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Orlando Hudson suggests racism is the reason Jermaine Dye doesn't have a job

Apr 13, 2010, 7:40 AM EDT

Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan and Orlando Hudson spoke yesterday about this Thursday’s Jackie Robinson Day and about the still-unemployed Jermaine Dye. Culture warriors: let’s get ready to rumble:

You’ve got some guys who miss a year who can come back and get $5, $6
million, and a guy like Jermaine Dye can’t get a job. A guy like Gary Sheffield,
a first-ballot Hall of Famer, can’t get a job . . . We both know what it is. You’ll get it right. You’ll figure it out.
I’m not gonna say it because then I’ll be in [trouble] . . . Call it what you want to. I ain’t fit to say it. After I
retire I’ll say it. I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to say after I
retire.”

Many will immediately dismiss this, especially in light of the news that Dye received — and rejected — yet another offer recently, this time from the Washington Nationals. Before doing so, it’s worth reading Passan’s take which, while not endorsing Hudson’s views on the merits, puts them in context. The upshot: Hudson is not a lone nut crying racism here. There are others who have done so recently, and it’s reflective of a chasm of perception between black ballplayers and the game’s power structure that needs to be addressed.  It’s a good point.

As for the merits, personally I’m an Occam’s Razor guy. I don’t think it’s as clean or easy to explain Jermaine Dye’s unemployment as a racist thing as I think it is to explain it within the context of a set of financial realities in baseball that (a) has severely depressed the value of aging sluggers with little defensive value like Dye; and (b) may, depending on who you believe, have a collusive element to it all.  Jim Edmonds and Mike Sweeney have jobs and Jermaine Dye doesn’t, but I suspect that has less to do with race than the fact that Jim Edmonds and Mike Sweeney were willing to take $850K and $650K, respectively, and Jermaine Dye is not.

Not that I think the financial aspects to all of this will be seriously considered as talk radio guys rush to pillory Orlando Hudson of being the second baseman who cried racism.

  1. Jonny5 - Apr 13, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    Well Sheffield is 42 years old and insane, not killing puppies and kittens insane, but just out there pretty far insane. He’s said some pretty crazy things himself, been on 12 teams, etc… Dye, should have a job, but he just turned down 4 million. What? Did I hear that correctly? I guess to some it may be “chump change”? I don’t know some people just fall back on the easy explanation. “they don’t like me” “The dog ate my home work” “America’s racist”. Why did Damon settle for what he did? Is America racist against Neandrathal men? The Gieco Caveman thinks so, I mean he does play second fiddle to a lizard with a bad accent for gods sake.

  2. Stargatebabe - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    I guess race is the reason Jermaine Dye turned DOWN the contract he was just offered????

  3. Adam - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    It’s hard to believe these types of comments are still being made when baseball, football, and basketball are about as close to true ‘talent marketplaces’ as you can get. The bottom-line for why Jermaine Dye doesn’t have a job is because he is unwilling to take a salary that is on par with his diminishing offensive skills and his defensive ineptitude. To suggest race has anything to do with is absolutely ridiculous because the fact is, if Dye’s talents were in demand, he would have a job, it’s that simple. I’m a huge Twins fan, but come on O-Dogg…

  4. Tom from HotStove.com - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    I fail to see how racism plays any part in this issue. Jarrod Washburn is still unemployed, and he’s white as a ghost.
    Plenty of aging guys with injury or defensive issues have been forced to take low-money deals this offseason. Dye was arguably the worst second-half hitter in all of baseball last season (.179/.293/.297 after the break), and had the second worst UZR rating of all right fielders from 2007-2009.
    If Dye really wanted to play, he’d have a job right now — he just thinks he’s worth more than he actually is.

  5. Eat a Peach - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Call me crazy, but I like to have a little something called “evidence” on my side if I’m going to talk a bunch of shit. The Free Agent Tracker on the worldwide leader lists 20 remaining FA’s of note. Demographics anyone? All 30 and over. All injured physically or emotionally (Khalil Greene) multiple times.
    Race? 15 Caucasians, 2 African-Americans, 3 Hispanics
    Given approximately 8% of MLB players are African-American, 60% Caucasian and 30% Hispanic; and 75% of FA’s are white, what seems clear is that white ballplayers are disproportionately represented amongst free agents currently. Discredited ideas about the genetic and athletic inferiority of white athletes may be to blame, but I definitely think MLB should look into it.

  6. Joey B - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    It almost smells like a sense of entitlement. Not to say there couldn’t be issues, but why should Dye be entitled to more than Thome’s $1.5M? Huff got $3M and is probably a better hitter, and can play the field. If the RS can get Hermida for a minor prospect and $3.3M, why would anyone want to pay Dye $4M+? Cust is in the minors leagues. How can a mediocre-hitting DH expect a premium cntract?

  7. Eat a Peach - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    How on earth did this forum turn into multiple indictments of Jermaine Dye for his unwillingness to uproot his family and play for a terrible horrible no-chance-at-the-playoffs baseball team in a city that was built on a malarial swamp?
    He’s richer than Croesus, he’s earned the right to make these kinds of decisions. Stay on point you mutant pea-brains, you.

  8. Xpensive Wino - Apr 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Orlando Hudson is an idiot. I used to have a lot of respect for him.
    While he’s explaining his ludicrous and completely delusional statement, could he provide us with a few pearls of wisdom as to how Milton Bradley remains employed? If racism is going on, surely whitey would get rid of the crazy ones first, right?
    Stupid mother******.

  9. Russ - Apr 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    So let me see if I understand. An African-American second baseman (Hudson) who signed a $3.4 million contract with the Dodgers is accusing MLB of being institutionally racist when another African-American outfielder (Dye) turns down a $4 million for this season. In addition, roughly 40% of all major league players are non-white!!! For being a bunch of racists, the owners sure are forking out a lot of $$$ to people of color!
    The only racism on display here is that of Orlando Hudson!

  10. sjp - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Yep, all old white players have high paying jobs….like Jim Edmonds last year, coming off a .937 OPS performance with the Cubs in 2008 he was offered nothing by anyone and is playing for the minimum this year.
    I do think this is a race issue. Older white players that still want to play seem more willing to play for just about any amount for just about any team, whereas older black players seem less willing to do so.

  11. ecp - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    It’s also worthwhile noting that Mike Sweeney and Jim Edmonds, in addition to being will to play for comparative peanuts, also signed minor league deals and had to perform to make their respective teams.

  12. D-Luxxx - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Okay, I know this is a little off subject, but can you guys possibly get a new picture of Hudson up there? He doesn’t play for LA anymore. Here, you can see one of those nice pics like you have above at ESPN: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?playerId=5029
    Copy that if you have to.

  13. YANKEES1996 - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    I think there are several different issues tied up in this article, but to say that Jermaine Dye is not working because of racism is just a little off base. When looking at the age of these players and the money they are asking for in the now exsisting economic environment I think that is the biggest reason they are not working. Jermaine Dye just turned down a contract that if you wind the clocks back 3 months Johnny Damon probably would have listened to, it seems to me that Jermaine Dye may not be interested in playing baseball. Orlando Hudson playing the race card is just plain crazy and unneeded. It probably would be in Orlando Hudsons’ best interest to concentrate on baseball and leave the social problems to the more objective minds that commonly deal with those issues. It is rather strange how Orlando Hudson thinks he needs to speak up for Jermaine Dye on this particular topic.

  14. Eat a Peach - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    The real persisting racism in baseball is in what position a black player can play. There are virtually no black pitchers in MLB, and most of them are 30 and up. It’s just about as out of balance as the lack of black QB’s used to be. Or white RB’s.

  15. Matt - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    I don’t know if racism is involved but I think the pious little white freaks that post on this topic might want to learn to click on the links attached to the story so they won’t make the same off topic point about how crazy Orlando Hudson is.
    Otherwise, one might think there are a lot of illiterate morons having this blog read to them.
    For instance, if Passolt says Dye is offered less than a quarter of 11.5 million, why is Russ saying he turned down 4 million.
    And why does anyone mention Johnny Damon. He’s half Asian.
    So stop embarrassing me white people and read the story before forming an opinion. Then tell me how many of you took Aubrey Huff and X Nady, and Garret Atkins in your fantasy drafts.
    If you want to chide Hudson for his ethnic sensitivities perhaps the dear readers can explain why they are so worked up about one dude’s opinion.

  16. Skids - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    Well, I am no longer a fan of Hudson, this just proves he is a complete idiot. I think alot of people are getting sick and tired of the race card. Not everything in life is racist. It will never change as long as that card can be used for any reason, as long as its advantageous.

  17. Joey B - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    “The real persisting racism in baseball is in what position a black player can play. There are virtually no black pitchers in MLB,”
    So we should force Heyward to become a pitcher, or force Strasbourg to become black? What other choices do we have?

  18. Eat a Peach - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    Young black players are shifted to field positions, they don’t get to pitch. Because of racism and outdated premises about what race is good at what. The same reason there are no white RB’s in the NFL. Coaches are stupid.
    And Joey, there are plenty of options other than forcing Heyward and Strasburg to switch races and/or positions. Although that would make a good pitch for a sitcom.

  19. Joey B - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    “How on earth did this forum turn into multiple indictments of Jermaine Dye for his unwillingness to uproot his family and play for a terrible horrible no-chance-at-the-playoffs baseball team in a city that was built on a malarial swamp?
    He’s richer than Croesus, he’s earned the right to make these kinds of decisions. Stay on point you mutant pea-brains, you.”
    Okay, but how does that relate to racism? My company is relocating and I won’t go for family reasons. So both me and Dye turned down relocation offers because it wasn’t worth it for us. So are both of us victims of racism? You really have no point here, do you, and I assume that is why you resorted to insults rather than logic.

  20. Ron - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Damon is part Seminole Indian. At least he was coming up through the Royals system. People can change religion, but I didn’t know they could change heritage.
    Just so I know, who are you calling stupid?

  21. Ron - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Double checked to make sure, and I was wrong. My apolgies. I know watching him when he was a rookie, all the annoucers talked about him being half-Indian. Guess they checked as well as I did.

  22. Joey B - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    “Young black players are shifted to field positions, they don’t get to pitch. Because of racism and outdated premises about what race is good at what. The same reason there are no white RB’s in the NFL. Coaches are stupid.”
    With all due respect, I think you’re seeing things the way you’d like to see them, rather than how they are. The reason why there are no white RBs in the NFL is that blacks are faster. You can attribute that to any reason you want, but you have to consider it. How many whites have you seen on the Olympic 60 yard team? They aren’t there.

  23. madhatters - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    I think something no one considers, and I’m not calling MLB racist, is that as a country it is a FACT that minorities, women, etc receive less pay while doing the same job as a WASP. That’s a FACT… So while I won’t say that Dye isn’t playing ball because he’s being pushed out by the Good ‘Ol Boy Network. I wouldn’t be shocked if the offers he was getting were substantially lower than equal players of a fairer skin ton.
    But I agree entirely if a former gold glove cf like Jim Edmonds is playing ball for less than a $mill than Jermaine Dye, Sheff, or Hudson have no reason to complain

  24. madhatters - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Award: Most Ignorant Comment Ever!
    There is absolutely no proof that blacks are across the board faster than whites (even as a black dude I’m offended by that stereotype). That’s like saying there are more white CEO’s because white people are smarter.
    Pitching vs. fielding has absolutely nothing to do with race (ever heard of Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Satchel Paige, etc.? or what about Brooks Robinson, Jim Edmonds, or Cal Ripken?)
    And who’s ever heard of the Olympic 60-yard team??
    Come man!

  25. Roger - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    No the reason there aren’t many black pitchers is because the whole world is so racist the umpires won’t call their pitches strikes. Thats also the reason Orlando Hudson isn’t the best player in baseball. If it wasn’t for racism Hudson would have 3000 hits and 500 home runs by now. Its just all racist. White people can’t have any success! That would be racist! All success should be for black people or its racist!!!

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