Skip to content

Yunel Escobar suspended for three games

Sep 18, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

Yunel Escobar eye black

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.

Latest Posts
  1. It’s happening: Giants call up Dan Uggla from Triple-A

    Jul 25, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    Dan Uggla Dan Uggla

    Dan Uggla is back in the big leagues! What could go wrong?

  2. Rangers place Jake Smolinski on the disabled list

    Jul 25, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT

    Jake Smolinski Rangers AP

    Career minor leaguer Jake Smolinski got a chance in Texas because of the Rangers’ never-ending injuries and took advantage by hitting .389 in 11 games, but now he’s headed to their crowded disabled list with a bone bruise in his foot.

  3. Five teams are showing interest in Matt Kemp

    Jul 25, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Matt Kemp Getty Getty Images

    No word on whether the Dodgers are one of them.

  4. David Ortiz returns to Red Sox lineup after back injury

    Jul 25, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    David Ortiz AP

    Presumably enough time has passed for some of the animosity to fade, but Ortiz’s at-bats will definitely be worth watching tonight.

  5. Chris Capuano will make his Yankees debut Saturday

    Jul 25, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

    Chris Capuano Getty Getty Images

    Acquired from the Rockies yesterday for cash considerations, left-hander Chris Capuano will join the Yankees’ rotation and make his debut Saturday versus the Blue Jays.

  6. Ryan Howard is riding the pine once again

    Jul 25, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

    Tonight makes sense. Yesterday’s benching still makes none.

  7. A’s acquire Deck McGuire from Blue Jays

    Jul 25, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    deck mcguire blue jays Getty Images

    McGuire was the 11th overall pick in 2010 and his pro career got off to a good start, but he’s struggled against more experience competition and has an ERA above 5.00 between Double-A and Triple-A.

  8. Injury disclosures loom large for future MLB drafts

    Jul 25, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

    Lucas Giolito AP AP

    Issues caused by pre-existing injuries could lead to more disagreements, such as the one between Brady Aiken and the Astros that was played out on a public stage.

  9. Mets willing to cover $2 million of Bartolo Colon’s contract in trade

    Jul 25, 2014, 1:13 PM EDT

    Bartolo Colon Bartolo Colon

    At age 41 he’s at risk to break down, but Colon has a 2.98 ERA in his last 12 starts with a 62/14 K/BB ratio and .217 opponents’ batting average in 85 innings.

  10. How’d he do that? Magician Maddux fooled hitters all the way to Hall

    Jul 25, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    A multiple exposure shows Atlanta Braves Greg Madd Getty Images

    Greg Maddux was a magician on the mound, and now he’s going to the Hall of Fame, writes Joe Posnanski.

  11. Jimmy Rollins’ $11 million option for 2015 will vest tonight

    Jul 25, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    Rollins also has the ability to block any potential trade, so even if contending teams think having him locked into place for 2015 adds to their interest level it may be a moot point.

  12. HBT Daily: The induction of Maddux, Glavine and Thomas is a rebuke to the Steroid Era

    Jul 25, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

    Frank Thomas

    They are obviously deserving of induction, but their induction also serves some political ends too.

  13. First impressions of a skinny kid named Greg Maddux

    Jul 25, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Greg Maddux

    Greg Maddux looked like a guy who should be riding a Metra commuter train to his 9-to-5 job in the Loop, maybe sneaking out later to catch a Cubs game and have a few beers at Wrigley Field.

  14. Ruben Amaro denies that the Phillies have considered releasing Ryan Howard

    Jul 25, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

    OK, we’ll just accept that you have not at least talked about taking one of the few options you have regarding Howard, Ruben.

  15. Kyle Gibson “doubtful” to make Saturday start due to back injury

    Jul 25, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    Kyle Gibson Twins Getty Images

    Kyle Gibson has had an up-and-down first full season for the Twins and now he may wind up on the disabled list with a back injury.

  16. Mariners call up Triple-A shortstop Chris Taylor to push struggling Brad Miller

    Jul 25, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Brad Miller AP

    After a huge spring training that won him the Mariners’ starting shortstop job Brad Miller has struggled mightily, hitting .205 with a .599 OPS and 74/25 K/BB ratio in 86 games.

  17. Brandon Belt is showing no improvement

    Jul 25, 2014, 9:57 AM EDT

    brandon belt getty Getty Images

    Injuries are mounting for the first place Giants.

  18. Must-click link: Johnny Damon seems lost without baseball

    Jul 25, 2014, 9:34 AM EDT

    damon ap AP

    A great, great ballplayer seems to be in denial about his career being over.

Featured video

Three legends off to Cooperstown
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Street (3556)
  2. T. Tulowitzki (3377)
  3. R. Howard (2935)
  4. C. Headley (2905)
  5. H. Ramirez (2810)
  1. Y. Puig (2800)
  2. B. Belt (2723)
  3. C. Lee (2543)
  4. M. Trout (2498)
  5. J. Soria (2261)