All right MFers. Sorry for the lack of posts -- I've been out of the country for a while. Also, I don't know why the site is f'd up here at the top. I'm trying to fix it; we might have to switch to a new template if the problem persists.
Regardless, I love the point that Ken Tremendous makes in the "Redux" thread about white guys being called "throwback" players. I'd like to add a little, because it drives me freaking crazy.
I forget who made the following point about Paul O'Neill, but it's a fantastic one. Paul is a no-doubt cry-baby. A whiner. I know we've talked about how much a DVD of nothing but Paul O'Neill being called out on strike 3 would sell for in Red Sox Nation. Yet Paul O'Neill was always labeled a "gamer," a "fiery competitor," a "great teammate." We've all seen athletes of color bark at umps the same way that O'Neill did, and they were usually called borderline head cases. NO ONE in the history of major league baseball has benefitted from being white as much as Paul O'Neill. Look it up.
Here's a comparison to think about: Miguel Tejada and Cal Ripken. Remember, Miguel Tejada has played in more than 800 games in a row. He is credited with raising the level of play of his teammates (I'm not saying it's true, just saying that's what peope say about him), he plays pretty hard (though again, it's hard to think of that many players who don't
play hard), and he can flat out rake. What terms do people use to describe Cal Ripken? "Mr. Baseball," "a class act," "saved the sport," "Iron Man," "Ambassador of the Game," "Mr. Whitefolks." What words do people use to describe Miguel Tejada? "Electric," "sparkplug," "quickminded."
When was the last time you heard the word "lunchpail" used to refer to a player who wasn't white? In any sport? What makes Trot Nixon, Brett Favre and Dan Majerle more "lunchpail" than Moises Alou, Byron Leftwich and B.J. Armstrong? Do you have to look like a stereotypical American blue-collar worker to embody the spirit of a "blue-collar athlete"?
I wish I had more evidence to point to -- apologies for the anecdotal-ness.