance as a virtue is obviously a sham. The Toronto crowd was not displaying any tolerance for Escobar’s conduct;  it was exhibiting its own intolerance, and in a way that was cruel, merciless, and unforgiving.  It may be the very definition of hypocrisy to demand tolerance while offering none.

The Media and the Catholic Church are at opposite poles with regard to the development of the human being. The Media urges those dominant characteristics that were outlined by Gustave Le Bon. The Church urges personal authenticity. Jacques Maritain expressed it well when he said, noting the indispensable importance of truth:  “It would be foolish intolerance to label as intolerance any affirmation of truth which is not watered down with doubt, even if it does not please some of our democratic fellow-citizens. I insist as forcefully as T. S. Eliot that the Christian leaven is necessary to the life and integration of our culture.”

Thanks to Susan Mullen

Repoz Posted: May 30, 2013 at 06:47 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, history

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   1. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: May 30, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4456216)
Oh, well, if Ozzie Guillen said it, it must not be offensive.

CASE CLOSED
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 30, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4456227)
DUI, PED, torturing animals, sexual promiscuity, siring numerous children out of wedlock, and involuntary manslaughter.


Uh some of these are against the law and some aren't. To classify them all as equal is just kind of stupid. I would like to think that most of us, though may not be overly supportive, would not get our gander up about someone being sexually promiscuous.
   3. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 30, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4456254)
When he homered in the 9th inning, he was booed again for employing his signature gesture as he crossed home plate—stretching his arms out to indicate the “safe” sign. Cuban-born, Escobar does not speak English. Through a translator, he expressed his astonishment: “It’s something I do every time I cross home plate.” But that is not the reason for Escobar’s status as a pariah.


This sounded like BS, so it's time to go to the video tape:

(This'd be a lot easier/clearer if I could GIF these, but this'll have to do)

Yunel Escobar home run #1 (April 21, vs Oakland, bottom of the second): Trots around bases, makes sign of the cross, points to sky.

Yunel Escobar home run #2 (April 22, vs New York, bottom of the first): Trots around bases, makes sign of cross, points to sky then pulls arm down and out in a circular motion (not the SAFE! one he uses later).

Yunel Escobar home run #3 (May 9, vs Toronto, bottom of the 7th): Trots around bases, high fives third base coach, kisses batting glove then lifts and crosses arms in 'x' pose then makes exaggerated 'safe' gesture, claps and points.

Yunel Escobar home run #4 (May 20, at Toronto top of the 9th): Tosses bat, trots around bases, noticeably slows down between third and home, makes sign of cross followed by exaggerated save signal (possibly directed towards Jays dugout), then slams helmet once he returns to the dugout.

He clearly didn't do the same move for home runs 1 + 2. It's only against Toronto (so far) that he's done this move so far this year.
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 30, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4456256)
What does being against the law have to do with being right or wrong?

DUI- against the law, wrong
PED- sometimes against the law, never wrong
torturing animals- against the law, wrong
sexual promiscuity- not against the law, sometimes wrong but not really that big of a deal
siring numerous children out of wedlock- not against the law, sometimes wrong but not a big deal when the guy is extremely rich
involuntary manslaughter- against the law, bad, but wrong depends on how involuntary
   5. Bhaakon Posted: May 30, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4456259)
Uh some of these are against the law and some aren't. To classify them all as equal is just kind of stupid. I would like to think that most of us, though may not be overly supportive, would not get our gander up about someone being sexually promiscuous.


He's not classifying them as equal. The phrase "ranging from" implies the opposite of equality. At most, he's saying that those acts are worse than writing the Spanish equivalent of "you're a f----t" on your eye black.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:04 PM (#4456262)
I think it's amazing that a stadium full of sports fans booed a player because of homophobic behavior. To me, that's a level of progress I wasn't sure I'd see in my lifetime.

If you disagree with that, great! Unless you're acting intolerant of my intolerance of intolerance, of course. Then you would be the one who's wrong. I guess.

This whole little word game is stupid. (And also OTP.)
   7. Bhaakon Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4456268)
I think it's amazing that a stadium of sports fans booed a player because of homophobic behavior. To me, that's a level of progress I wasn't sure I'd see in my lifetime.


Maybe, but mostly I just think that fans are always looking for an excuse to boo an opponent.
   8. haven Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4456288)
A player that didn't play particularly well in two of three seasons for a team returns as an opponent. Is booed. How is this a story?
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4456308)
I think it's amazing that a stadium full of sports fans booed a player because of homophobic behavior. To me, that's a level of progress I wasn't sure I'd see in my lifetime.

They were Canadians. Probably all gay anyway...
   10. Lassus Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4456314)
This is pretty poor use of "mob".
   11. Walt Davis Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4456319)
I ain't gonna read the thing but is the author actually suggesing that Escobar was booed because he's viewed as a homophobe?

That might signal an interesting change in social norms if it weren't for the highly likely possibility that Escobar was booed because he used to be a Blue Jay and just homered against the Blue Jays in Toronto. If there's any odd social phenomenon of note it is this rather odd idea that fans should boo returning players even when they were traded away.*

To make the case this has anything to do with Escobar's controversy you would have to show either he was booed in Toronto last season after it happened or he is booed everywhere now (more than typical for an opponent).

* I don't think it makes sense to boo a guy who left as an FA, it's your own damn team's fault for not paying him the money. I can see booing a guy if he said bad things about the city or fans after he left.
   12. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4456397)
* I don't think it makes sense to boo a guy who left as an FA, it's your own damn team's fault for not paying him the money. I can see booing a guy if he said bad things about the city or fans after he left.


What if he weighs the same as a duck?
   13. Walt Davis Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4456440)
What if he weighs the same as a duck?

Probably not much power but likely a very small strike zone. Do the rules about being out of the basepath say anything about being 20 feet above the basepath?

Anyway, I am not sure of the flight speed of a duck ... nor an African nor European swallow ... but it's possible he could have a career somewhere between Eddie Gaedel and Rickey Henderson.
   14. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:11 PM (#4456495)
but it's possible he could have a career somewhere between Eddie Gaedel and Rickey Henderson.

now go away or we shall taunt you a second time
   15. spike Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:35 PM (#4456532)
   16. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:41 PM (#4456538)
Yunie has a unique ability to rile people up. He should learn English, he could clean up as a villain on reality TV.
   17. I Am Not a Number Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4456734)
Maybe, but mostly I just think that fans are always looking for an excuse to boo an opponent.

Exactly. Hinske gets booed in Toronto. Overbay gets booed. Wells gets booed. Whether you chose to leave or were traded makes no difference. Virtually anyone who ever left and now returns as an opponent gets booed, homophobe or otherwise. And this applies to all sports in Toronto. The very much (once) beloved Curtis Joseph got booed when he returned as a Detroit Red Wing. And he never wore eye black.

I imagine that many other cities behave in the same way. Toronto is notorious for this behaviour.

Given that the author of the piece is writing for a Catholic publication, it is not unfair to speculate that he has an agenda when it comes to the subject of homosexuality and Escobar's harsh treatment for seemingly, if perhaps not genuinely felt, homophobic language.
   18. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4456757)
Cuban-born, Escobar does not speak English.


Interesting. He's apparently been in the U.S. for something like 9 years & in MLB for 6. Is that a long time not to pick up English, at least for someone who obviously doesn't live in a Spanish-speaking enclave 24/7/365?

Casting no aspersions whatsoever -- just curious.
   19. Shibal Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4456855)
Interesting. He's apparently been in the U.S. for something like 9 years & in MLB for 6. Is that a long time not to pick up English, at least for someone who obviously doesn't live in a Spanish-speaking enclave 24/7/365?

Casting no aspersions whatsoever -- just curious.


Why wouldn't you cast any aspersions here? An American who lives in Mexico for 10 years without learning the language should be ridiculed. The same holds true for anyone moving to a different country with different cultures.
   20. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: May 31, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4456922)
It was not directed to anyone and did not imply a particular sexual orientation. Spanish players have admitted that they toss this phrase around with each other in a joking and non-offensive way both in the clubhouse and on the field. Miami Marlins manager, Ozzie Guillen, avers that he and his children use it around the house all the time.

...The Escobar incident is not about three words in Spanish that were directed toward and offended no-one.


No one's going to call BS on this bit? This is startlingly wrong.
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4456934)
Interesting. He's apparently been in the U.S. for something like 9 years & in MLB for 6. Is that a long time not to pick up English, at least for someone who obviously doesn't live in a Spanish-speaking enclave 24/7/365?

Casting no aspersions whatsoever -- just curious.


I wouldn't be surprised if he speaks it poorly, or at least poorly enough that he's only comfortable speaking publicly through an interpreter. I have family in Miami which admittedly is not exactly the most English speaking place in the country and I don't think I'd want my aunts trying to make nuanced statements to the press in English. They certainly "speak English" by any definition but they aren't proficient. Baseball has enough spanish speakers that I wouldn't be surprised if Escobar's English is communicative to conversational but not so good that he doesn't speak to the press without an interpreter generally.

Escobar did a stupid thing last year. He was punished appropriately in my view and if being booed is an offshoot of that dumb behavior that's a shame but you can't unring the bell as they say.

No one's going to call BS on this bit? This is startlingly wrong.


The whole piece is BS. It's not worth getting fired up about one piece of it.

For what it's worth my Cuban-born father does not use "sissy" as the word that maricon translates into. His term is much less socially appropriate and according to him was a pretty good bet to move a disagreement from verbal to physical when he was a kid (a long time ago).
   22. Moe Greene Posted: May 31, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4457123)
From Jay-Z's "Girls, Girls, Girls":

I got this Spanish chica, she don't like me to roam
So she call me "cabron" plus "maricon"
Said she likes to cook rice so she likes me home
I'm like, "Uno momento, mami, slow up your tempo"


I was pretty sure that when MTV and the like showed this video back in the day, 'maricon' was always edited out. That's definitely the case in the version of the video on Youtube, right around 0:39:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUg7G3CPos0

So 'maricon' must be considered offensive enough to be edited out of a music video. It wouldn't have been edited out if it merely meant 'sissy.'
   23. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4457235)
Why wouldn't you cast any aspersions here? An American who lives in Mexico for 10 years without learning the language should be ridiculed. The same holds true for anyone moving to a different country with different cultures.


In this instance, I refrained from casting aspersions purely in the interest of not heading down the OTP trail.
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 31, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4457268)
Why wouldn't you cast any aspersions here? An American who lives in Mexico for 10 years without learning the language should be ridiculed. The same holds true for anyone moving to a different country with different cultures.

I agree about the "should" part, but at least one prominent American who's been rumored to be our next Ambassador to Japan apparently doesn't speak Japanese. And she wouldn't be the first one.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 31, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4457277)
So 'maricon' must be considered offensive enough to be edited out of a music video. It wouldn't have been edited out if it merely meant 'sissy.'

Oh yeah? When's the last time you heard a Cissy Houston song on the radio?
   26. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4457292)
Eh, I have no intention of learning to speak Australian and I get along just fine.

I've been watching this Danish TV show called Borgen. About half of the last episode was in English. If the show is at all accurate, it's common for Danish TV news interviews (of non-Danes) to be conducted in English.

I'm also a little in love with Birgitte Sorensen
   27. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 31, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4457305)
No one's going to call BS on this bit? This is startlingly wrong.


"Tu er maricon" does not translate as "you are a sissy." It translates to "you are a f*ggot." From the blurb this article is complete bullshit.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 31, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4457315)
They weren't booing - they were just disagreeing Canadianly with him making the "safe" gesture. They were saying "no, you're oooooooooooot."
   29. Shibal Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:00 PM (#4457319)
A good discussion about this word at http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=906187

In Perú we use the word maricón all the time. It is true it refers to a homosexual man but it is not as strong as the word faggot, not at all. Friends call other friends "maricón" for no reason. It might be closer to "sissy" than to "faggot", which I believe it's a more serious, stronger and more hurtful word than maricón.


I got a reply to an email sent earlier to a Mexican friend in Washington, D.C. who says that "gay" is widely used in Mexico. He says that to him "maricon" is more like saying "queen" in English.


As some of you have said, the negative connotation is given by the entonation you put when you call somebody "maricón". My father or uncle use this term with a completely different meaning (although they know it is mainly referred to homosexual men). Some examples:

- Serás maricón! --> which can be more like "You lucky bastard!"

Sometimes, it is used with an affective connotation. But all these "bad words" sound like affective ones among friends and depending on the contexts.

regarding this wide list, I would like to say some more: lila, sopla-nucas o muerde-almohadas (which I don't like, but I've heard sometimes),


In Colombia maricón is definitely pretty strongly pejorative, whereas marica is seen (almost universally) by younger people as being softer. In fact, it's become fairly common to call your friends (both male and female) marica, especially while joking. It pretty much carries the same meaning as the Mexican buey/guey/güey.


I think the term "faggot" can never be said in a friendly or endearing manner, whereas "maricón" in Spanish can sometimes be meant that way. Faggot is a word that has a really derogatory sense to it now

   30. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4457340)
He says that to him "maricon" is more like saying "queen" in English.

That seems about right. It's not really good but it's certainly not as bad as that other word being thrown around. Either way, in our super-PC culture we have crafted, best to keep it to yourself.
   31. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4457364)
He says that to him "maricon" is more like saying "queen" in English.

That seems about right. It's not really good but it's certainly not as bad as that other word being thrown around. Either way, in our super-PC culture we have crafted, best to keep it to yourself.

I don't know. I've seen fist fights started by the use of "maricon." In my experience, it's very similar to how "f*ggot" was used 10 or 15 years ago in the US (and still is some places): it can be a teasing word among friends, but it can also be a deadly insult and/or an expression of hate.

Also, that thread is kind of funny. A bunch of people are saying the word is very different from f*ggot because of sayings like "no seas maricon" (don't be a ____) when you're trying to get someone to do something. I don't know about you, but "don't be a f*g" was exactly what people said in those cases when I was growing up.

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