Raceball

There is a sentiment shared by many that is prevalent in MLB that is also true in other major league sports in America, White America is desperate for a White sports superstar.   They want it so bad they are willing to do what ever it takes to get one, often times ruining the chances of some promising young prospects in the process.  Unfortunately, what they are also willing to do includes tearing down athletes from other races, overlooking transgression by the White athletes, and creating excuses for them when they are caught in order to achieve that goal. 

Cheating and PEDs seem to be the big ticket item right now that the media is using to discredit minority baseball players.  But the disciplinary action taken for breaking the rules are not applied equally.  The same punishments and stigmas that are associated with cheating when minority players cheat are not attached to the punishments handed out to the White players when they are caught.  Minority players are ostracized for their transgressions while his White counterparts are gently chastised for doing the exact same thing.

When the steroid craze hit the big leagues, immediately names were thrown out and accusations made about players that had never ever tested positive.  Grand juries and House hearings were convened to “uncover” the truth about steroid use in Major League baseball.  And even though nothing happened as a result, except the wasting of millions of tax payers dollars,  the biased media convicted the minority players and forgave the Caucasian ones.  The need to believe that their great records could not be broken by anyone other than another White player was to overwhelming. 

The preferential treatment of players in the media is not open for debate, it’s fact.  But the reason why this happens is what needs to be examined and understood.   And the reason why is simple, racial validation.  They want to believe that the White race is still dominant in sports.  It is natural for a race to want to achieve as much as they can and shine.  So for that, I don’t blame them.  It is important to have people to look up to and believe in that look like you, that are from a similar background as you, or that share the same roots that you do.  Every race is in need of that.  I just don’t think it needs to be done at the expense of trashing other races. 

1926_New_York_Yankees_teamTo be entirely fair, there is a reason why all the records were held by White players, the sport was segregated for so many years that they were the only ones playing it.  Now that everyone is allowed to play this great National past time of ours, their records are going to fall.  Not all of them are going to be broken, and not all of the breakable ones will fall to minorities.  But when they do, there shouldn’t be doubt or excuses made as to why the “real” record is still this or that.  They want to put an asterisk next to some of these new records.  If anything the records of old should have an asterisk next to them since those records were set when White players were only playing against other White players.

MLB doesn’t truly care about the use of steroids, because if they did, they wouldn’t have turned a blind eye to the blatant cheating that has happened so many times before.  Cheating has been a part of the game since day one. There have been so many examples of cheating in the past and present that it would be quite a chore to name them all.  However, I will give a few examples to get the ball rolling: pitchers used to spit on the ball or rub different substances on it to allow it to break a little more this way or that, Ty Cobb, who is in the Hall of Fame, used to sharpen his cleats to get an edge when running the bases, players doctored balls to get an advantage both when pitching and when hitting, and who could forget the entire Chicago Black Sox team scandal where the entire team fixed games.  Cheating is in every facet of the game.  And yet it gets overlooked all the time, but gets brought up when it is needed to question the stats or achievements of minority players.

Ryan Braun tested positive for steroid use.  He was let off on a technicality, but still was awarded Major league baseballs highest honor, MVP.  It was not taken away and there is no movement to put an asterisk next to his name, because he was cleared in a court of law.  Barry Bonds never tested positive, was never found guilty of cheating and there are factions of MLB that will not acknowledge his 73 home runs as the legitimate HR record in baseball. 

This new crop of White super stars are quite promising.  Stars like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Chris Davis have the potential to be HOFers.  But let’s not think they can not be guilty of cheating or using PEDs just because we hope they aren’t.  We are talking about the difference between 50 grand a year and 50 million.  People will cheat you at a game of cards when nothing is on the line, do you think they wouldn’t cheat for life changing money?  I am not saying these guys are cheating.  I’m not saying they have done anything wrong.  I love Mike Trout, he plays for my team I hope he breaks every record and helps us win 10 world series.  But they want them to be super stars so bad that when it all comes crumbling down, and it will, they will make excuses for them, blame it on other forces outside their control, or simply just not report their missteps. 

Bryce Harper came into the league as a hot head, crazy attitude, and played with reckless abandon.  And he was praised for it.  This year, Yasiel Puig is doing the same thing, and people are vilifying him.   Chris Davis is killing the ball every time he hits it.  A feat that has only been bettered at this point in the season by one man, Barry Bonds, and he was crucified by the media for cheating.  He never tested positive and he claimed he never took them.  No one believed him. 

During the height of the steroid epidemic in baseball an independent study was made about which position of players would be most likely to use steroids.  And although this might seem obvious and counter productive that the answer would be power hitters, the truth is that steroids really don’t help them  It does not increase your hand eye coordination, which is essential in hitting a ball. 

It does help with recovery which is needed by pitchers who throw 100-120 pitches a game.  And need there arms to be healed up by their next start.  They need to get a little more curve on their curve ball or a little more heat on their fast ball.  The smart play would be to use steroids so that you can heal from the intense strain they were putting on their arms in order to generate the kind of velocity they needed to stay in the league.

With this revelation of research, why weren’t more pitchers found guilty of steroid use? Why did the league not go after them the way they went after the sluggers?  The answer is as simple as Black and White.  The majority of pitchers are White, while the majority of power hitters are minorities.  No one seemed to notice Aaron Boone go from 3 home runs one year to 40 the next, and then 20, and then back down to 4.  He signed a giant contract, got paid, and was out of the league 4 years later.  Gee, those numbers look suspicious.  Was he ever investigated? Hell no.  He took the money and ran and they let him go because he is White. 

Everyone knew Giambi was using.   In fact the Yankees were almost injecting him with steroids themselves, when he started struggling after paying him 88 million dollars.  After they threatened to cut him, he came back with the best second half of the season EVER, after the worst first half of the season in his career.   He received come back player of the year from MLB, who wasn’t at all suspicious.  Yet A-rod is going to go down down down even though he has never tested positive.   So, I guess if you are going to be convicted of being guilty for using without a positive test, then why even test?

Jason Giambi, before and after

In 2001 when Barry Bonds set the all-time mark for home runs before the all-star break with 39 sports writers were all ready to believe that something fishy was going on.  There was a buzz that Bonds must  be using steroids because he had never had a season like this before.  Even though he never tested positive for any steroid use and said he never took them, they didn’t believe him.   Now that Chris Davis has hit 37 HRs, second only to Bonds ALL TIME, sports writers are ready to defend him  by saying that he never tested positive for steroids and that he claims he has never taken them.  What is the difference between the two?  Their skin color.  This guy couldn’t be guiltier if he tried.  But the media is defending him and saying what a great clean cut kid he is.  That his numbers aren’t a product of cheating, that it is his natural swing and talent that are allowing him hit these home runs. And yet everyone is willing to look the other way because of America’s desire to finally have this coveted White Sports Superstar.

When the media can’t find anything wrong with a minority players game, they then attack their character.  He is a bad guy, he cheated on his wife, he abuses alcohol or smokes marijuana.  Who cares?  I don’t like him because he is a humanitarian, I care about how hard he throws, how far he can hit the ball, or if he can turn a single into a double.  He is getting paid to play a game on the field, off the field we have actual humanitarians that are supposed to serve as role models.  

The media tries so hard to assassinate the character of minority athletes in order to prop up what they feel is a dying breed, the under-appreciated underrepresented White super star athlete.  The dominance they once experienced in every sport due to exclusionary practices is coming to an end and they are trying any and every means possible to get it back.  I just want to let the players’ skill and performance decide who is the greatest of all time.  Let them “leave it all out on the field,” and let us leave all this other stuff out.

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About thedailyheard

Just a guy with an opinion and some time on my hands trying to find out where the sidewalk really does end.

2 comments

  1. Bill

    Hmm. Several main points here. The big one seems to be that the media treats players differently based on race. Absolutely. Baseball is a game based on scouts scouring the world for talent, where they make a myriad of assumptions and assessments based on how someone looks. Body type, movement, size of ankles, hottness of girlfriend, hand position (on the bat, not the girlfriend), and a million other things go into consideration. This kind of judging a book by its cover is deeply rooted into the game. It takes guys years to change their image. Or in the case of steroids, just an off season. Do steroids help players? Yes, of course. Working out helps players, and any edge you can get working out will help you. I first heard about PEDs in the 80s with sprinters. Remember those days, when guys used to steal rediculous amounts of bases? Why are Ricky Henderson (who also had a power surge in his 30s) and Vince Coleman not mentioned in the steroid debate. Same reason why pitchers people don`t make as big as a fuss over pitchers. The impact of the steroid issue is the tainting of batting statistics. That is baseball`s calling card. You can actually measure greatness, and compare it to other generations. Of course that is true in other sports, but none more than baseball. When I was in 5th grade I borrowed a book from the library called the 500 club and read all about the guys that had more than 500 dingers. Totally mesmerizing. That list is tainted now, and it really takes some of the lustre off the game for me. Amphetamines then steroids have forever tainted the game, period. That sucks. Before you minimalize the effect of steroids, think of it as someone who works out and exercises, how long and hard would you have to work to decrease your body fat 5% and increase your overall weight 15-20lbs? Think you could do it in 3-4 months naturally? Think it wouldn`t change your on-field ability?
    But who is clean and who is not? And do we really care? Braun juiced and should have an asterix next to the MVP. Are you really saying Bonds is different because he never got caught, and because he insists he didn`t know what was inside that clear cream he was given? Fine, keep the asterix out of the books and it will just be etched in our minds.
    Man you are right though about the way the media characterized players. And it`s not just black and white. Puig was the talk of baseball and the greatest thing since California Rolls, so it was inevitable people would start attacking him. As I think you have detailed in other posts, that is what we do to stars, we build them up to be perfect larger than life beings, then tear them down for all their flaws and their hubris. Puig ignored a guy talking to him during batting practice before a game. The guy is a legend and Cuban and so it is played up as a big diss buy some kid who doesn`t know history. I was kind of taking it the other way; this is a team that beaned him recently for one, second he didn`t know who the guy was at the time, third he was getting ready to do his job which he is kind of under a lot of pressure to do at superhuman levels right now. I don`t blame him focusing on his job. We are finding out now he has it coming at him from all sides, with some shady guys coming after his money – and who knows what kind of danger his family is in back home. Oh, and there is that whole he defected and can`t see his home, friends, or family thing. Give the kid a break.
    Then look at the other side; the guys who don`t get villianized:
    http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/9489005/shane-victorino-winning-lifelong-battle
    It reminds me of a similar article on Josh Hamilton I read a few years ago. The article somehow explained in a flattering way that he has to have a guy with him at all times to make sure he doesn`t do drugs and throw away his career.
    So yeah, I am with you that the media creates its own reality and perception and we are right to form our own opinions.

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