Sep 18, 2012, 3:30 PM EST
It was just announced that the Blue Jays have suspended Yunel Escobar for three games over his anti-gay eye black. Escobar will also participate in a sensitivity training program “in accordance with the Toronto Blue Jays and Major League Baseball.” The punishment was agreed upon between the Blue Jays, the union and Major League Baseball.
It’s worth noting that Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended for two weeks for making anti-gay remarks to a fan in San Francisco last year.
If there is no other discipline involved here, I’d have to say that Escobar is getting off pretty easily.
There will be a press conference shortly.
UPDATE: The presser just went down. Among the highlights:
Escobar made a statement at the outset: via a translator, which made it a little disjointed, here are the highlights of his statement:
“I’m sorry for the actions of the other day … it’s not something I intended to be offensive … it’s just something I put on the sticker on my face … it was nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular. “I have friends who are gay,” I have nothing against homosexuals … I am sorry what will happen and it will never happen again in my career. It is a lesson I have learned … I didn’t mean for this to be misinterpreted by the gay community. I apologize.”
The first question of the conference was whether anyone in the Blue Jays clubhouse noticed the lettering on the eye black. The answer: nope. He writes things on his eye black a lot, and the lettering was small, so no one noticed it.
The second question: if Escobar didn’t mean for it to be offensive, what did he truly mean? The answer was not the most satisfying thing ever: he just didn’t mean it. “It’s a word that is said often among the Latino community,” he said. Which … sure. But if “people in certain community X say that word often” was a defense, nothing would ever be considered offensive. People in the Klan could say that the N-word was, “well, something that is said often on our community.”
As for that “some of my friends are gay” comment, I must give props to a reporter who followed up and asked him who. Escobar actually said “the person who decorates my house is gay … the person who does my hair is gay.” I don’t know if he had any other cliches at the ready, but good for him for his apparently happy life living in a television sitcom.
Oh well. I don’t think three games are going to do anything to change Yunel Escobar as a person. But that’s not the point. The point, one would hope, is that ballplayers would keep their prejudices to themselves rather than wear them out onto the diamond and in front of TV cameras.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:57 AM EST
He’s entering the final year of his contract.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:18 AM EST
Must-click material from Jorge Arangure of Vice Sports
Jan 30, 2015, 8:43 AM EST
Even second tier relievers are in demand in the offseason.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:23 AM EST
I’ve heard of teams insulting players after they left, but never at their introductory press conference.
Jan 29, 2015, 10:50 PM EST
High-spending teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are among the favorites to sign Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, but the Rays are also interested even if it’s fair to call them a long shot.
Jan 29, 2015, 9:21 PM EST
Beachy is currently 10 months removed from the second Tommy John surgery of his career.
Jan 29, 2015, 8:02 PM EST
Cotts compiled a 2.84 ERA in 131 appearances with the Rangers over the past two seasons.
Jan 29, 2015, 7:04 PM EST
Billingsley hasn’t pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April of 2013.
Jan 29, 2015, 6:45 PM EST
Add another name to the list of fifth starter candidates for the Braves.
Jan 29, 2015, 5:42 PM EST
Nava requested $2.25 million and the Red Sox countered at $1.3 million.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:30 PM EST
I guess it’s better than snakes. Or wasps.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:15 PM EST
Santiago spent last season with the Reds, hitting .246 with a .667 OPS in 75 games.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:31 PM EST
Belisario was awful for the White Sox last season, allowing 46 runs in 66 innings.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:04 PM EST
This is funny. But also insightful.
Jan 29, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
Does this man look like he’d be a friend of a guy like Pete Carroll? Welp, he is.
Jan 29, 2015, 12:45 PM EST
He’ll work with union chief Tony Clark.
Jan 29, 2015, 12:30 PM EST
We can, from now and forever, refer to Werth as the “The Nationals’ ex-con right fielder.”
Jan 29, 2015, 11:30 AM EST
Brad Pitt was too young to portray him, though. Maybe Kevin Kline could’ve?
Jan 29, 2015, 11:22 AM EST
Good luck, Devin.
Jan 29, 2015, 10:39 AM EST
Kris Bryant of the Cubs tops the list.
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- Great Moments in Media Arrogance: Marshawn Lynch edition 169
- Nationals sign former Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen 11
- Ichiro Suzuki’s deal with the Marlins is worth $2 million 34
- Orioles acquire outfielder Travis Snider from Pirates 37
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- The 2015 Braves have “gravitas” and “veteran leadership” and will have dirty uniforms. Just kill me now. (77)