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Thread: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    MLB looking into lack of African-American players

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    8.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    I don't think you'll ever see the trend reverse in the USA, sadly. That's why so much talent is coming through places like the Dominican Republic now. Their kids aren't sitting around texting each other and playing games on smartphones all day.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Also here is the direct link to a Jimmy Rollins interview the article references. I think he makes a lot of good points and offers a great deal of insight.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/bas...and-baseball-n
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Here's what I don't get: "Blacks" are ~13% of the U.S. population. What is MLB's target % of blacks in professional baseball?

    If you look at just American-born players in MLB, blacks are almost perfectly proportionately represented. That Hispanic and Asian players from overseas are "taking jobs" from Americans is the source of the ethnicity "problem", if you want to think of this way.

    And if you want to suggest that baseball should look like professional football or basketball, I'd suggest a whole different kind of racism is going on.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Here's what I don't get: "Blacks" are ~13% of the U.S. population. What is MLB's target % of blacks in professional baseball?

    If you look at just American-born players in MLB, blacks are almost perfectly proportionately represented. That Hispanic and Asian players from overseas are "taking jobs" from Americans is the source of the ethnicity "problem", if you want to think of this way.

    And if you want to suggest that baseball should look like professional football or basketball, I'd suggest a whole different kind of racism is going on.
    This is where baseball really ties itself up in knots with labels and its terminology. If we're looking at "blacks" then guys like Aroldis Chapman have to be included. If they want to say "no we don't care what race you are, we just want to count black people who were born in the USA" then we get the term African American. My guess is if they include players like Chapman and Livan Hernandez as blacks that they'll find that race is nicely represented. I find it curious that we have to wait for a player to talk before we decide whether he's Hispanic or African American

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    The Keown article brought up the subject of youth baseball where you have travel teams and that makes the cost of it somewhat prohibitive for African American youths. However, don't AAU teams in basketball pretty much do the same thing? Is there a difference?
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    8.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    The Keown article brought up the subject of youth baseball where you have travel teams and that makes the cost of it somewhat prohibitive for African American youths. However, don't AAU teams in basketball pretty much do the same thing? Is there a difference?
    Big difference is the shoe companies foot the bill for a lot of the AAU stuff because some of those guys end up making them a lot of money down the road. I think in baseball a lot of that falls on the kids and their families. That is a valid point the article makes.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    Big difference is the shoe companies foot the bill for a lot of the AAU stuff because some of those guys end up making them a lot of money down the road. I think in baseball a lot of that falls on the kids and their families. That is a valid point the article makes.
    Right. If MLB has a player development problem whereby they are losing talent to other sports, they should do something about it.

    But the ethnicity angle makes it seem like a racial issue when it's actually a socio-economic one. And setting the optics aside, thinking it's a racial issue when it's not really a racial issue might suggest the wrong "solution".

    Just wait, MLB is going to come to the conclusion that the problem is that the sport isn't culturally appealing to urban kids and will tell teams to run more promotions with hip hop and rap artists. And as a league, they'll do a little more marketing. And the reason they'll come to that conclusion is because it's basically free and makes it look like they're doing something.

    As you point out, the real solution involves 10s of millions of dollars funding traveling leagues and there's no way the owners spring for that out of their own pockets.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 04-19-2013 at 08:52 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    I dont think this is a "problem" If more black people are trending to other sports whats the big deal.

    I dont see the NBA making a big deal or making an effort to get more white americans in the game. I dont see it as a problem either.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Whites made up 28% of the NBA in 1990. 17% very recently. Sounds like committee time.

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    Member Crumbley's Avatar
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    The poor and lower middle class have gotten poorer. Black people are more likely to be lower income. A baseball game takes a lot of infrastructure. 18 kids need gloves, a field, bats, balls, helmets, etc. Basketball is a lot more accessible.

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    8.3 Posts Abv Replacement BluegrassRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Quote Originally Posted by Crumbley View Post
    The poor and lower middle class have gotten poorer. Black people are more likely to be lower income. A baseball game takes a lot of infrastructure. 18 kids need gloves, a field, bats, balls, helmets, etc. Basketball is a lot more accessible.
    I agree in general, but poor people have always played baseball for years and years going back to stickball in inner cities and backyard baseball in the burbs. It's got to be more than that. You can get a glove and a bat for less than a pair of basketball shoes these days.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Quote Originally Posted by BluegrassRedleg View Post
    I agree in general, but poor people have always played baseball for years and years going back to stickball in inner cities and backyard baseball in the burbs. It's got to be more than that. You can get a glove and a bat for less than a pair of basketball shoes these days.
    I wonder if part of it is that you need more than just a glove and a bat to play baseball as a kid today. I didn't grow up in a city playing stickball but I did play a lot of backyard baseball as a kid many, many decades ago. All we needed was a ball, a couple of bats and a few gloves- if a kid didn't have a glove he borrowed one when the opposing team was at bat. We sometimes used rocks for bases, had no adults to coach or umpire, and played in fields with no fences or clearly marked baselines. Obviously we didn't have uniforms.
    My kids didn't play baseball like that. The version they played, with uniforms, pitching machines, equipment, organization, etc., was much more expensive and perhaps less accessible. Pick up basketball is easier to do.
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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Quote Originally Posted by Crumbley View Post
    The poor and lower middle class have gotten poorer. Black people are more likely to be lower income. A baseball game takes a lot of infrastructure. 18 kids need gloves, a field, bats, balls, helmets, etc. Basketball is a lot more accessible.
    But doesn't this fly I the face of what's happening in the Dominican Republic? When I was a kid, pickup baseball was on the schedule every day in the summer. We had about ten kids, maybe six gloves, the ball was covered with electrical tape, one or two old wooden bats and bases were rocks. Right field was out and on ground balls, pitchers mound was out.

    My dad used to say he thought the thing killing baseball was that kids were no longer allowed to play unless it was organized. I think he's on to something; last time I was at Delhi Park on a weekday afternoon in the summertime, I saw no kids playing on any of the sand lots. When I was a kid, there were usually 2-3 fields taken every day, from noon till dark.
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    Oy Vey! Red in Chicago's Avatar
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    Re: MLB looking into lack of African-American players

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    But doesn't this fly I the face of what's happening in the Dominican Republic? When I was a kid, pickup baseball was on the schedule every day in the summer. We had about ten kids, maybe six gloves, the ball was covered with electrical tape, one or two old wooden bats and bases were rocks. Right field was out and on ground balls, pitchers mound was out.

    My dad used to say he thought the thing killing baseball was that kids were no longer allowed to play unless it was organized. I think he's on to something; last time I was at Delhi Park on a weekday afternoon in the summertime, I saw no kids playing on any of the sand lots. When I was a kid, there were usually 2-3 fields taken every day, from noon till dark.
    We played ball every day in my neighborhood. When we were shorthanded, which was quite often, right field was an out.

    If there was just two of us, we would play "strikeout", which was literally one guy throwing and one guy hitting. You painted a strike zone against a building (typically the local school). Obviously, no walks, but each guy got three outs and then we switched rolls.


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