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Monday, June 11, 2007

Baseball's Biggest Issue

Without compare, the most talked about issue in baseball this season is the diminishing number of Negroes in the big leagues. You can't read a sports page without some mention or question of why.

The Atlanta Braves have even reorganized their executive hierarchy in an effort to find the root cause and implement preventive measures to correct the problems they find within their own organization.

Recognized as the leading voice of knowledge and respected for our common sense approach to teaching about this topic, we feel more than comfortable in shedding righteousness on this issue and pointing the clamoring masses to the real answers.

The Negro athlete long ago took over the NBA. The Negro athlete long ago took over the NFL. These are sports that require an athleticism that is superior to the requirements of baseball. To excel on the court or the gridiron, one must possess a unique power and explosiveness. Baseball players don't normally require these same attributes. Now, certainly some players DO possess them, but one can not intelligently argue that the athleticism necessary on the diamond is in anyway comparable to that required in the NBA or NFL.

Accepting this fact, it becomes clear: The white athlete hoping to make it in a major sport can really only pin his hopes on baseball.

Ten years ago, baseball went through a renaissance. The summer time duel between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire reinvigorated the game. It put baseball back squarely on the map. It created heroes and rekindled the romance between America and its past time.

A few years later, Barry Bonds attacked the home run record that McGwire set.

And the death knell of the Negro ballplayer was sounded.

Barry is inarguably the greatest player to step onto the field. His abilities can not be challenged. Forget color. Forget race. Barry transcended all that and should have been allowed to take baseball to a higher plane. He should have been allowed to provide the spark to ignite the fire in young Negroes to pick up a glove and be the next Barry. Just like Mike did for basketball. Or TO has done for football.

But, if that had happened, we'd be watching nothing but dark Latino faces and darker Negro faces on Baseball Tonight. And the white athlete would have been pushed to the fringes of all three major sports.

So, instead of Barry being deified and leading the next wave of Negro ballplayers. He was demonized. And his figurative crucifixion ended up essentially turning an entire generation of Negro athletes off to baseball.

It's certainly not surprising. Youths watched Sosa and McGwire treated as heroes. Everyday on the news. Presented as upstanding and wonderful people. Embraced by the nation as they measured homer run after home run.

Then, when it was Barry's turn to chase history, his personality was presented as difficult. His image was painted with a dirty brush and unclean strokes, not the clear and crisp strokes used to artfully present McGwire or Sosa.

During McGwire's run, when the question of steroids came up, it was deflected with talk of androstene and poo pooed to the side. Barry, on the other hand was put under the scope and his body was seemingly measured from every angle and compared with a skinny, young Barry from years and years ago to insinuate heavy PED usage.

Barry cheerfully reminded us that he didn't start lifting weights and hadn't instituted a nutritional program until he was in his 30's. For most players, such an explanation would have cleared the air and led to a fun season. But, Barry being who and what he was, it led to an inquisition.

Certainly, the mainstream media's relentless pursuit of steroid allegations against Barry (despite his NEVER testing positive) demonstrates the lengths to which white America is willing to go to ensure that MLB holds a majority of roster spots for white players.

The message is clear to Negro athletes: Play baseball at your own peril. Rise to the top of the game, and you will be attacked in the media, in the courts and even on the field.

And, we are clearly seeing the message hit home. Negroes have received the message loud and clear and are steering clear of the game. If the media, baseball and the government can cause such destruction in the life of the greatest player of all time, imagine what they can do to an up an comer with no name brand recognition?

Baseball, insidiously and gleefully, has tried to blame the Negro community for having a "lack of interest" in the sport. And in turn, have tried to claim this so called "lack of interest" as the reason for the dwindling number of Negroes in the game.

In all honestly, it's a brilliant redirection of the issue. And now, in an effort to "bury the body", so to speak, baseball is pretending to try to address the problem by encouraging teams to do what the Braves have done.

If baseball really wanted to correct the "problem" of a "lack of interest" by Negroes, the solution is simple.

Celebrate Barry Bonds. Put him on the pedestal that baseball puts its other greats. That would send the message to young Negroes that, if they come into the game, they don't have to live in fear of being destroyed. That if they decide to focus their efforts and energy on the sport of baseball and they excel, they will be loved and glorified.

There is no "lack of interest" in baseball on the part of Negroes.

There is simply fear.

Fear of being destroyed for being too good.

Just like Barry.


Al_Sharpton's_Banana_Hammock said...

You are right on this.

There isn't a lack of interest in the black community. There is a resonating message from baseball TO the black community in the treatment of Bonds. That being, "we don't want you".

Dave the Wave said...

like T.O. in football????

wtf are you talking about!!!???

T.O is a disgrace.

Bonds is a disgrace.

Your blog is a disgrace.

Johnny Cockring said...

...a disgrace to whom?

apparently, these men are a disgrace to you.

I am not disgraced by them.

I am more disgraced by John Elway who allowed himself to be labeled a hero in Denver for being petulant in Baltimore.

I am more disgraced by Mark McGwire, who allowed himself to be labeled a hero while under suspicion of using steroids.

Disgrace is a transitive verb. You don't get to label someone a disgrace on my behalf.

Dave the Wave said...

"Disgrace is a transitive verb."

Hey numnuts, read again.

T.O is a disgrace.

Bonds is a disgrace.

Your blog is a disgrace.

I used "disgrace" as a NOUN. As in "YOU are a disgrace".

Beat it. English lesson over.

Philly_Bhoy said...

I agree with much of what you argue here, but the timeline just doesn't work for me.

Most kids pick up baseball between 8 and 12 years old. Kids that make it to the majors simply do not pick the game up late. The media, and I agree, baseball has been complicit in this, has been kicking Bonds around for lets say 10 years and thats a pretty generous estimate.

That makes those kids 18-22 right now, and there are almost no big leaguers of that age, no matter what race.

If you wanted to argue that Bonds' treatment has led to a decrease in the numbers at the youth, college, or minor league level, with sufficient stats, I think you would have a winning argument. But I think you'd have to wait another 5 years at least for your hypothesis to be true at the big league level.

Could it be that baseball is just boring compared to football and basketball?

Johnny Cockring said...

"I used "disgrace" as a NOUN"

the noun disgrace is a form of the verb 'to disgrace', which is a transitive verb

your decision to apply the word in its noun form has no effect on my statement that "disgrace is a transitive verb." It is.

Your use of disgrace as a noun object of a simple sentence stems from your desire to have your audience accept as fact your determination that certain men are by definition disgraceful to all others. This is a lame attempt to establish ethos by painting yourself as an authority on disgrace. I could explain to you the historical context of men such as yourself who attempt to define for other men the meaning "grace" and the means by which man may fall therefrom. A critical study of the etymology of the word "disgrace" will most likely reveal its nominalization to have occurred at the hands of the Roman Catholic church. 'nuff said.

The word itself is a lie. Your use of the word only shows your Inquisition mentality.

To the extent that the word 'disgrace' serves any useful function in intelligent discourse, it is as a transitive verb. I can be disgraced by another person; I can feel as though the other person's existence is a disgrace to me. These are intellectually honest positions. This is how you apparently feel about Mr. Owens and Mr. Bonds. This is how you apparently feel about this blog, despite your continued desire to participate here. This is how I feel about Eli Manning.

Our feelings toward one another are apparently mutual.

Now that you have shown your behind once again, imagine my dismay at the shock of recognition.

I will leave you to it. Sir, by all means continue to tell us what to think. Your rhetorical power has certainly been unaffected by your establishment of nomenclature.

Johnny Cockring said...

"But I think you'd have to wait another 5 years at least for your hypothesis to be true at the big league level."

Sir, if the hypothesis was truly limited to Mr. Bonds this point would be valid. The phenomenon of trashing Negro baseball players in the press did not begin with Mr. Bonds. I suspect that it was this general phenomenon to which the post referred, as exemplified by the treatment of Mr. Bonds.

"Most kids pick up baseball between 8 and 12 years old."

Sir, agreed. However, the issue at stake may not be when players enter the sport but rather when they leave. You may agree that the best high school athletes participate in multiple sports at the high school level. Football is a fall sport, basketball/winter, baseball/spring. The decision to continue in one of the former versus the latter is made at the tail end of high school or even later, as truly elite athletes may be drafted by multiple leagues. Many Negro athletes of this age have made the decision not to pursue baseball during this period of Bonds-bashing.

"Could it be that baseball is just boring compared to football and basketball?"

Sir, I share your sentiment that baseball is boring. However, Michael Jordan apparently does not. Take that as it is.

Your use of this argument as the explanation for decreased numbers of Negroes in MLB implies their lack of diligence in the face of drudgery, which is an offensive notion. Perhaps you were only referring to youth athletes, but I haven't observed 'white' kids with much attention span.

Football practice is also boring. Does this dissuade Negro athletes from pursuing NFL careers?

'Boredom' as a decision-making factor probably only applies to the fan and casual participant, not the elite athlete in search of a paycheck. Several multi-sport Negro athletes have expressed their preference for less physically dangerous sports as a means of saving their bodies, i.e. they chose basketball over football so they could make more money. Baseball would seem even more desirable from this economical line of thinking.

This issue of 'boredom' may also be a question of causality. As the environment of MLB grows unfavorable to Negroes, their participation may wane, which makes the game less interesting to viewers accustomed to watching Negro athletes excel.

Dave the Wave said...

"To the extent that the word 'disgrace' serves any useful function in intelligent discourse, it is as a transitive verb. "

YOU are a disgrace.

Nope, it STILL works as a noun.

All your blathering and nonsense can't change the English language.

Stick to ebonics. You have a better mastery of it.

Dave the Wave said...

"Michael Jordan apparently does not. Take that as it is."

Of course mj found it boring.

but it was a nice time filler while he served his double secret suspension for gambling.

Johnny Cockring said...

This is like playing basketball with a slow, lumbering oaf.

It's fun at first, to run past and jump over him, scoring at will, rebounding despite the perils of clumsy elbows and fat feet under your own. The winning, initially, serves to entertain, and eradicates the offending goon from the court.

But he keeps coming back. Somebody's always got next and he's one of them.

The stench of his sweat masks the sweet smell of the leather ball and the hot asphalt. [he reeks of ham] Or, he mercilessly pounds away at your favorite hardwoods, cracking the lacquer and wood, all to no effect. Always out of position, he reaches at the ball with his hairy paws, fouling recklessly. If you go into the paint, you risk being undercut by this baboon.

Nobody wants to play with him, but it's a democratic game. The players won't be so self-righteous as to tell him he can't participate. He doesn't have the shame to stay off the court.

the English language is as corrupt as its namesake, but it's the only tool we have to reach American 'thinkers.'

I aspired to have you use it in some meaningful way. I forgot who you were.

Dave the Wave said...

"I aspired to have you use it in some meaningful way."

well, aren't you just one with noble aspirations? your big mama would be so proud of her lil chitlin, wouldn't she. hearing all that flowery language coming out your chicken hole.


YOU are a disgrace.


Malcom Hex said...

the white media has always hated Barry.

they hate him because his father was black.

Johnny Cockring said...

your reasons for being here are unknown to me

I suspect it's to abuse, to be abused, or both.

as such I'm disgraced by my continued interaction with such an unsavory person

if your goal was to force people to ignore you, count yourself a victory

if your goal was to show the world your superior intellect and command of the English language, go ahead and count yourself a victory there, too.

I should learn not to interfere with people's delusions.

Viva Napoleane!

Johnny Cockring said...

"the white media has always hated Barry.

they hate him because his father was black."

Brother Malcolm, were there a word limit on my posts, I would try to be so eloquent in my brevity.

Dave the Wave said...

"I would try to be so eloquent in my brevity. "

keep trying.

Dave the Wave said...

"Viva Napoleane!"

the french might be the only people that smell worse than jigs.

might be.

justlogicandfacts said...

Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player that we will have witnessed in our lifetime.

Some people refuse to come to terms with that, so they invent straw man after straw man to tear him down.

Allegations of performance-enhancing drugs?

Dozens of people have flunked tests, been arrested, admitted it and even been found with dubious substances in their lockers, yet have not faced nearly the same degree of public excoriation. And mind you, in Bonds case, these are all allegations.

About to break a sacred record?

With all due respect to Mr. Aaron, there has never been a record that belonged to someone because of their perception in the public eye. Records celebrate accomplishment. As there was no clamor for Ty Cobb's hit record to be broken because he was a racist, no outcall for Walter Payton's rushing record to stand in eternity because of his stellar citizenship, or Kobayashi's hot-dog eating record to be preserved for his role in bringing competitive-eating to the mainstream, why then does everyone decide that it's time to take up Mr. Aaron's cause. If Bonds breaks the record, it's because he hit more home runs. That's what should be honored.

Because he's not pleasant with media?

One of the great things about the NBA Finals is that they televise the post-game press conference. There we can see why athletes dislike the press. With the incoherent questions, repeated asking of the same questions, and boorish treatment shown by reporters to each other, we can see what the athletes have always known. The idea that the players owe the reporters anything is a myth. We watch the game. We want our teams to win and we want our players to do well. That's it. Some players cooperate, some don't, and some are expert at pulling snow jobs at people. If one doesn't cooperate with a reporter, find somebody else to talk to. They teach that in basic journalism classes. The jihad that's gone on against Bonds for two decades is outrageous.

Much has been made about Bonds has had some of his most dominant years in his late 30s, which is an aberration for a professional baseball player.

But it's not as if he went on the market as a free agent, sold himself to the highest bidder, and two years later demanded a trade to a particular team.

It's not as if he sought to excuse himself from the first two months of each season, and then singlehandedly determined the terms of his return, asking for allowances to work out with his son.

It's not as if he peddled himself like a precious harlot only to keep reminding us that it's not about the money.

It wasn't like he asked to be able to make travel arrangements separate from the team.

It wasn't like he knew he'd be able to receive the benefit of the doubt when denying allegations of helpful pharmaceuticals, despite a trail of associates that's begging somebody to ask serious questions.

No, if all of those were indeed the case and he had his most dominant years in his late 30s, and continued to play on into his 40s, he would be treated as a national hero.

Johnny Cockring said...

"No, if all of those were indeed the case and he had his most dominant years in his late 30s, and continued to play on into his 40s, he would be treated as a national hero."

Sir, I cannot stand idly by while you level these unsupported allegations at Magnus ver Magnusson.

Tracer Bullet said...

Nah. The problem is that baseball involves a lot of standing around and any time a black man stands in a field for three hours not doing anything, a white man is eventually going to hit him with a whip and force him to plow something.

Al_Sharpton's_Banana_Hammock said...

"It wasn't like he asked to be able to make travel arrangements separate from the team."

gee, i thought the team OFFERED all that stuff to rog, no?

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Dozens of people have flunked tests, been arrested, admitted it and even been found with dubious substances in their lockers"

Sir, this brings to mind that cycle riding white dandy Floyd Landis.

Both sets of his specimens popped positive.

Yet the media hasn't called for his beheading, lynching or castration.

He's made some of the most ridiculous excuses imaginable. Jack Daniels' caused it????? Yet, he has not been portrayed as the devil on earth.

Disparity you say?