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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Genetti: Lack of black players will open baseball HOF doors to others

This anti-Jeter gunk has got to stop!

Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Bernie Williams and Willie McGee aren’t in the Hall of Fame.

But they will be.

...The last thing baseball is going to want is some statistic come out showing a small number of blacks inducted into the Hall of Fame over a certain amount of time, so the next thing — which will more than likely happen — is well-deserving black players will be inducted here and there over time.

Perhaps it’s a stretch to have this thought, but if you look at the great white and Hispanic players that have dominated the game over the last couple of decades, there’s really no outstanding black players to get excited over. That’s why this lack of African-American players in baseball will give those currently on the ballot a bigger opportunity. Even at this moment the only black player who is baseball Hall of Fame-worthy is Prince Fielder.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be done out of sympathy, I just believe the powers that be are going to conserve these players so there’s no absence of African-Americans going into Cooperstown over the next 10 or more years.

All of the players I’ve mentioned are very much worthy of the Hall of Fame, I just hope they’re inducted sooner rather than later.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM | 241 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

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   101. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4039498)
although it would be interesting to be one, just to see what it is like

You'd have to get used to monocular vision, for one thing.

Thanks for the thoughts on Black** infielders -- I'll have to think about that.

** Curious use of language. You use the word "Black" meaning African-American, and by the Russell Martin reference, limited by a certain percentage. I'm not sure most White-Americans (Euro-Americans?) have the, ahem, black and white distinction in our usage. Man, this is complicated sh**.
   102. DL from MN Posted: January 18, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4039499)

not real too many Black guys who have been a starting SS or 2B


Orlando Hudson is the one that jumps to mind. Hypothetically - Henry Aaron could have been the best second baseman ever but they wanted his bat in the big leagues NOW.
   103. BDC Posted: January 18, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4039502)
Could this be as simple an issue as height/size?

American blacks tend to fall on the tall side, especially compared to Latins, and OF rewards height/length of stride while IF doesn't


I doubt this. The pool of potential pro ballplayers is going to fall on the tall side to begin with, and it's unlikely there's any major variation by ethnicity within that group. And in any case, there has been a distinct trend in the past few decades to select for taller and taller pitchers, which does not explain why most of them are white, if African-Americans in the group do tend to be taller.

Edit for clarity
   104. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4039503)
I have never understood the "importance" of excluding dark-skinned "hispanics" as not being "black." Why is Orlando Cabrera not "black?" It just seems pointless to me.

In fact, all of it seems pointless to me.
   105. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4039506)
Put everyone into a time machine, send them back to Birmingham in 1935, and have them stand on a street corner saying, "Hey there, baby." The official black/not black list will be compiled in a hurry.
   106. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4039508)
The last black catcher was who, Charles Johnson? Tony Eusebio?


There's one in the minors right now: James Skelton. He was a Rule 5 pick a couple years back, but didn't stick, and is kind of on the organizational player track at this point.
   107. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4039511)
Extremely. In fact, I think his birth name was Mandingo Allen.


HAHA, love it.
   108. Rally Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4039512)
At this point I'm not going to pretend an attempt at sociology, I'm moving into pure trivia.

But the discussion made me curious about who the best non-white MLB 3B was. It looks like it has to Adrian Beltre. Among African-Americans, it's Bill Madlock, though he also played 2B. Best African-American 3B who played defense like a 3B was Terry Pendleton.
   109. LargeBill Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4039514)
Same thing happened in the Negro Leagues - when the team needed someone at C they had to develop a black catcher.


To misquote Casey Stengel, that's a good thing because otherwise you'll have a lot of passed balls.
   110. BDC Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4039517)
Why is Orlando Cabrera not "black?"

You might as well ask "why is Arnold Schwarzenegger not German?" He speaks German. He looks German. But the names for groups don't always follow strict logic. I agree that it doesn't matter a damn to how they play baseball (or play action heros), but socially and politically these distinctions have mattered a lot through history.

   111. Rally Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4039518)
I have never understood the "importance" of excluding dark-skinned "hispanics" as not being "black." Why is Orlando Cabrera not "black?" It just seems pointless to me.


Take it up with Torii Hunter. Cabrera's on the lighter to medium skin tone among Hispanics anyway. Edgar Renteria would be a better example.
   112. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4039520)
Orlando Hudson is the one that jumps to mind.


Brandon Phillips.

   113. DL from MN Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4039521)
@103 - Tall blacks aren't self-selecting to play baseball. There are probably dozens of NBA players and NFL quarterbacks who could pitch.
   114. Olaf Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4039523)
I think some of the blame for the confusion, decline of, etc. can be placed on the fizzlemint twins. Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis. When African -Americans "fail"--don't live up to expectations--it gets a lot more attention. And not just in sports.
   115. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4039525)
Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis. When African -Americans "fail"--don't live up to expectations--it gets a lot more attention. And not just in sports.

Olaf, do you have the white counter-examples in baseball?
   116. . Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4039528)
Why is Orlando Cabrera not "black?"

I think if you grow up American, "black" means "Black American,"(**) primarily because of the experience and history of our darker-skinned countrymen and women.

And since Orlando Cabrera isn't an American, wasn't raised here, and doesn't have the experience of being an American -- primarily interacting with white Americans -- or being raised here, he isn't "black." That actually makes perfect sense to me, though the precise reasons why deserve broader discussion.

I don't know what a white European still a citizen of the mother country would say on the matter -- which is more a curiosity than anything particularly relevant.

(**) "American" meant in the narrow sense of "born and bred in the United States." The word has broader meanings; literally the Caribbean is the part of the "Americas," and its residents technically "American."
   117. just plain joe Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4039535)
i'm trying and failing to think of any righty Black SP who came up in the past 10 years


Edwin Jackson says hi, although since he was actually born in Germany he might say "guten abend" instead -:)
   118. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4039536)
You might as well ask "why is Arnold Schwarzenegger not German?" He speaks German. He looks German.


But nationality isn't the same as skin tone. White North Americans are white. White Scotsmen are white. White Germans are white. But somehow "black" people are only "black" if they are not hispanic. It's bizarre to me.

If I were talking to a Finnish guy and I referred to him as a "white guy" he wouldn't say "nuh-uh, I'm Finnish!" Somehow this only happens when you call Cubans "black." Does it even happen if you call Kenyans black? I assume that's okay.
   119. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4039540)
Put everyone into a time machine, send them back to Birmingham in 1935


As a denizen of Alabama, I'd say that 1965 would work just as well. Maybe 1975, too, for that matter.
   120. . Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4039542)
But somehow "black" people are only "black" if they are not hispanic. It's bizarre to me.

"White non-Hispanic" and "White Hispanic" are two distinct "races" -- at least amongst US bean counters. Make David Ortiz a paleface and he's a different "race" than I am.
   121. BDC Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4039544)
Tall blacks aren't self-selecting to play baseball. There are probably dozens of NBA players and NFL quarterbacks who could pitch

Absolutely. There may be cases of a white youth-baseball coach thinking "you're too uppity" or "black kid, can't pitch" – I'd be surprised if there weren't – but an overwhelming explanation for why certain ethnicities or nationalities play certain sports is a cultural preference: somebody's decision to do one thing rather than another.

Where you may point to an exploitable market inefficiency is among the thousands of excellent athletes who play college basketball or football but aren't going to play pro basketball or football. Could a baseball GM open a pitching academy for basketball/football retreads? It's probably easier to teach pitching than the whole game. But I can see the reluctance to retrain athletes of a certain age who haven't come up through the ranks and internalized a sport.
   122. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4039545)
i'm trying and failing to think of any righty Black SP who came up in the past 10 years


Jerome Williams in 2003. Ian Snell in 2004.

Shawn Chacon just misses - he debuted in 2001.
   123. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4039547)
But nationality isn't the same as skin tone. White North Americans are white. White Scotsmen are white. White Germans are white.


Italians aren't white, if you ask my grandmother. And she only came around on the "pigshit Irish" when my mom and 1/4 Irish dad got married.
   124. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4039548)
There are No Dinner Breaks in Baseball Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4039503)

I have never understood the "importance" of excluding dark-skinned "hispanics" as not being "black." Why is Orlando Cabrera not "black?" It just seems pointless to me.


- sigh

one
last
time

TRY to even pretend to try to understand, OK?

no one is saying that orlando cabrera has no african Negro ancestors. no one is saying that White supremacists of any era or any sort of person who had a problem with dark skinned people of ANY race would not have a problem with mr orlando cabrera (although mr miguel cabrera might could just be ok although he still ain't all the way white - prolly should just call him injun mike or something)

the words "Black" or "african-american" are specifically used to mean a person who has african Negro ancestors who were brought to the united states of canada as slaves. it is an ETHNIC or CULTURAL distinction, not a physical appearance one. the White power structure in baseball obviously treats the 2 groups differently.

(note the canada thing is just me joking - canadian Blacks who are descended from escaped american slaves are Blacks)

since it seems to be tough for you to deal with this question when it concerns us, try pretending you are talking to an irish person in northern ireland and tell them you can't see any difference between an irish catholic and an irish protestant - you both look just alike so really, what's the difference.

ask the serbs and croats what's the problem - they both White people with long faces and big beaky noses and bushy eyebrows and funny sounding names

   125. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4039549)
I didn't know Dick Allen was black until a few years ago. I guess you only think about stuffy white guys being named "Dick". But then there's Dick Gregory too.

Orlando Hudson is the one that jumps to mind.


Brandon Phillips


Rickie Weeks. Bill Hall.

Gary Sheffield, Ron Gant and BJ Upton are all recent examples of black infielders moved to the outfield I can think of.
   126. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4039550)
My personal favorite moment of frustration over AA/Black was when I was writing for a newspaper and the copy desk editor kept 'correcting' my reference to 'black', insisting that Linford Christie be described as an 'African American'. I had to tell her Christie was British about 28 times before she figured it out.
   127. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4039552)
since it seems to be tough for you to deal with this question when it concerns us, try pretending you are talking to an irish person in northern ireland and tell them you can't see any difference between an irish catholic and an irish protestant - you both look just alike so really, what's the difference.


Well thats easy enough. Neither of them are white, but one worships the Pope.
   128. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4039553)
I don't think anybody would claim that baseball is prejudiced against anybody who can hit for a 120 OPS+. If there is employment discrimination in baseball with regard to African-Americans, it probably is in that AAA/bench mascot slot. Which brings us back to Willie Bloomquist!*

Now I said if so I'm not pretending to present anything resembling iron-clad evidence, more like "things that make you say hmmmm" evidence.

Ernie Young tore up the minors year after year, mostly playing CF if I recall, but could never land an ML 4th OF job. Obviously it didn't help that he sucked in his few ML shots. Or somebody like Bobby Scales who I only know about because his cups of coffee came with the Cubs (at the ages of 31-32).

I'm not convinced guys like that are less talented than Bloomquist or Cairo or Jeff Baker or, reaching back, Luis Sojo or whoever. It's hard for me to think of black guys who got to fill that "scrappy" role but I also can't say they're under-represented.** But we do hear about how important it is that a bench player "accept their role", "be good in the clubhouse", etc. If teams actually see those personality issues as a major requirement of the job of bench mascot (which seems reasonable) then it opens the door wide to bias based on stereotype.

And it's often those sorts of "solid career" guys who then get offered jobs as "special assistants" or "roving instructors" or minor-league coaches. But I'm glad to see that the Sox did give Young a minor-league job in 2008, can't see if he's still employed there ... and also apparently he was active with USA Baseball. (Of course that organization has a black GM. :-)

Such discrimination would he difficult if not impossible to prove. The line between AAAA and an MLB bench is razor thin in terms of talent anyway and that's before you bring in things like personality or the need to give younger players a shot, etc. When it comes to that role or the subsequent coaching role, there may be good reasons to prefer a Latin player (or at least Spanish speaker) in that role given the huge number of Latin players coming through systems.

The other most likely form of discrimination has been touched on -- positional bias. I do think it used to be the case that there was fairly widespread belief that blacks weren't "intelligent" enough to be pitchers and catchers (although post-integration baseball obviously always willing to make an exception for the Gibsons and Jenkins of the world).*** I'm not sure you could say the same about infield though, certainly not at the beginning of integration and it seems there have always been a number of black infielders. I can believe that maybe there was a tendency to shift a struggling black infielder to CF more quickly than a white one but you'd really have a hard time showing that happened.

*Wasn't trying to be critical of the "Willie Bloomquist is white?!" folks -- was just playing along in that it's hard to find a "whiter-sounding" surname than Bloomquist.

** When this topic comes up, folks sometimes bring up Figgins -- but Figgins got a starter's amount of playing time even if (for a while) he was bouncing around positions.

*** There was little movement of Negro League pitchers post-Robinson. African-American hitters pretty well dominated the NL in the 50s while there was really only one top pitcher (Newcombe). In the 60s/70s you had Gibson and Jenkins and then... Al Downing? Folks talk about how Ruth didn't have to face black pitchers ... well, Hank Aaron didn't face them often either.
   129. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4039554)
i'm trying and failing to think of any righty Black SP who came up in the past 10 years


Jerome Williams in 2003. Ian Snell in 2004.

Shawn Chacon just misses - he debuted in 2001.

Edit: Also Shane Youman in 2006.


Edwin Jackson, Tyson Ross.
   130. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4039555)
Rickie Weeks. Bill Hall.


Also Jemile Weeks. And Eric Young Jr. got a trial as a starter for the Rockies in late 2010, though he didn't hit well enough to hold the job.
   131. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4039556)
Edit: Also Shane Youman in 2006.


I un-edited him out because he's a lefty.
   132. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4039557)
Culture is real. Nationality is real. Race is a very odd construct that does more to confuse than enlighten.
   133. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4039558)
Lisa, is someone from Kenya "black?"
   134. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4039561)
   135. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4039563)
   136. Randy Jones Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4039564)
Italians aren't white, if you ask my grandmother. And she only came around on the "pigshit Irish" when my mom and 1/4 Irish dad got married.


I believe the rule is that Italians and Irish count as White post-WWII.

since it seems to be tough for you to deal with this question when it concerns us, try pretending you are talking to an irish person in northern ireland and tell them you can't see any difference between an irish catholic and an irish protestant - you both look just alike so really, what's the difference.


Well thats easy enough. Neither of them are white, but one worships the Pope hates the English slightly less.


FTFY
   137. . Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4039565)
I didn't know Dick Allen was black until a few years ago. I guess you only think about stuffy white guys being named "Dick".

And to think that he was all uppity and insistent about wanting to be called "Dick," too ...

the words "Black" or "african-american" are specifically used to mean a person who has african Negro ancestors who were brought to the united states of canada as slaves. it is an ETHNIC or CULTURAL distinction, not a physical appearance one.

Yes, obviously. It's hard to believe this is in dispute even in a disputatious forum.

On the broader matter, baseball takes a lot of hands-on nurturing and personal interaction through trial and tribulation. It's not an instinctive sport where talent takes over right away and rules. It takes time, effort, and dedication to develop practically every player. Since the nature of the sport necessitates such close and consistent interaction, it isn't hard to see that cultural differences between the coaches and the coached would pop up more in baseball than other sports and, therefore, that both sides -- coaches and the coached -- would be quicker to just say \"#### it, I don't want to deal with this." By and large, the coaches are white, so it isn't hard to figure out the rest.(**)

(**) Sports that share these characteristics would be golf and tennis, neither overrun by black players. The best black tennis players, Venus and Serena Williams, were coached by their father. It's quite reasonable to wonder what would have happened with them had they gone through Bolleteiri and the whitey tennis academies in the US.
   138. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4039567)

Also Jemile Weeks. And Eric Young Jr. got a trial as a starter for the Rockies in late 2010, though he didn't hit well enough to hold the job.


Howie Kendrick. Ian Desmond. Jimmy Rollins.
   139. Tippecanoe Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4039576)
Back 25-50 years or so ago, the position bias was influenced by Willie Mays. A terrific young African American player was immediately envisioned as the next Mays, and postitioned in center field, not shortstop. The players even envisioned themselves as the new Mays, and their fathers were naming them "Willie" in great numbers. Go read the Creamer aricle.

So my unprovable little thesis is that this image of the African American outfielder still echoes today, and that little league coaches of all colors unconsciously direct the talented white kid to short, and the talented black kid to center field.
   140. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4039585)

Sporcle: Can you name the current African-American MLB players


OK, I just had my Reggie Cleveland moment (or whatever the opposite is called). I had no idea that Mike Stanton, the Marlin, was black. And I've seen him play, in person.
   141. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4039587)
edwin jackson - man i thought he's first come up in the late 90s
i forgot about jerome williams - for some reason i was thinking he was hawaiian, not Black, althoughe's both

and i guess that shawn chacon just holds a special place in my heart - right next to billy wags

and vlad,

like your granma sez,
ever body hates some body some timessssssss
   142. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4039589)
"White non-Hispanic" and "White Hispanic" are two distinct "races" -- at least amongst US bean counters.

Technically no they aren't.

White and black are "races". "Hispanic" is an ethnicity. Race and ethnicity are not the same concept anymore by official definition. "Hispanics" can be of any race. "White non-Hispanic" is then a mix of "race" and "ethnicity."

And all of that is fairly recent (2000 Census I think). Previously "Hispanic" was treated as a race (the history of "race" in the Census is long and torturous). "White non-Hispanic" exists mainly for historical comparison purposes (it's most similar in meaning to "white" of the older days) and at the request of researchers, organizations, etc. interested in tracking discrimination against Hispanics

As to the differences between "African-Americans" and "black Latins", only 3% of the US Hispanic population identified themselves as "Black, African-American or Negro"*. I have no idea what proportion of the US Hispanic population is "black Latin" but I'd have guessed it's more than 3%. Half chose "white" and most of the rest chose "some other race" (probably filling in Cuban, Dominican, etc.). As such, the difference between the "black" population and the "black non-Hispanic" population is pretty trivial (although I recall we used that definition in the studies I was working on in those days).

Let me say that "race" and "ethnicity" are both silly social constructs. Even if there are such things as "biological races" (highly doubtful), "race" in every society in the world is a social construct with no empirical basis. "Ethnicity" is not necessarily a useless concept but the way it is constructed and measured makes it useless -- as if "Hispanic" is a meaningful cultural identity. Here in New Zealand, I tick "NZ European" even though I am neither. If I have an ethnicity, it is something like "Middle-class, nomadic apartment-dwelling, North Side Chicagoan Cub fan."

We are legion!!

*As of the mid-late 90s at least, there was still a large proportion of the African-American population who referred to themselves (or claimed on surveys) as "Negro". I don't remember the percentage but it was big enough that I can see why the Census would still include that term. "Black" was the most popular followed by "African-American." Such surveys generally asked which term they "prefer."
   143. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4039592)
Ian Desmond.


No kiddin'? I just thought he was really tan.
   144. DL from MN Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4039594)
Howie Kendrick. Ian Desmond. Jimmy Rollins.


How did we forget Chone Figgins?
   145. Mefisto Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4039610)
African-American hitters pretty well dominated the NL in the 50s while there was really only one top pitcher (Newcombe). In the 60s/70s you had Gibson and Jenkins and then... Al Downing? Folks talk about how Ruth didn't have to face black pitchers ... well, Hank Aaron didn't face them often either.


Hank also had to face the Hispanic/Latin pitchers who couldn't have pitched before Jackie: Marichal and Tiant are obvious examples. There were also more black (ahem) pitchers than you mentioned: Mudcat Grant; Vida Blue; J.R. Richard.
   146. . Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4039614)
J.R. Richard

Denigrated as a malignerer for weeks, until his brain blew out.
   147. Rally Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4039623)
the words "Black" or "african-american" are specifically used to mean a person who has african Negro ancestors who were brought to the united states of canada as slaves.


That definition would exclude our president, who has no american slaves in his geneology. Does have some slave-owners though, on his mama's side.
   148. Rally Posted: January 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4039629)
I had no idea that Mike Stanton, the Marlin, was black. And I've seen him play, in person.


He appears to be of mixed ethnicity, and his full name, Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton, supports that as well. Also, it is always a good thing to mention the name Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton. That's a cool name, much better than just shortening it like you're some kind of LOOGY.



   149. Lujack Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4039630)
I don't follow it as closely, so I honestly don't know the answer. Are there just as many articles about the decline of white players in the NBA?
   150. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4039636)
Hank also had to face the Hispanic/Latin pitchers who couldn't have pitched before Jackie: Marichal and Tiant are obvious examples. There were also more black (ahem) pitchers than you mentioned: Mudcat Grant; Vida Blue; J.R. Richard.


And Sam Jones, Al Jackson, Mike Cuellar, Bob Veale, Don Wilson, Dock Ellis, Grant Jackson, Jim Bibby, Rudy May, Joe Black, Pedro Borbon, Diego Segui, Elias Sosa, and Juan Pizzaro. Aaron faced all of the above over 1,000 times combined in his career, and God knows how many others. I stopped looking after I got down to 9 career PA's or fewer, and I probably missed some from higher up because I didn't know they were black. That's hardly nothing.
   151. BDC Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4039641)
Interesting to think about guys' careers in the light of stereotyping. Ron Washington was very much the scrappy infielder who knew that his place was on the bench and ultimately, in the coaching box and manager's office. I realize that bringing him up as a counter-example is kind of like saying "some of my favorite managers are black," but there are only 30 of them, after all, so he's 3.3%, and he's followed a non-stereotypical career path for an African-American ballplayer.

Al Newman was on that track too, but when last Googled he appeared to be coaching high-school ball somewhere in Minnesota. Does anyone know why he didn't stay with the Twins, or move up the MLB coaching ranks?
   152. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4039644)
(note the canada thing is just me joking - canadian Blacks who are descended from escaped american slaves are Blacks)

To be fair Canada did have a few slaves of their own back in the day, but I think the majority of "blacks" in Canada are descended from fugitive slaves. Though I know several Jamaicans in Toronto whose ancestors came to Canada as free men/women who consider themselves "black".

As it happens this Christmas my dad showed me the "Coloured Cemetary" which is nestled between some farms (one of which my uncle owns) near Fort Erie, on the border across from Buffalo where there was a prominent fugitive slave community from around 1830-1860. My uncle's actually a 6th or 7th generation dairy farmer on the land so I'm guessing his ancestors would have had some interaction with the community. Not sure if there's a point to any of this, but I found it interesting.
   153. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4039648)
I don't follow it as closely, so I honestly don't know the answer. Are there just as many articles about the decline of white players in the NBA?

I don't really follow the NBA at all, but it seems to me there are more white players now then when I was a kid (mid-90s).
   154. Rally Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4039651)
I don't really follow the NBA at all, but it seems to me there are more white players now then when I was a kid (mid-90s).


If you just look at color of skin, that's true. But they aren't American whites. People see white faces out there, and the perception is that they're white boys. They're not us. They're imposters.

Even people I know come up and say, Hey, what color is Dirk Nowitzki? Is he a white player?
I say, ‘Come on, he’s European. He’s not white.’
   155. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4039652)
I don't really follow the NBA at all, but it seems to me there are more white players now then when I was a kid (mid-90s).


They're mostly Europeans or Turks, or Canadians. The Cavs have an Israeli. What's he? And for that matter, they also have a Black Aussie, a black African, and a white Brazilian.
   156. The Good Face Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4039654)
Culture is real. Nationality is real. Race is a very odd construct that does more to confuse than enlighten.


Why do you hate science? Just because you're uncomfortable thinking rationally about race is no reason to live in a fantasy world.
   157. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4039657)
There aren't many active players who are HOF locks. Pujols, Jeter, Chipper, Halladay, Rivera, and Thome are about it.

Pudge Rodriguez will make it eventually (if he ever retires), though he'll likely get the Bagwell (and probably Piazza) treatment and have to wait a few years because of steroid whispers without evidence.

I don't really follow the NBA at all, but it seems to me there are more white players now then when I was a kid (mid-90s).

I think you're right, but it's mostly because of the influx of European talent (and according to this thread, they shouldn't be considered "white" because they speak different languages). I doubt there are any more American born white NBA players than there was 15 years ago.

Edit: coke to AROM and Misirlou
   158. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4039659)
I thought we'd established that Europeans ARE white (unless of course they are Italian)

I am-a confuse
   159. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4039660)
Culture is real. Nationality is real. Race is a very odd construct that does more to confuse than enlighten.

How are culture and nations not social constructions?
Or am I misunderstanding your use of the word "construct"?
   160. BDC Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4039666)
Why do you hate science?

Science certainly shows that there are human populations that differ genetically (though we are all from the same population not too many thousands of years ago).

"Race," as used socially and politically, is a wildly inconsistent set of conventions that changes from time to time and place to place.

Now, I'm as confused as Greg about how "culture" and "nationality" are any realer than "race" in the latter sense.
   161. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4039667)
I can't imagine that a black guy from England wouldn't be considered "black" by those-who-think-like-Lisa. The point seems to SPECIFICALLY exclude dark-skinned Latinos. I dunno, it's just all...so...
   162. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4039669)
I thought we'd established that Europeans ARE white (unless of course they are Italian)

I am-a confuse



The entire argument is confusing and full of pointless loopholes. I understand BBC's definition to a point, but there are still exceptions that perplex me.

Are Jorge Posada and Carlos Delgado the same race because they're from the same country and speak the same language?

What about black Europeans, like Tony Parker or Lennox Lewis? Are they the same race as say, Barry Bonds? Or what about white Africans like actress Charlize Theron?

These are the kinds of confusing questions that pop up when you define race by nationality or language rather than physical features and ancestery (probably spelled that wrong).
   163. Monty Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4039671)
I don't follow it as closely, so I honestly don't know the answer. Are there just as many articles about the decline of white players in the NBA?


I'd like you to meet JA Adande.
   164. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4039677)
There are probably dozens of NBA players and NFL quarterbacks who could pitch.


Yeah, I don't know about that.
   165. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4039679)
Or what about white Africans like actress Charlize Theron?

I think white South African is an interesting example.
I would think Afrikaaners consider themselves to be their own ethnic group which they've essentially invented for themselves in the past 500 years. I guess there's a certain parallel to the "American" or "Canadian" identity in that it's a group of people that moved to a new land and gradually forged a new identity. But as I understand it afrikaaners don't really have the same multi-cultural element that North Americans do. (whether your ancestors came 300 years ago from Scotland, or 200 years ago from Ireland, or 100 years ago from Poland, you're considered just as "Canadian" as the other scenarios). Whereas I've always been under the impression that Afrikaaners are all descended from the Dutch (though upon looking it up I see there were some Huegenots in there too). So it really is a new ethnicity that sprang up relatively quickly just by virtue of some people moving to a different place.
   166. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4039683)
I think white South African is an interesting example.

So it really is a new ethnicity that sprang up relatively quickly just by virtue of some people moving to a different place.


I don't know. They're all white to me, whether they were born in South Africa, the USA, Europe, Australia, etc, and regardless of whether they speak English, Russian, German, Dutch, or whatever other language.

But I'm the kind of person that likes things simple.
   167. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4039685)
How are culture and nations not social constructions?
Or am I misunderstanding your use of the word "construct"?


More likely lack of clarity on my part. Nationality and Culture actually tells me someting about a person. Race really doesn't. Culture, as fuzzy as it is, has more foundation than the concept of race. Sure there are genetics, but "racial genetics" is, as the good Admiral Ackbar tells us, a trap.

Hopefully that makes more sense, but since I am multitasking in a meeting it might not.
   168. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4039686)
Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton


Are we sure he's only one guy, and not two? He's certainly big enough...
   169. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4039688)
I don't know. They're all white to me, whether they were born in South Africa, the USA, Europe, Australia, etc, and regardless of whether they speak English, Russian, German, Dutch, or whatever other language.

That's fair enough, but it's worth pointing out that these are distinctions that many people take pretty seriously and base their identities around. There's no real necessity that you care, but lots of people do.

More likely lack of clarity on my part. Nationality and Culture actually tells me someting about a person.

I can agree with this. I think culture and nationhood are constructions that a person has a more active role in imagining for themselves.

   170. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4039690)
They're all white to me, whether they were born in South Africa, the USA, Europe, Australia, etc, and regardless of whether they speak English, Russian, German, Dutch, or whatever other language.

But I'm the kind of person that likes things simple.


Unlike your likely ancestors, who were a little pickier than that.
   171. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4039695)
Unlike your likely ancestors, who were a little pickier than that.

How much of that was really Protestant hatred for Catholics? The nativists didn't complain about the Germans and Scandinavians..
   172. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4039704)
How much of that was really Protestant hatred for Catholics? The nativists didn't complain about the Germans and Scandinavians..

It may not have been purely Catholicism, I don't think the Slavic people were too popular either. But I wouldn't be surprised if there was a fairly strong religious element to it.
   173. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4039707)
Whatever: either you believe that you're being judged by a magic man in the sky, or you don't.
   174. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4039710)
Whatever: either you believe that you're being judged by a magic man in the sky, or you don't.

Untrue. You could also believe that you're being judged by SEVERAL magic men in the sky. Or magic men in spaceships. Or by a jury of your magic man peers.

Either way, we can all agree like is funner with magic men.
   175. BDC Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4039716)
The nativists didn't complain about the Germans and Scandinavians

Well, they did, if not perhaps as loudly. Dan Okrent's book Last Call comments on the anti-German attitude of the Prohibition movement (Germans = beer = vice), and Scandinavians figure in a lot of representations of slovenly, doltish servants and hired men in, for instance, the fiction of Sinclair Lewis. Prejudice has almost infinite layers in American history ...
   176. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4039721)
Unlike your likely ancestors, who were a little pickier than that.

How much of that was really Protestant hatred for Catholics? The nativists didn't complain about the Germans and Scandinavians.


Well, that's in part because the later immigrants didn't disperse themselves throughout the country as quickly as the earlier waves of Northern Europeans did. And while you're absolutely correct that anti-Catholicism was the root of much of the hatred directed towards the Irish and the Italians, that doesn't fully explain the clearly racial imagery with which these wholly Caucasian people were depicted, which of course was also directed against the Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe. Orwell might have put it this way: All whites were created equal, but some whites were whiter than others.
   177. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4039730)
Whatever: either you believe that you're being judged by a magic man in the sky, or you don't.

Do atheists ever wonder why so many of the religious crowd dislikes them? I'm not a church-goer either, but I think unprovoked mocking and condescending comments like this would be a good starting point...
   178. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4039732)
And I don't want to start an argument or flamewar. I'm just curious.
   179. Greg K Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4039737)
Do atheists ever wonder why so many of the religious crowd dislikes them?

I'd probably count as an atheist...more like agnostic I guess.
I generally find in these discussions the athiest more often than the religious person uses a really counter-productive tone. That's not to say ALL athiests do this. But it seems to more commonly come from that side of the fence.

Now I'm reliably told there are religious asshats out there too. But I guess in the circles I move in I'm sheltered from most of them?
   180. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4039742)

Do atheists ever wonder why so many of the religious crowd dislikes them?


Because they don't have a sense of humor? If you can't laugh about yourself then I don't really care if you dislike me.
   181. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4039744)
Now I'm reliably told there are religious asshats out there too. But I guess in the circles I move in I'm sheltered from most of them?

Oh there certainly are. But I wonder sometimes if atheists are trying to be insulting or if they're even aware that their comments often come across as pompous and belittling?

It's my experience that the hard core religious nuts act like they're morally superior to everyone else, and the hard core atheists act like they're intellectually superior to everyone else.

And note that I'm talking about both the extreme ends of the spectrum, not the AVERAGE atheist or theist.
   182. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4039747)
Because they don't have a sense of humor? If you can't laugh about yourself then I don't really care if you dislike me.

I can laugh about anything and anyone (and I do). But overall I think the religious crowd has just as good a sense of humor about people mocking their beliefs as atheists would if someone was doing the same with theirs.
   183. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4039750)

I can laugh about anything and anyone (and I do). But overall I think the religious crowd has just as good a sense of humor about people mocking their beliefs as atheists would if someone was doing the same with theirs.


Then why is there a post like [177] literally every single time someone pokes fun at them?
   184. . Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4039753)
Because they don't have a sense of humor? If you can't laugh about yourself then I don't really care if you dislike me.

That's funny because I too have found that mocking people, then doubling down on my mockery when they fail to laugh with me at themselves, is among the very best social lubricants and a failsafe way to break down social barriers.
   185. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4039756)
That's funny because I too have found that mocking people, then doubling down on my mockery when they fail to laugh with me at themselves, is among the very best social lubricants and a failsafe way to break down social barriers.


It's not really a major priority of mine to make friends with absolutely everyone. If 'the religious crowd' wants to dislike me because they can't take a joke, that's fine.
   186. . Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4039757)
I will make fun of you for it. If you can't handle that, it's your problem, not mine. And if you want to make fun of my silly beliefs, then have at them.

It's not the silly beliefs, it's you.
   187. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4039758)
Then why is there a post like [177] literally every single time someone pokes fun at them?

Is there? I've never made one before.

But likewise, it seems there's a post about fairy tales or magic men in the sky every time someone mentions religion too.
   188. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4039761)
It was a joke. We were talking about how Euros, Canadians, South Africans all get lumped together for you as "white people" because you like to "keep things simple." So, I am joking that I, likewise, group together "Catholics" and "Protestants" and "Jews" into "people who believe in a magical man."

So now I'm mean and condescending and SugarBear dislikes me. It's amazing how mouth-frothingly defensive people get as soon as the topic shifts to religion.

Is there?


Yes.

Edit: Although I believe it was SugarBear who once challenged me to a fight, so I guess he already disliked me. No loss I guess.

I think that Greg in 174 got that I was making a joke, but whatever, let's just carry on.
   189. Blastin Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4039766)
This was a really interesting discussion about race (and bbc made some really excellent points).

And then that silly comment might throw it off the rails.


Let's just ignore it. And I'm an atheist myself - with no love or affection for religion - but... dude. What's the point?


To race: I think it is a social construct, but that doesn't mean it's imaginary. We'd have to deconstruct society and our history to remove it. Fact is, the constructed version of race does inform more decisions than we'd like, and it seems likely that, in small ways, talented black athletes were indeed shuttled to specific positions. The only thing that makes me sad about it is not that I don't think black kids can't look up to a non-black athlete, but I do think there is something nice about having that choice. Clearly, a person like Grandy is a stand-up dude who happens to be pretty good. But the fewer people there are the fewer choices there might be.

Again, Rivera's my favorite player and has been since I was a kid (yeah, I'm only 25, heh) and he's not a black American (or a native American, since I'm partially that, too). But I think you can see what I'm getting at.


This article's still goofy though.
   190. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4039769)
So now I'm mean and condescending and SugarBear dislikes me. It's amazing how mouth-frothingly defensive people get as soon as the topic shifts to religion.

Dude, I don't dislike you - hell, I don't even know you. But if people shouldn't take offense to a joke, then they shouldn't take offense to a simple question either. Your response to my question was just as "mouth-frothingly defensive" as anything I said about your joke.

   191. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4039772)
But whatever. I agree with Blastin that the original conversation about race and baseball was much more interesting, so I'm gonna go back to that, and I apologize for my part in inadventently sidetracking the convo. I should've known better than to ask a question like that.

Cheers.
   192. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4039777)
I agree.

Don't you find it funny that you can make a comment like "They're all white to me, whether they were born in South Africa, the USA, Europe, Australia, etc" and at the same time get upset over what I said?

I just find it highly amusing, but whatever, let's get back to discussing why Derek Jeter is a black man and Edgar Renteria is not.
   193. Booey Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4039780)
Don't you find it funny that you can make a comment like "They're all white to me, whether they were born in South Africa, the USA, Europe, Australia, etc" and at the same time get upset over what I said?

I wasn't upset with what you said. I was just wondering why some people seem incapable of even hearing the words "God" or "religion" without feeling the need to mock it. Just like you said that it's pretty much inevitable that someone will respond with a defensive reply whenever they hear a joke like that, it's also pretty much inevitable that someone will MAKE a joke like that in the first place. Just an observation, no harm intended.

And back to the original theme, I don't understand why Edgar Renteria, Vlad Guerrero, Alfonso Soriano, etc aren't black just cuz they speak Spanish. Their ancestors still came from the same places...
   194. . Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4039783)
And back to the original theme, I don't understand why Edgar Renteria, Vlad Guerrero, Alfonso Soriano, etc aren't black just cuz they speak Spanish. Their ancestors still came from the same places...

Because "black" is a hybrid of ancestry (ethnicity) and culture. The indispensible cultural backdrop to being "black" is being (US) American or Canadian.

It's not that referring to Renteria, Vlad, etc. as "black" is inaccurate, but more that it's imprecise.(**)

(**) And somewhat reductionist, inasmuch as in context it's referring to little more than physical skin color.
   195. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4039785)
Does Jamaica count?
   196. spike Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4039788)
the hard core atheists act like they're intellectually superior to everyone else.

Wouldn't their POV sort of drive them to that conclusion, regardless of how they socially interact?

   197. Blastin Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4039793)
No. I think belief in a higher power is incorrect but I don't think it makes a person dumber. Else I'd have to believe my brilliant mother was less brilliant than she is.

BACK TO BASEBALL PLEASE.
   198. Endless Trash Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4039795)

Wouldn't their POV sort of drive them to that conclusion, regardless of how they socially interact?


I don't really see how.
   199. spike Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4039803)
Well if someone was convinced there were no supernatural entities, I can see where they might not think too highly of the reasoning powers of someone who did, that's all. I didn't say such a person would necessarily need to outwardly act in such a way, just out of politeness, but fundamentally, this person might think that someone who still believed in such things to have not thought things completely through.

But I agree with the back to baseball sentiment.
   200. Blastin Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4039805)
I just think they see the world in a very different way, but there are lots of beliefs/ideas that are foreign to me.

Baseball only on the flip, yes?
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