Monday, June 4, 2007

The Idiot File: I Think, Therefore I Am, The Wit & Prose of Gary Sheffield…

As we are on the cusp of Hank Aaron’s home run record being broken, and with the passing of the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson playing his first game in the majors, it’s been mentioned over and over that the participation of African Americans in the game of baseball is at an all-time low.

Now, Gary Sheffield, the designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers has decided to opine on the situation.

Never shying away from controversy, in an interview with GQ Magazine, he said that African-Americans have been replaced with Latin ballplayers as the prevailing minority in the sport because they are “easier to control”.

He quotes:

"I called it years ago. What I called is that you're going to see more black faces, but there ain't no English going to be coming out. … [It's about] being able to tell [Latin players] what to do -- being able to control them," he told the magazine.

"Where I'm from, you can't control us. You might get a guy to do it that way for a while because he wants to benefit, but in the end, he is going to go back to being who he is. And that's a person that you're going to talk to with respect, you're going to talk to like a man.

"These are the things my race demands. So, if you're equally good as this Latin player, guess who's going to get sent home? I know a lot of players that are home now can outplay a lot of these guys."

Sheffield may have a point, yes, there are fewer blacks, and Latin players do sign for less money than their American counterparts.

That being said, Sheffield sounds completely foolish; therefore, not slights and demeans not only Latino players, but also African-Americans as well.

Nice try at sociology, Gary; however, you are very off base with your statement.

You are paid handsomely at the tune of $13 million plus to play a game. Just keep playing on the field, and keep the history and sociology lectures to others.

* - photo from

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