Baseball 2004 - Striking at the Caste System
by J.B. Cash
27 October 2004
For those of us that oppose the caste system that demeans, ignores, and ridicules the white athlete, the 2004 baseball season has had some pleasant surprises. Milwaukee outfielder Scott Podsednik was the first white player to lead the majors in stolen bases in over 50 years. Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, and Curt Schilling added to their certain Hall of Fame credentials. And the season ending league championships were a showcase for many of the talented white players in Major League Baseball.
In the American League the Boston Red Sox staged an historic comeback, winning four games in a row after being down 3-0 to the New York Yankees. This was the first time in any baseball post-season that a team has come back from a three games to none deficit. It was made all the sweeter for the Red Sox in that they beat their archrivals from New York. It was also welcome in that the Yankees are one of the biggest proponents of the caste system in the major leagues.
For the last 15 years, the Yankees have acted as if the key to winning championships is to outbid all other teams for the services of whatever non-white superstar is on the market. They are of the mind-set that white players are only useful at first base and on the pitcher's mound. They have filled their line-up with hispanics and American born black players in the discredited idea that that is the only way to win. However, when one looks at the results of the Yankees nearly quarter billion-dollar payroll, it is clear they have had a poor return on their investment in the last 4 years.
Note that Gary Sheffield and Kenny Lofton received lots of playing time. Sheffield has put up good regular season statistics but should be banned from the game for: A) taking steroids; and, B) admitting that he intentionally played poorly so as to force a trade from one of the many teams that has had the displeasure of employing him. Lofton has also kicked around for years. Once a light hitting speedster, he is now a light-hitting average speed guy but continues to get playing time because, unlike white players, black players never get old.
Probably the best player from a Yankees perspective in the championship series was Hideki Matsui. Matsui, a former star in his native Japan, played well all year and well in the playoffs. He is one of a few Asian players to make a mark in the big leagues.
Both leagues' broke with tradition and played "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch instead of "Take me out to the Ballgame". "God Bless America" is a beautiful song that expresses basic American sentiments and ends with: "My home, sweet, home." Note how many players do not call America home. Many players are from the Caribbean or Central/South America. As soon as the season ends they zip back to their third world nations to live in armed compounds befitting the rich semi-royalty they are considered to be in their native countries. If they could understand the lyrics to "God Bless America" they would no doubt be reluctant to feel it is a "land that I love" or to "stand by her, and guide her".
The large amount of hispanic players in American baseball begs the question: how many are too many? For example, the Japanese have a limit on non-Japanese players on their teams. Why? The Japanese feel a special connection to their baseball. They feel it is something that speaks to their character as a people and a nation. Other players may be better, but that is not the point: to the Japanese their version of baseball belongs to them, and they want to keep it that way. If you add too many foreign players it ceases to be a Japanese game. Sound familiar? How many foreign players are there in the National Football League? Which sport is more popular in America, baseball or football?
Baseball's commissioner, Bud Selig, complains that MLB has lost the interest of young American blacks. Really? Perhaps it is because they have been replaced, or one should say 'displaced' in MLB because of the great amount of hispanic players. Just as illegal aliens flood into the US to take low wage jobs from blacks, so are those same hispanics taking spots on major league teams.
Take Manny Ramirez (please). Twenty years ago the Red Sox had a similar good hitting leftfielder who was a lackadaisical fielder with a poor attitude. His name: Jim Rice, an American black. Jose Ortiz, a big, heavy, slugger, is taking the spot in the Red Sox line-up once occupied by another American black with those qualities: George Scott.
Years ago the Cardinals would have been playing a Curt Flood or Lou Brock in their outfield, now it is Albert Pujols. Ozzie Smith was a Hall of Fame shortstop for many good Cardinal teams; now their shortstop is Edgar Renteria. For the Yankees, Miguel Cairo is the hispanic version of Willie Randolph. And on and on.
White players too have been displaced but the change in percentage of whites in MLB is about the same, for blacks it is much higher. As a matter of policy most countries insist that a foreign national can come into a country to work only if they do not displace a native worker. Obviously it stands to reason that there are many American blacks on unemployment or on the street because of negligence on the part of the powers that be to protect our American game, and to regulate this invasion of American baseball. This won't change anytime soon of course. If the government is reluctant to regulate the people coming into our country that endanger our national security, they certainly won't act to protect our sports.
Cheers then for Boston, which starts seven white position players. They have had to pursue the high spending Yankees every year in the division race and they finally found a way to beat them: get better quality players. Most of those players are white. White players are less expensive even when they are better talented than similar non-white players. The reason their market value is lower is due to the devaluation that occurs among white players because of the extreme media hype given to non-white players.
The Red Sox' "whiteness" has caught the attention of the media and they are expressing it in the typical way they handle any sporting activity that is too white: ridicule. Much is made of the Sox players' penchant for long hair and beards. A local jock was making fun of them calling them hippies, long hairs and "Amish". Certainly it was directed at the white players since very few (probably zero) Amish are black. (Which makes you wonder why nobody complains about the Amish people's lack of diversity? Maybe it has something to do with the amount of work the Amish do.)
Boston leftfielder Manny Ramirez was praised throughout the series. I'm sure if he cared about what the media says he would have been curious to wonder why they had nice things to say about him. He did not have a single RBI in the series against the Yankees, and this from the "cleanup" position no less, and he butchered many a play in left. That quality of play by a white player would have brought howls of indignation from the media and resulted in a benching or an embarrassing drop in the line-up.
Can't do that to Manny though. First, as a hispanic he's immune to bad press, second, he would sulk so badly that his play would become even worse (if possible). That's what Sheffield has done in the past and it hasn't hurt his career.
The National League Series was a joy to watch. Nearly all the star players were white. Only Albert Pujols among the non-white players stood out. Both the Cardinals and the Astros featured some of the most talented white players in the game. Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, and of course nearly all of the pitchers.
They are among the many white superstars in baseball that are virtually ignored by the media. What national product are any of these players a spokesman for? When was the last time you saw a commercial with one of those fellows in it? What was the last equipment endorsement they signed? When was the last time you saw one of their jerseys for sale outside of their hometowns? Those white stars are almost invisible to the mainstream media. Thus it was great to see them at center stage on national TV night after night, getting clutch hits, and making big plays.
Now the Red Sox and Cardinals move to the World Series. For the first time in years both World Series teams will have white centerfielders and white catchers. When the DH is not used Jose Ortiz will play first base and Kevin Millar goes to the bench. Ouch! If Millar had to be replaced by Mientkiewicz for defensive purposes just imagine how bad the defense will be with Ortiz at first? If Boston fans thought Bill Buckner was a bad fielding first baseman just wait until Ortiz has to make a clutch play.
No matter. The World Series will be fun to watch once again. Two talented, battle tested teams, in a match up for all the marbles. The Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals are two of the oldest teams in baseball. Their roots harken back to the Golden Age of America. Their team histories are the stories fathers tell to their sons from generation to generation. They remind us of a time when baseball was played by the type of people that discovered, built, and cherished America, the country that 'God Blessed' and the 'land that we love.' Enjoy it while you can.