So Colin Cowherd said some stuff that was incredibly stupid and insulting.
Jose Bautista reacted to it in a pretty measured way:
Dear Mr. @ESPN_Colin before i rip you a new one i would like for you to explain what u meant to say about baseball and dominicans, please— Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19) July 23, 2015
Thankfully MLB is standing up for the players:
I continue to be surprised that people are still judging players by where they happen to be from, instead of judging them as individuals. I guess that it shouldn't. We see it all the time. Jose Bautista complains about the strike zone, he's a hot head, Josh Donaldson complains, nobody says anything. I thought it was great that, the other day, when Josh was getting into it with the umpire about the strike zone, Jose got to the plate quickly. Without making a show of it, he got between Josh and the umpire, ending any chance of an ejection. Course, I'd imagine Donaldson's threshold for ejection is a little different than Bautista's.
But Bautista isn't a leader.
He takes the time to help Chris Colabello work on his defense. He talks to our pitchers. He's in on conversations about what the other team's pitcher is throwing.
But he's not a leader.
I love this tweet:
Jose Bautista is hyperintelligent, one of the smartest, most curious people I've met. He conquered a complex game and made himself great.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 24, 2015
It is true isn't it. Bautista made changes to his game to become the player he is. He, with the help of batting coaches, changed the way he played the game and became a star. He really should be a model of how a smart player can improve.
Unfortunately, we hear this stuff all the time. Jose Reyes smiles too much. Edwin's lazy. The Domincan players hang out together too much. For some folks, there is nothing Dominican players could do that is right. If they smile, they are too happy, they don't understand the situation around them. If they don't smile they are too grumpy. Either way they are too selfish.
White guys.....we win heart and hustle awards.
Anyway, Cowherd seems to think that Dominicans don't have baseball smarts (or for that matter any smarts) because they don't go to university and they grow up poor. The fact that they grow up playing baseball, learning the game, doesn't enter into the equation. Equating education for intelligence has to be the whitest of white-isms.
Today, Cowherd tried to apologize (or explain himself) (or something):
"I could've made the point without using one country, and there's all sorts of smart people from the Dominican Republic," Cowherd said Friday during The Herd. "I could've said a third of baseball's talent is being furnished from countries with economic hardships, therefore educational hurdles. For the record, I used the Dominican Republic because they've furnished baseball with so many great players."...
"I understand that when you mention a specific country, they get offended," Cowherd said. "I get it. I do. And for that, I feel bad. I do. But I have four reports in front of me ... where there are discussions of major deficiencies in the education sector at all levels. ... It wasn't a shot at them. It was data. Five, seven years ago I talked about the same subject. Was I clunky? Perhaps. Did people not like my tone? I get it. Sometimes my tone stinks.
"I think when you host a radio show, just like Jon Stewart hosts a show, I think sometimes I bring up stuff ... that makes people cringe. I'm not saying there's not intelligent, educated people from the Dominican Republic. I cringe at the data too."
Ummmm.....it was data. Data said that Dominican are stupid, not him. Data. I'd have to say that his comparing himself to Jon Stewart seem to be a stretch.
The MLB Players Association (don't call us a union) isn't impressed:
Damn. Tony Clark of the MLBPA came in strong on Cowherd apology. This is where he is at his best. pic.twitter.com/p5dWFX9hn8— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 24, 2015
Maybe there will be some good come out of this. Maybe we'll catch on that each player is an individual, that we shouldn't judge them under the cloud of where they grew up.