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. Angels release veteran reliever Matt Lindstrom

    Mar 28, 2015, 1:32 PM EDT

    Matt Lindstrom Getty Getty Images

    Lindstrom, who was in camp this spring on a minor league contract, posted an ugly 11.12 ERA and 5/4 K/BB ratio over 5 2/3 innings during Cactus League action.

  2. Twins prospect Lewis Thorpe to undergo Tommy John surgery

    Mar 28, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    Twins logo

    Thorpe, 19, owns a 2.80 ERA and 179/54 K/BB ratio over his first 157 2/3 innings in pro ball.

  3. Video: Yordano Ventura throws seven no-hit innings in Cactus League start

    Mar 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Yordano Ventura AP AP

    Yordano Ventura was recently named as the Royals’ Opening Day starter and he had a heck of a tuneup in his latest Cactus League outing last night.

  4. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos watched Jonathan Papelbon pitch Friday

    Mar 28, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon Jonathan Papelbon

    Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon said last month that he would be interested in a trade to the Blue Jays and it appears that the possibility might still have some legs.

  5. Mike Pelfrey not happy about move to bullpen

    Mar 28, 2015, 10:11 AM EDT

    Mike Pelfrey AP AP

    Pelfrey owns an ugly 5.56 ERA in 34 starts dating back to 2013.

  6. Christian Vazquez says he’s nervous about his elbow

    Mar 28, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    25b0e49ab484f722bc9e41439c67a5e8 Getty Images

    An MRI showed “something” in Christian Vazquez’s right elbow.

  7. Carlos Gonzalez exits game with soreness in surgically-repaired knee

    Mar 28, 2015, 8:57 AM EDT

    Colorado Rockies Photo Day Getty Images

    This isn’t what you want to hear with the start of the season just one week away.

  8. Marcus Stroman to complete his college degree while he rehabs

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Marcus Stroman Marcus Stroman

    Marcus Stroman will be a proud college graduate the next time he takes the mound for the Blue Jays.

  9. Daniel Murphy likely to begin the season on the disabled list

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Daniel Murphy Daniel Murphy

    The Mets are likely to open the regular season without Daniel Murphy at second base.

  10. Alex Rios will deal with a thumb issue throughout the season

    Mar 27, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Alex Rios Alex Rios

    Alex Rios says he’ll have to manage his thumb injury throughout the duration of the 2015 season.

  11. Party like it’s 2011: Watch Jeff Francoeur throw out Alex Rodriguez at home plate

    Mar 27, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Jeff Francoeur Getty Images

    Jeff Francoeur threw out Alex Rodriguez at the plate. It’s 2015, not 2011.

  12. Twins have inquired about watching Rafael Soriano throw

    Mar 27, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Rafael Soriano Rafael Soriano

    The Twins reportedly have a bit of interest in free agent reliever Rafael Soriano.

  13. Domonic Brown unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 27, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Domonic Brown AP

    Domonic Brown is battling an Achilles injury, leaving him unlikely to play on Opening Day.

  14. Dodgers to shut Brandon League down for three weeks

    Mar 27, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Brandon League Getty Images

    Brandon League isn’t likely to pitch for a couple of months according to manager Don Mattingly.

  15. Jordan Zimmermann on extension with Nationals: “It’s not looking good.”

    Mar 27, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Jordan Zimmermann Jordan Zimmermann

    It doesn’t seem like the Nationals and Jordan Zimmermann will reach an agreement on a contract extension before the regular season begins.

  16. White Sox claim Kyle Drabek off waivers from Blue Jays

    Mar 27, 2015, 4:40 PM EDT

    Kyle Drabek Getty Images

    Drabek was once a top prospect and the Blue Jays acquired him from the Phillies in the Roy Halladay trade.

  17. Mariners pitcher David Rollins suspended 80 games for PEDs

    Mar 27, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    David Rollins Getty Images

    The Rule 5 pick had a decent shot of making the Mariners’ pen out of camp.

  18. 2015 Preview: Chicago White Sox

    Mar 27, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT

    Jose Abreu AP

    Should we be taking the rebuilt White Sox seriously as contenders?

  19. Justin Verlander leaves start with arm cramping

    Mar 27, 2015, 2:34 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander AP

    Verlander has continued to struggle this spring.

  20. Did David Ortiz admit to more than he realized with his Players’ Tribune editorial?

    Mar 27, 2015, 2:01 PM EDT

    David Ortiz David Ortiz

    There is only one reason a player should be tested for drugs as often as David Ortiz claims he has been: a previous positive test.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Olivera (3794)
  2. J. Fernandez (3734)
  3. K. Bryant (3454)
  4. H. Ryu (3400)
  5. S. Doolittle (3373)
  1. A. Cobb (3249)
  2. J. Kipnis (3249)
  3. A. Rendon (3216)
  4. G. Richards (3195)
  5. C. Rodon (3195)