Buster Olney's ESPN blog is always a good read; here are a few hot stove nuggets to ponder…
- Olney reminds us that Nelson Cruz cleared waivers in the spring of '08. That's always a good time of year to sneak a guy through. At 26, Cruz had struggled in the Majors in '07 but raked in 187 Triple A plate appearances. Because he figured things out later in his career, he won't reach arbitration until after this season at age 30.
- Olney notes that Jonathan Sanchez "seemed to come off the board" as a trade candidate after his July 10th no-hitter last year. The Giants have Sanchez under team control through 2012. Matt Cain is under contract through '12, and Tim Lincecum is under team control through '13.
- Olney on the Jermaine Dye-racism suggestion: "To suggest that there is a general reluctance, across a 30-team landscape, to sign Dye because he is black is completely absurd." Talking to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe, Bill Hall asks more nuanced questions.
Olney’s remarks are absurd.
Could anyone with access to the article fill us in on why Olney thinks it’s absurd? Assuming, of course, that he backed his statement up.
Can’t really have people copying more than I already did, so you might be out of luck if you do not have insider.
Better yet, why do you feel it is not absurd?
I dont think its racism because dye cant get a job. Its called greed. He had offers but he didnt accept it because he wouldnt lower his asking price.
“Obviously, they’ve got to start playing in order to find it. That’s where it’s got to start. There are some other things we can do at the higher levels as well, with taking more chances.’’
Not sure what Hall means by ‘taking more chances.’ I assume he’s talking about teams taking more chances, but teams routinely go over slot in later rounds to try to break guys from committments to football. Watch college football, they are always talking about how Player X played in MLB Team Y’s summer league or something.
I think he is referring to youth sports there. Think about it, when you look at college basketball and football, those are the sports the minorities in this country tend to play. Taking more chances is his way of saying maybe they need more then a slogan and the building of some fields for baseball in minority areas, but instead funding more youth development, like what teams do in the D.R. (but not on the team level due to the draft). Teams fund little league fields and parks all of the time, but rarely do they fund leagues, that would be the next step that teams (or MLB) could take a chance on to incrouage youths (of all ethic backgrounds) to play baseball, especially in inner cities.
That’s incorrect. Go to MLB’s website and find the RBI portion and read it:
-Typical RBI leagues operate from May to August and are divided into five divisions for local league play: Freshman Boys (13-14 year olds), Junior Boys (15 – 16 year olds), Senior Boys (17 – 18 year olds) and Girls Softball (14-and-under and 18-and-under). Tournament play typically begins in late July with Regional qualifying Tournaments for advancement to the RBI World Series in early August.
-MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program and all 30 Major League Baseball Clubs have supported RBI programs.
-RBI coaching seminars instruct coaches and league organizers on topics including life skills, baseball skills, conflict resolution, media training, marketing and fundraising.
-The RBI program features educational and life skills components. Local RBI programs have the opportunity to conduct a variety of courses, including:
Breaking Barriers: In Sports, in Life, a multicultural character education program developed by Major League Baseball
BGCA’s SportSMART! program, a condensed version of BGCA’s award-winning SMART Moves program designed to assist young people in learning how to resist alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and premature sexual activity.
KPMG’s Fair Ball, an interactive ethics and integrity course
KPMG’s Skills that Pay the Bills, a basic business principles course
KPMG’s Keeping the Books, a personal finance skills course
KPMG’s Career Course, an online system helping RBI participants determine their strengths and desired college majors and potential career paths
Saying they just re-build fields is false. They dont just donate money and say good luck. They donate money to rebuild fields, fund the leagues, provide training for coaches, run life programs about drugs, alcohol, etc.
And that doesnt even mention the support they request players simultaneously give to the RBI program. And you see the commercials constantly, so it isnt as if no one knows about it.
Overall, the program has extreme support. But like everything, people have to choose to use the resources they are given. (which is kind of what started this whole thing to begin with – players denying jobs and Hudson holding it agaisnt the people who offered them)
“He’s been a pretty good baseball player, won some Gold Gloves, done well, and he’s had some trouble getting a contract himself,’’ said Hall. “He hasn’t had a long-term deal. I’m sure I would feel a different way about that, too.’’
He was offered a 4 year contract which would have covered the 2008-2012 seasons, and he turned it down. He then broke his wrist in August of 2008, months before hitting the FA market and struggling to find a job. One has to wonder if that happens to have anything to do with his not receiving a longterm contact…
In fact, Hudson complained that Dye doesnt have a job where it is documented Dye turned down at least 3 offers (not including Tex, who were told he wouldnt DH).
Hudson complained Sheffield didnt have a job when we have this “There are things on the table that I have to accept or not accept,” said Sheffield. “Right now I have not made up my mind”
And people feel Hudson may be holding resentment over his difficulty to find work after turning down a 4 year contract, breaking his hand before becoming a FA for the 09 season and loosing his job before becoming a FA for 2010
Hudson really needs to think before he speaks, and in the very least pick someone who isnt actually unemployed by choice… The issues his comments stand to create are infinitely bigger then three guys who turned down jobs
And GM’s must be racist against Jarrod Washburn too because they aren’t giving into Boras’ 5m price tag.
Although that could lead to one questioning Hudson even more, its fairly beside the point.
That said, between players like Washburn and Crede plus I believe Dye and of course Trot Nixon as well as many others, a stronger case could probably be made for Anti-Semitism on the part of the owners. One can only imagine that one would likely get laughed out the room pretty fast.
And interestingly enough, the team with possibly the strongest need for Dye is actually run by a black man. Does that mean Kenny Williams is the biggest racist of them all in Hudsons eyes?
Hudson’s comments, as presented, really are absurd. And I’m not sure what Onley sites (dont have insider myself), but people can go on all day supporting his claim.
The White Sox don’t need Dye’s bat, as his replacement Andruw Jones already has 3 HR’s and is hitting as well or better than Dye would be at this point. Dye hit poorly the whole 2nd half of last year, and wouldn’t accept 4 mil that we know of so far. Jones signed for far less than that.
Kotsay is worthless, and he is the one Dye would be replacing. And yes, the Sox need a bat; even Williams acknowledges that.
As far as reasons not to sign him – well Hudson ignores silly things like those and instead just calls it racism. That was the point.
Kotsay is just one of the platoon players, at this point Jones should be playing more than Kotsay is. Even if he was to replace Kotsay he wouldn’t be an every day player, which he turned down multiple times. Plus Kotsay is only signed for like 1-1.5 mil, where Dye wanted close to his 11 mil he got last year. The Sox might need a bat, but not in the spots where Dye would be playing. He can’t play 3b or SS, or C. He wouldn’t replace Quentin, Rios or Pierre, so that leaves Jones, who is doing about what Dye would do, maybe better, at a fraction of the cost.
“Even if he was to replace Kotsay he wouldn’t be an every day player, which he turned down multiple times.”
Once again, that doesnt matter. Hudson says “they dont have jobs, thats racism” without taking into account the reasons why.
Seattle doesnt want Dye, so he can strike that off his wish list.
Dye doesn’t have a job because he still wants to be a starting outfielder, which isn’t going to happen. He’s refused to DH, which has turned off most AL suitors, and he turned down a couple of 4th outfielder-pinch hit roles, including with the Cubs. He’s not out of work because 30 MLB teams are racist against him; he’s out of work because he’s delusional.
It’s amazing how someone “comes off the board” as a trade candidate after throwing a no hitter.
People wonder why columnists & beat writers have quickly become fossils in the modern world.