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Thread: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

  1. #1
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2891875

    The percentage of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball is at an all-time low and Gary Sheffield says he has a theory why that's the case.

    In an interview with GQ magazine that's currently on newsstands, the typically outspoken Tigers designated hitter said Latin players have replaced African-Americans as baseball's most prevalent minority because they are easier to control.

    "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."
    According to a 2005 report by the University of Central Florida Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, only 8.5 percent of major leaguers were African-American -- the lowest percentage since the report was initiated in the mid-1980s. By contrast, whites comprised 59.5 percent of the majors' player pool, Latinos 28.7 percent and Asians 2.5.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    I'm going to reopen this thread, but do not turn this into a political and/or religion-based discussion as was the case here or it will have to go to the Peanut Gallery.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    I think Sheffield is a fool for making these statements. On the other hand, he plays better when he's pissed AND he is on my fantasy team. Keep getting this guy fired up.

    But seriously, what the heck is he trying to say here? That Latin players are easier to control? What does that even mean? Don't tell Feller that...didn't he say something about how Latin ballplayers were the reason for the fighting in baseball?

    It blows my mind when this subject is brought up...the dwindling number of blacks in MLB is probably countered by the growing number in the other sports, though I have no immediate statistical analysis. But logic doesn't fit when it comes to Gary. Check this out:

    http://100percentinjuryrate.blogspot...sheffield.html

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    Your killin' me Smalls! StillFunkyB's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    I am sure somewhere in his head it all makes sense.

    The rest of us are left scratching our heads, "Say what?"

    Shut up and play baseball Gary.

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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    My theory is african american players have a quicker pay-day going to play NFL or NBA as they dont have to wait in the minor leauges like you do these two sports.. And as talented as they are, why wait for MLB payday which could be 3-5 years, when you can go from college right to the NFL or NBA?? not being racist just my opinion and i woudl do the same thing if i had talent and had to decide which gets me the money the quickest!

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    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Take a look at economics, not who can be "controlled." Setting color aside, how many Americans who make it in MLB are from the inner city these days and how many are from the suburbs? When I watch the Little League World Series every year I see few black kids playing for the American teams and the ones I do see, if you will pardon the stereotype, don't sound like they're from the inner city.

    Why are inner city kids not playing baseball like they used to? Some people would say that it's available space, more room for fields out of the city, but I'm not buying that. Years ago city kids would play stickball in the alleys and in the streets with strike zones chalked on the side of building. Football is played on a rather large field the last time I checked and you still see more urban kids playing that than you see in baseball today. Basketball is the only sport that you could say is actually suited for the inner city because it doesn't require that much space to put up a hoop, but still, I don't think space is the whole issue.

    Of the four major sports in the US, (sorry fellow soccer fans, but it's not up there yet) two of them, baseball and hockey, have minor league systems that a player must play through before making it to the big show and seeing the real money. A lot of players wallow in the minors for years and never make it up. Football and basketball players go straight to the big team if they're good enough. Even a great prospect in baseball or hockey usually doesn't make it up the first year, with a few exceptions. To a kid growing up in poverty, as is the case for the most part in the inner cities, it might appear that basketball or football offer a better chance to get the "quick buck." Get a college scholarship, play a year or two and get noticed by the pro scouts, and then hit the jackpot. Now we all know that many kids who have this dream fall by the wayside. Not many high schoolers make the pros, but I've always thought that the sports without minor league systems offer more instant gratification.

    It might be a bit of a stereotype, but inner city kids are raised differently than suburban kids. Life is a little rougher there and many just don't see a way out of their situation. Athletic ability is seen by many as the ticket out. A kid who grows up in a comfortable suburban environment might not be seeing sports as a ticket out of his situation as much as he just sees it as something to enjoy. That kid will gravitate toward whatever sports he enjoys the most, with not as much regard to which one will pay him the soonest.

    That doesn't mean that all suburban kids play for the love of the game and all inner city kids are only thinking about money, but I would guess that those attitudes are at least a factor. As far as the number of blacks comes into play, the urban areas happen to have a larger population of blacks than the outlying areas. That demographic is not across the board. I life in Forest Park and there is a good sized black population here. Anyway, if most inner city kids are going for basketball and football, it stands to reason that a good number of those kids are going to be black.

    The question we have to ask is do we believe that this is a problem. I don't think it's the same as it was before Jackie came along when blacks weren't given the chance. Now every group has equal opportunity to play in the Majors. For whatever reason, black kids are choosing not to. They are pursuing the other sports, whether it's for cultural reasons, economic reasons, or something else altogether. They do, however, have the choice and the truth is that they're simply not choosing baseball. It saddens me that more aren't choosing to play the game I love, but at the end of the day it is their choice. Maybe people with more brains or resources than me will find a way to get more inner city kids involved in baseball, but other than that, I don't really know what can be done.

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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    What percentage of black players, historically, have come from inner cities? I don't know. Seems like a lot of black players have come from the rural South.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Though what Sheffield's saying is true, he's assuming that those in authority don't have the capacity to speak to their employees with respect, whether they are white, hispanic, another race, or black.

    Frank Robinson quotes:

    "I had no trouble communicating, the player's just didn't like what I had to say."

    "If he can hit, he can hit. I don't care if he came from Class Z league."

    " The way we're going... if I called up another pitcher, he'd just hang up the phone on me."

    "What you have to do is just understand these kids today and not think about the past. You have to make adjustments to bridge that gap."

    ""Managers don't have as much leverage as they used to have. We can't really be the boss. If I say to a veteran player, 'If you don't perform, you may be sent back to the minors, they look at me and say, 'Who are you kidding? I'm not going anyplace. I've already had three years in the major leagues and you can't send me back to the minor leagues without my ok.'"
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    I think its pretty simple. Latin players can be signed for cheap and in bunches as Amateur Free Agents. African American's are subject to the draft and many have other, quicker to the big-time options (the NBA and NFL). Cost siphons off some of the black players who are talented enough to be in the picture. Its not an issue with Latin Americans.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I think its pretty simple. Latin players can be signed for cheap and in bunches as Amateur Free Agents. African American's are subject to the draft and many have other, quicker to the big-time options (the NBA and NFL). Cost siphons off some of the black players who are talented enough to be in the picture. Its not an issue with Latin Americans.
    I agree. The assertion that Latins are easier to "control" than blacks is silly at best and racist at worst. It is an opportunity issue, with talented black athletes in the States having the option of playing other sports which have quicker routes to the majors. I also believe that baseball is simply a much bigger sport in much of Latin America than it is in many cities in the U.S., not just among elite athletes but among everybody. I'd guess if you could poll 10 year old African Americans, most would pick basketball as their favorite sport, while 10 year old Latin Americans would name baseball.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    I agree. The assertion that Latins are easier to "control" than blacks is silly at best and racist at worst. It is an opportunity issue, with talented black athletes in the States having the option of playing other sports which have quicker routes to the majors. I also believe that baseball is simply a much bigger sport in much of Latin America than it is in many cities in the U.S., not just among elite athletes but among everybody. I'd guess if you could poll 10 year old African Americans, most would pick basketball as their favorite sport, while 10 year old Latin Americans would name baseball.
    True and all athletes that qualify as "Latin American" is a much bigger talent pool than limited to only blacks from the US. A black from the Dominican is labled as Latin American. But a "Latin" from anywhere qualifies as latin, I think the way we count and group people has a lot to do with the numbers.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Gary isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. And that has nothing to do with race.

    He's just prone to doing and saying stupid things.

    Why on earth would anyone care what Gary Sheffield has to say about anything, outside of hitting a baseball?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  14. #13
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Gary isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. And that has nothing to do with race.

    He's just prone to doing and saying stupid things.
    Yep. Stupid is, stupid does...

    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post

    Why on earth would anyone care what Gary Sheffield has to say about anything, outside of hitting a baseball?
    RFS, do you want to take advice from Billy Ray Cyrus or from Gary Sheffield?
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  16. #15
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Sheffield Has Theory Why Fewer Blacks Play MLB

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    RFS, do you want to take advice from Billy Ray Cyrus or from Gary Sheffield?

    Why, how thoughtful of you to remember, Baron.

    I depend on both of them for advice on a wide range of subjects.

    Billy Ray's stance on nuclear proliferation has long been a favorite in our household.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain


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