Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Breaking News: Marco Scutaro not Caucasian!

I know that some small-minded people feel the need to rip on Italians for a long list of reasons, but Ryan Pyette (note to self: sounds French...) of the Sun counts Marco Scutaro* as one of 6 non-white Jays currently on the roster. (Ironically, a Google image search reveals that he also may in fact be an adulteror because that young lady of the evening is certainly not his wife.) I guess we can assume that Pyete concurs with the general thrust of Dennis Hopper's argument with mob boss Christopher Walken in Quentin Tarantino's True Romance.

Wait, why are we talking about the Jays and race issues? Geoff Baker blew town with a suitcase full of White Jays conspiracy theories a couple of years ago to cover the Mariners...

You know, we were all thinking that JP had taken lemons and made lemonade of the Frank Thomas situation. Those who really know the intricacies of the personalities and economics behind The Events of last weekend would be quite impressed that major dollars were saved whilst extracting public comments from the Big Hurt that he has no ill-will towards the organization at the same time.

That was some seriously good ass damage control.

And then, right after releasing one of the biggest African-American stars of the past two decades, JP decides to ad-lib about how the game needs to attract more young urban kids to the sport.

The Sun quotes a recent study that shows "The percentage of black major leaguers dropped to 8.2% (based on 2007 40-man rosters), the lowest total in 20 years." Although these numbers reflect the general demographic trends that show African-Americans make up 12.7% of the total U.S. population, this is still a record low for black participation. No result of a Gentleman's Agreement, however; the MLB is now roughly 40% non-white, which is almost a record high.

Back to Scutaro. I guess Pyette can be excused for not knowing that Italians are in fact white because JP got the conversational ball rolling in the wrong direction.

"When I was growing up, Willie Mays was still playing. Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey -- they were all still playing," Ricciardi said.

"Who are the great black players now? There's A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez). Baseball always thought it would be king here, and it's still king in places like Puerto Rico and Venezuela, but it's not king here anymore. We have to do a better job at it."

A-Rod is black? I think you meant "coloured", JP. No, "of colour." No, bi-racial. No, American Hero. That's the one.

"You can't look at whether a player's white or black," Ricciardi said. "If we looked at players based on racial lines, that would be going back to the pre-Jackie Robinson era and that's not somewhere we want to go.

"I don't care if I have nine green guys out there. I just want them to be able to play."

It would be nice if the Jays did ramp up their Venusian scouting arm so we could grab a few of those uber-talented little green buggers.

Anyone in a position of influence or responsbility should never, ever talk about issues of race. You can only end up looking silly, especially, say, after just releasing a very angry, hulking (former) African American superstar. This, of course, doesn't apply to me. I've got a nice little "accusations of racism get out of jail free card" in the form of a non-white wife.

And for the record, I'm down with your people, whoever they may be.

-- Johnny Was

* For the record, Scutaro's Wikipedia page lists him as half-Spanish, half-Italian, and all heart.


Jay K. said...

I think Scutaro's wikipedia page should be: Half Italian, Half Spanish, half pit stains and all heart.

The Southpaw said...

I guess that's the calibre of sloot you dance with when you make less that $2 mil per.


Jay K. said...

Wait a sec, I make mess than $2 mil per. Does that mean there is a sloot out there for me too?

The Southpaw said...

I'd like to think so.