38 thoughts on “Correcting Yunel Escobar’s eye black

  1. 1
    Andy says:

    Hat tip to Adam for helping me get just the right message.

  2. 2
    nightfly says:

    I would love it if he came back after his sitdown with exactly that written on his eye black.

  3. 3
    birtelcom says:

    Certainly was an idiot and fully deserves the suspension. But let’s not forget, the guy can play baseball. This year has been a seriously down season at bat for him, but the fielding stats suggest he’s partially made up for it with very solid defense. Since 2007, Escobar has the fifth most WAR among MLB shorstops (behind Tulowitzki, Rollins, Reyes and Hanley Ramirez).

  4. 4
    John Autin says:

    Nice work, Andy.

    I haven’t had a chance to check the reaction to his apology, which struck me as being almost as offensive as the original act:

    “I have friends who are gay. The person who decorates my house is gay. The person who cuts my hair is gay. I have various friends who are gay. Honestly they haven’t felt as offended about this. There’s just a different understanding in the Latin community of this word.”

    Even if true, the specific people he cites just happen to represent stereotypes.

    Maybe the revised patches should read “Dumb Ass” on one and “Dumber Ass” on the other.

  5. 5
    mosc says:

    I’m glad HHS shares the same level of tolerance for his actions as I do.

  6. 6
    Jameson says:

    I missed this story. What did Escobar’s eyeblack really say?

    • 7
      Andy says:

      Use the power of Google. It was covered by every major news outlet.

      • 8
        Jameson says:

        Thanks Andy. Wow! I can’t believe he would actually go on the field with that written on his face.

      • 9
        Brent says:

        Although many of the later stories fail to actually say what the slur was, which makes it hard to evaluate it. I understand that news outlets want to be sensitive and don’t want to use words that offend, but when the story is about someone who uses words to offend, we kind of have to be told what the offending words were.

        Also, and this is something that a Spanish speaker could tell me, how offensive is the Spanish word as compared to the English word it was translated to (since both words are slang terms, there obviously isn’t a direct translation). More offensive? Less offensive?

        • 10
          birtelcom says:

          Wikipedia’s entry on Yunel, at the very end, has the relevant Spanish phrase and a couple of alternative English translations.

        • 12
          RJ says:

          The problem is that these words carry different strengths in different cultures and context is important. Whilst maricon can be used as a derogatory term, it can also be used among friends with far less potency.

          There was a similar issue in English soccer recently, with a Uruguayan player calling a French black player “negrito”. To the Uruguayan, this was just “banter” whereas in England, it is more likely to be seen as racism. He too faced a several-match ban.

          In both cases, given how long each person had spent in the US/Europe, you would expect them to know better, but are probably guilty of rank stupidity more than anything.

          • 14
            Andy says:

            I agree that words and phrases carry different meanings and emphasis. My point is just that he was so stupid to write something like that–any sort of joke, even if innocent, runs the risk of this sort of reaction. My guess, too, is that the word isn’t quite so innocent in his native culture and that he’s just a raging homophobe.

          • 15
            RJ says:

            Oh I agree with you completely Andy, the guy is a class-A idiot and there’s really no excuses for not knowing how offensive that would be.

          • 27
            Insert Name Here says:

            I’ve wondered the same thing myself, RJ. And indeed, the term “tu eres maricon” can also mean “you’re like a girl” according to a report from the Daily Mail. However, Escobar has spent how many years immersed in American and Canadian culture? As I understand, he speaks English and should know how “maricon” is interpreted by English speakers. He is either extremely ignorant, a close-minded bigot, or (more likely) both.

            That being said, freedom of speech means freedom to offend; MLB (or any league for that matter) shouldn’t be suspending players for expressing opinions, no matter how hateful or ignorant those opinions are. As Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

          • 38
            John Autin says:

            @27, Insert — Surely you don’t think that the bill of rights applies as strongly against one’s employer as it does against the government?

            If you are employed in the U.S., your employer certainly may impose justifiable restrictions on your freedom of speech when you are in the workplace, and sometimes even outside of it.

            Do you think Escobar would not be subject to discipline if he spoke those words in a corporate meeting? Or during a call to a customer? Or as he was handing back change at McDonalds?

            Do you really want a MLB culture where players can wear messages on the field that large numbers of people find hateful? What if the message on his eyeblack had been “Hitler Was Right?” That’s just an opinion, too.

        • 31
          Luis Gomez says:

          I don´t know how many spanish-speaking people read this blog, but let me add my two cents on the subject. For those who do not know, the word has a lot of different meanings, and yes, one of those meanings is used to offend gay men. However, if somebody tells you “maricon”, it´s also an insult, meaning you are weak, or you are a crybaby or even a coward.

          The thing is, whatever way it is used, the word is an insult and Escobar should have know better. He deserves the punishment, not for being homophobic, but for being an idiot.

  7. 11

    “You are a weak girl”

    Seriously, he should be banned from baseball.
    No, he should be excommunicated from the United States of America.

    He should be forced into 10,l01 hours of sensitivity training, then spend a year sweeping up hair in the gayest salon in San Francisco.

    • 16
      BryanM says:

      Congrats, Voomo for the most sensible post on this thread ; I doubt your irony will be appreciated, though, give the tone of most of the other comments

      • 17
        BryanM says:

        Should have been “given” , sorry

      • 18
        Andy says:

        I get, and also appreciate, Voomo’s irony. The only point I’m trying to make with this post is that Escobar’s an idiot for doing that. I’m not even chiming in the moral judgement of what he did…it was just a stupid, stupid thing to do in that forum.

        • 21
          BryanM says:

          yep , stupid, no doubt about it, as Yippee say below, lets move on.

          • 22

            When I was a senior in college, I organized half a dozen of my freshmen and we stole every roll of toilet paper on campus on a Friday night (they wouldn’t be replaced until Monday).

            There was much more to the prank than that, but the essential detail for this thread is that we hit every dorm… except the one that the baseball players lived in.

            And yes, they were blamed for it.

            I did this because those pack-mentality, dateraping, gaybashing douchebags deserved it.

          • 23
            Mike L says:

            Voomo, I’ve tried to keep silent through this, but I think I should tell you that the statute of limitations for toilet-paper stealing is twenty four years. The end doesn’t justify the means?

          • 26

            Well, we didn’t steal it, exactly.
            Just moved it to a different location where it was presented artistically.

        • 29
          Atlas says:

          “My guess, too, is that the word isn’t quite so innocent in his native culture and that he’s just a raging homophobe.”

          The wise words of a man refraining from any moral judgment. But it’s true he must be punished in the name of tolerance.

          • 30
            Andy says:

            Atlas! Wow I can’t remember seeing any comments from you for a long, long time, but I remember you as a regular on the B-R blog.

  8. 13
    Jonas Gumby says:

    What the hell was the purpose of using the phrase anyway? Was he trying to intimidate the pitcher by offending him, in the event he could speak spanish? What a complete idiot

    • 19
      Yippeeyappee says:

      Totally off-topic, but I just have to say that I love the handle “Jonas Gumby”, combining two icons of my youth.

    • 35
      bstar says:

      This is what I want to know, Jonas.

      Was it meant as a joke, and if so, to whom?

      A taunt? Who was he taunting?

      Just saying “he’s an idiot” doesn’t really answer those questions. What exactly was he trying to do and who was he trying to say it to?

  9. 20
    Yippeeyappee says:

    Why are the rest of the Jays escaping censure? Any of the otherpanish-speakers on the team could have told him to knock it off (including a certain aging infielder brought aboard for his leadership). I’m sure, instead, that other players who saw it just had a good chuckle over the “joke”. And I’m pretty sure that, stupid as it was, it was meant as a joke and not as an insult. A lot of the younger people I’m around use “gay” as a “jab” at others with no intention (though thoughtlessly) to smear that whole group. It’s just another dumb thing young people do.

    Anyway, we don’t pay our money to see a bunch of Einsteins out there. People sometimes do dumb things. An apology, a suspension, and let’s move on before we build a pillory.

  10. 24
    Timmy Pea says:

    Speaking of politics and baseball, there is a raging fight going on in the comment section of an article on Israel’s baseball team over at MLB.com. The article is a roundup of news about the Israeli team trying to qualify for the WBC. There are a surprising number of anti-Israel comments and some just down right hateful. Some of the venom has to do with many of the Israeli players being Americans. I don’t remember the anger at the Dutch or Italian teams for using the same standard. Or Alex Rodriguez playing for 2 different countries in different WBC’s. I think many need a history lesson in why there came to be a state of Israel and America’s unique relationship with that country. Anyway the comments on the article make me worry not only for Israel’s future but for my country also.

    • 25
      Yippeeyappee says:

      An open and anonymous internet forum invites the worst of commentators, as their postings will always stand out among the more numerous reasonable discussions. They are not representative of the sentiments of the general population, just as looking at an outdoor lamp at night would not lead us to believe that most insects are moths.

      • 32
        nightfly says:

        I hope you’re right… but I tend to have my misgivings. Being anonymous often is taken as license to say what one really thinks without fear of reprisal. It’s the equivalent of hiding under a bedsheet in a mob of like-small-minded fools.

        It’s not that there are any more or fewer fools on the Internet than in real life – the medium gives them a spot to congregate and be out-n-proud stupid, that’s all.

    • 28
      BryanM says:

      Sadly, there’s a lot of hate out there, one of the dark sides of sports fandom is that is. Connected to the part of our brains that process. Ingroup as good/superior and out group as bad / inferior partisanship/ rivalry is only a step away from racism or xenophobia. Stick to HHS where never is heard a discouraging word and the racists are not posting all day.

  11. 33
    Mike Felber says:

    Yes, folks project their own problems & hate on others. It is often enough Pathologies on Parade, & it is deeply sad that though all humans are capable of sensitivity, intelligence, individuality-to many just ironically create themselves as merely a stereotype, handicapping all their intellectual potency & human potential by becoming a Hate-bot.

    Remind me to copywrite that phrase!

  12. 34
    Mike L says:

    Escobar is forgetting that players aren’t just being paid because they can hit (or throw) a slider. They make the money they do because they are entertainers, and the thing you don’t want to be doing is sticking your thumb in the public eye. It’s no different than a member of the Ricketts family funding an anti-Obama superpac (again). Free speech is rarely free when people can take offense. HHS readers may love baseball for itself, but for Bud, the owners, the TV networks, baseball is a business, and if you anger some of your clients, you hit your bottom line.

    • 36
      nightfly says:

      I disagree about the equivalence of embarassing your employer with a public slur vs. funding political speech. In the first case, the boss has every right to discipline the offender, in a manner deemed proper, for the reasons you outline. Doing political advocacy in one’s spare time, with one’s own earned income, is much different.

      The only thing I can think of that’s similar about them is that the First Amendment protects both expressions from government sanction, and for good reason. I don’t want to live in Oceania. Escobar acted like a jerk, but making that illegal means, eventually, a world where you can’t express your own mind for a good cause, or for no cause at all. I don’t want my distant family to be jailed for saying “God Bless You” when someone sneezes, because they just happen to be atheists and the phrase gave them an emotional trauma, in violation of the Americans with Nothing Better to Do with Themselves Act of 2106.

      If Ricketts wants to fund Romney or Obama or Wendel freakin’ Wilkie, then so be it. It may hurt the bottom line among fans who don’t agree with it; that’s their choice, as much as it’s the Rickett family’s choice to risk the bottom line in favor of doing what they feel is right. I sure as shooting don’t want it to be MY choice to force the Ricketts or the other fans to kowtow to my way of thinking and living. And if that means that their choices offend me, I can jolly well get over it.

      • 37
        Mike L says:

        I know we are going off topic here. I’m all for free speech. Escobar works for someone, and when he’s working, he’s answerable to his employer. It’s simply a question of dollars. My teenaged daughter won’t shop at a certain clothing chain because of the chain’s position against gay marriage. She goes to a performing arts high school and thinks (in her teenaged way) that this is a slap at some of her friends. But the chain made that decision at a corporate level, which is their right to do, just as my daughter decided not to buy their clothes. But when Escobar speaks his mind on the field and in uniform, if people are offended and don’t buy tickets/beer, he’s costing his employer money. What Ricketts did is different-he has the absolute right to spend his money as he sees fit, as you or I do, regardless of the impact is, and he can take the consequences, if any. What made Ricketts’s situation difficult is that at the same time he was looking to invest in the Romney campaign, the Cubs were asking for more than $100M is taxpayer subsidies. You start to cross a difficult line when you ask the taxpayer (that would be all of us) for subsidies to free up your own cash for political ads.

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