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Today that annual diversity-in-baseball study comes out. Take it with a serious grain of salt.

Apr 10, 2013, 10:01 AM EDT

Rico Carty

Today is the day that the annual report from Richard Lapchick’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida comes out.  He’s been doing this for years, and it always gets highlighted in the media, with headlines about how the number of U.S.-born black players in baseball is declining.  Which, yes, it is.  But Lapchick’s report is also normally treated wholly uncritically, with his conclusions being parroted instead of reported, and it really grinds my gears.

It bugs me on a broad level, in that — as I’ve mentioned in this space several times — it looks at the trees but not the forest, noting that while, yes, there are fewer U.S.-born black players in baseball now than there used to, the overall diversity of baseball is up as the game becomes increasingly internationalized.

But it bugs me in a much sharper sense in that I believe the numbers Lapchick puts out are misleading.

They are misleading in that, while his current count of U.S.-born blacks in baseball seems right — he has it at 8.5% — the numbers he and others typically cite for the height of black representation in the game are usually off. He has cited as high as 27% of all players being black, and this number is often repeated as gospel, like it is in today’s USA Today story about it.

Thing is: these are apples and oranges measurements.  Back in the 70s when that 27% number came out, those numbers represented counts of all black players — or people who had sufficiently-black skin to be called “black” according to the view of those doing the counting. This included Latino players like Rico Carty, who happened to be born in the Dominican Republic. Today Carty — or, say, Aroldis Chapman or any other non-U.S.-born black player — wouldn’t be included in Lapchick’s count. Which makes sense because he’s counting only U.S.-born blacks. But he and his media surrogates freely cite the old numbers which did include Latino blacks back in the day.

Friend of mine and frequent HBT commenter Mark Armour is doing some research on this for the Society of American Baseball Research. I’ve not seen the research, but Tyler Kepner notes it in the New York Times today. Armour estimates that the actual height of U.S.-born blacks in the game came in the 1980s and peaked at 19%. See the update below for some of Mark’s additional comments on this.

No, that research does not mean that all things are wonderful. There clearly are fewer U.S.-born black players in baseball today than there were in decades past. But it’s not quite a crisis on the order of magnitude that Lapchick and others portray. And given that they’re not being particularly discerning with their numbers you have to wonder if either sloppiness or agenda-setting is taking precedence over science here.

And that’s my problem with it. Not the underlying idea — I want there to be more blacks in the game; heck, I want EVERYONE to play baseball and anything that can be done to promote it should be – but on the manner in which the problem is portrayed. A manner which seems more calculated to draw attention to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports than it does to the underlying issue.

UPDATE:  Mark Armour chimed in in the comments:

I am not exactly sure where the 27% number came from. My theory had been that the old data was from some newpaper story that counted all dark-skinned players as black, while the new data only counted US black players. However, several years ago this was explored further by the Wall Street Journal, and they determined that the old data is just … bad science. Really bad science.

The real drop in African-Americans (from 17-19% in the 1975-95 period) to half that today is significant enough without the bad data. Baseball is MORE diverse, of course, than every before.

By the way, MLB is very cooperative in the Lapchick study. In fact, they provide all of the data on opening day rosters to Lapchick every year. The writers that imply this is some sort of bigotry on the part of MLB are nuts. It is very clear that MLB is spending lots of time and money on this problem.

This is the WSJ story from 2008.

  1. Detroit Michael - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    What’s the scoop on the photo? I can’t place the face. It’s also odd because there’s no logo on the baseball cap, like those old Topps baseball card photos where they airbrush out stuff for traded players.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      That’s Rico Carty. A player who would have been counted as “black” in the 60s-80s, but who the guys who does this study would not count now since he was born in the D.R.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        Yep…and my 73 year old Father still refers to a lot of the darker skinned latino’s as black.
        I don’t know how many times I have told him little Joanie Cueto is NOT black.
        He refuses to even acknowledge the possibility of him being Dominican.

        Me: He isn’t black Dad. He is from the Dominican Republic.
        Dad: He looks black to me!
        Me (shaking my head): Fair enough Dad. You wanna’ another beer?

      • ditto65 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        But Dominicans are black – they just aren’t US born black.

      • gosport474 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        It’s Johnny Cueto, but some people can’t quit beating the dead horse.

      • indaburg - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        stlouis, your dad isn’t wrong. Cueto is black. Being Dominican is not a race and many Dominicans are black. Some are white. Some look like me, somewhere in between. We’re confusing skin color with nationality. Just like you can be both white and American, or black and American, you can be both black and Dominican, or white and Dominican.

      • chacochicken - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        Charlize Theron, African-American

      • lew24 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Charlize Theron is South African…not African American.

      • chacochicken - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Miss Theron is an American citizen and as such has a right to self determination.

  2. chill1184 - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Maybe its me but I honestly could give a damm on the percentage of baseball players are of X race. I don’t understand the concern of Selig and his minions about MLB not having enough of X race players. Its not like MLB is suddenly having a talent crisis or anything like that.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      It’s not MLB which is particularly concerned. It’s an outside group which does this every year. MLB has responded with many initiatives and things, but it’s more of a reaction to the concerns of others.

    • Roger Moore - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      I think people are holding baseball to a higher standard than other sports (again!) because of its history with integration. The feeling is that it would be ironic if baseball, the sport that really kicked of sports integration in the US, were losing its diversity. Of course, as Craig points out, that isn’t happening. What is happening is that MLB is recruiting heavily from overseas, so that the number of Latin American and East Asian players has gone up a lot faster than the number of African Americans has gone down.

    • GoneYickitty - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Chill, I understand your point of view, but I think this idea that it doesn’t matter is incorrect and I do believe there is a talent crisis coming. My teenage sons play baseball at the highest levels for their age nationally. (Yes, they actually compete in national events such as events hosted by USA Baseball.) It’s becoming a rich man’s sport … that is very clear just by looking at the economic statuses of the families who are able to do this stuff.

      If you believe as I do that baseball is a fantastic game and that exposure to the game will translate to a desire to play, then you should accept that diversity is a reflection of accessibility. Unfortunately the reality is that minorities are still much more statistically likely to be poorer. Their declining participation is a sign of the closing accessibility, which is a reduction in the quality of the game.

      Where I agree with you though is who really cares what race they are. I don’t think the problem is that US minorities aren’t playing as much, it’s that poorer US families can’t afford the game and are not advancing to the highest levels as much.

      Now MLB, in their infinite stupidity, is moving towards an international draft that will remove the incentive for clubs to develop players who will be unable to afford the training required without that assistance. This, combined with the shrinking pool of American players who can afford to play, will lead to a significant decrease in talent that will affect the game terribly. What they should do is leave the international system alone and promote an academy system in urban areas here in the US.

      • mogogo1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        The key factor overall is baseball isn’t nearly as popular LOCALLY as it once was. Every kid used to have a bat and glove and every vacant lot used to be a makeshift ball diamond, but that just isn’t the case any more.

        But the national level events you describe have always been pretty much a rich man’s game, and that is a constant for almost every sport, so it’s not just a baseball problem. Pick a big national soccer tournament and see how many kids come from poorer families. There aren’t many. Big-time AAU basketball is one of the few examples that buck that trend but there are also fewer players to transport for basketball and there are many more sponsors helping out with those costs.

    • American of African Descent - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      There are two issues. One is that it is a talent factor — you want the best talent to be interested in your sport. Two is a money factor — kids growing up to play baseball are the adults that go to games, buy jerseys, and otherwise spend entertainment dollars on baseball as opposed to football or the opera.

  3. danaking - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I’m a little confused by the furor. Is anyone claiming blacks are being excluded from MLB? If not, this is a mountain/molehill situation. I know this is a sensitive issue, and for many good reasons. Still, the fact that American-born blacks are slightly underrepresented compared to their numbers in the general population can be, and likely is, due to a number of reasons, none of them nefarious. I’m not a black kid, but I don’t think it’s going too far out on a limb to say black kids may have been more attracted to basketball and football over the past thirty years or so, which would diminish the pool of available major league-caliber talent.

    These things are cyclical. A hundred years ago, the Irish were disproportionately represented on MLB rosters, relative to their numbers in the population at large. Then it was the Irish. Then blacks. Now it’s Hispanics. If there is a unifying factor there, it might be economics: ethnic and racial groups that have the roughest economic situation at the time tend to be attracted more a professional sports outlet. Baseball used to be the only game in time, and blacks were barred, so the Irish, then Italians held those jobs. Now everyone can play, football and basketball are “legitimate” options (as much as any professional sport can be an option, given how few succeed), and Hispanics, especially those in much of Central America and the Caribbean, occupy the lower economic rungs. Also, as Craig mentioned, more Asians are finding work in MLB.

    Blacks now make up 8.5% of major league players. This is neither good nor bad. it’s just how it is right now, and it could change in ten years for perfectly innocent reasons.

    • mckcal - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      to me the issue isn’t that adults are being excluded from MLB, it’s all the underlying inequities in our society that prevent kids from growing into adults eligible to play in MLB, or be a doctor or marine scientist or whatever.

    • dford6 - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      To answer your first question, yes former player (and complete idiot) Gary Sheffield proclaimed to the press about 5 years ago that many skilled, African-Americans players “stay home” so as not to be victims of racism in MLB. He even claimed that baseball great Joe Torre discriminated against blacks. Like I said, Sheffield is a complete idiot, but he and others are out there spreading lies.

  4. Kevin S. - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    I’d be mildly curious to know what the percentage of US-born players who are black is, and how that’s changed over time. Comparing them to the total player population while ignoring the influx of foreign talent is a waste of time.

  5. Mark Armour - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Craig, I am not exactly sure where the 27% number came from. My theory had been that the old data was from some newpaper story that counted all dark-skinned players as black, while the new data only counted US black players. However, several years ago this was explored further by the Wall Street Journal, and they determined that the old data is just … bad science. Really bad science.

    The real drop in African-Americans (from 17-19% in the 1975-95 period) to half that today is significant enough without the bad data. Baseball is MORE diverse, of course, than every before.

    By the way, MLB is very cooperative in the Lapchick study. In fact, they provide all of the data on opening day rosters to Lapchick every year. The writers that imply this is some sort of bigotry on the part of MLB are nuts. It is very clear that MLB is spending lots of time and money on this problem.

    • Mark Armour - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      This is the WSJ story from 2008:

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        Thanks, Mark!

  6. dluxxx - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I’m interested to see how the percentage of American born white players has been affected by the influx of international talent. I wouldn’t be suprised to see that number decrease as well.

  7. mybrunoblog - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I’m so sick of race talk in sports and society in general. I couldnt care less how many black baseball players are in MLB.
    I couldn’t care less how many white players there are in the NBA or the NFL.
    I want to see the best athletes no matter what color they are, where they go to church or who they sleep with in their bedroom.

    “I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      If you don’t care, don’t bother with this post and move on. Let those of us who do care talk about it then. FYI, we aren’t talking about it because we judge people by the color of their skin.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        I appreciate what you are saying. I guess I have just always considered them Latino. I am apparently wrong in that regard. But the distinction my Father always makes is NOT black Latino or a black Dominican. It’s black…as in black American. Like they are one in the same. Simply un-true. Based upon all the thumbs downs…people seem to be pretty fired up about my post. A little serious much? LOL!

    • historygeek6 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Would it surprise you to know that 99% of everything else he ever wrote outside of that one misappropriated speech would really, really piss you off???

    • kinggw - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      It doesnt matter if you are sick of race. It matters. You can live it the dark if you want to, but it does. I you want to be naive and act as if does not factor into today’s society thats your business.

      I dont think anybody is accusing the MLB of harboring racial animus toward Blacks, its more of a sociological study in my opinion. On a side note, I believe that the number(% of American born Blacks in the MLB) will grow in the next decade or two. As more parents become hesitant to let their sons play football, more will be pushed toward baseball.

      • mogogo1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        You bring up an interesting point. I think you may be correct about parents pushing their kids away from football. But if that happens, will it suddenly be a “problem” for the NFL? Unless there is some discrimination involved barring people from competing in sports they would like to participate in, how is it important beyond simple curiosity what race people are?

  8. skeleteeth - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    I can’t help but think that these numbers, whatever they are, are in some way related to wealth inequality in this country. I think it has to come down to money in some form or another. Don’t see this more than a symptom of a larger socioeconomic issue rather than being exclusive to MLB or baseball.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      I’m not sure which way you are going with this. In one sense (international), I agree, but I don’t see it that way so much when it comes to black Staters. For one thing, it really isn’t more expensive or harder to play baseball than football — a sport that attracts a number of black athletes in the US. For another, it isn’t as if *all* black households in the US live in poverty (or more so than 100 years ago), so economics can’t be a barrier any more than in the past. I suspect a good part of the shift is actually cultural, and that may be the hardest thing for us to get a handle on.

  9. manute - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    REALLY wish you had used a picture from The Office’s Diversity Day.

  10. mckcal - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    To pick up on Craig’s analogy, obsessing on diversity for diversity’s sake is the individual trees and to focus on international players is beside the point. And patting ourselves on the back for our love of the exuberant team from the DR doesn’t excuse our blind spots (and raises a lot of moral questions about why teams loves the Caribbean market so much, which has a lot to do with how they can devalue those young players financially and as humans).

    A new crop of pitchers from Korea doesn’t prove there isn’t institutional racism (sometimes completely unconscious) in our society that has far-reaching effects. It could actually be evidence of that institutional racism

    Perhaps this loathed report is truly worthless. I think we need a report that answers questions like these:

    1. Where do scouts go? Do they shy away from predominantly black cities/neighborhoods/leagues? Why?

    2. Why do people believe black kids chase the money of other sports and white kids are willing to make the hard climb through the minors?

    3. Why are we not outraged that we think that’s a choice people feel the need to make?

    4. Are there kids of any color in any part of the country who want to play and can’t because there’s no league, no school team, etc?

    5. How many kids of which demographics are frozen out of youth sports because fees have gotten out of hand?

    I think questions like these could help us figure out if there are entrenched racial reasons for who is and isn’t in MLB and figure out what we could do about it.

  11. albertmn - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    So, are the number of US-born whites down or up? In addition to the influx changing who is reported as “black”, there are just more foreign born players these days. So, has the percentage of US-born white also dropped (likely not as much if it has)? I don’t know what it says about society either way, but just interested to know.

  12. historygeek6 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    The question keeps being asked… “What the hell difference does it make?”
    In a nutshell is matters because of the message that it sends. Even if there is nothing resembling a nefarious plot, in a country saturated for almost 400 years in issues of race and “suddenly” predicted to be majority non-white for the first time, in 30 years, the “accidental” messages matter–a lot!

    What the vast majority of “the most beautiful Man/Woman on Earth” lists perpetually look like matters. What the makeup of the typical “most hated” athlete lists look like matters. What the vast majority of futuristic movie/TV show casts continue to look like matters. What extras in movies set on the streets of New York virtually always look like matters. What movie superheroes continue to look like matters. What the anchors on virtually every evening newscast in America look like matters. What the continuing makeup of the US Senate looks like matters. What the photos beside the bylines of virtually every national sports columnist looks like matters. And last but not least, what the makeup of their neighborhood has to look like for 85% of Americans matters. Why? It’s somewhat related to the old cliche: “Your kids learn far more from what you do on accident, than from what you say on purpose.”

  13. falstaffsmind - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    This is due to the erosion of youth baseball and a declining interest in the sport in urban areas, and not due to some kind of lack of diversity. You have the effect, but you are misinterpreting the cause.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      I wonder then if using images of kids/men playing ball in rural areas and nature themes affects this. Are we doing anything to play up the urban angle of baseball? I don’t believe so.

      • blacksables - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        RBI. Return Baseball to the Inner cities.

        They spend a lot of money and time and effort trying to build fields and provide equipment for kids in the cities to get them interested in baseball. I think it’s a great program and MLB should be doing more to promote it.

        On the other hand, to be fair, my small hometown of less than 3,000 farming, predominately lilly-white rednecks, gets $2,000 a year to maintain ball fields, buy equipment and uniforms, and run the leagues. Parents and players donate labor and materials, and give money for equipment, as well as giving up time to drive the kids up to 100 miles to play games. And it’s not a prosperous town.

        They all have the same love of the game and none of them have an advantage or disadvantage over anyone else.

        MLB needs to do more for every kid.

      • blacksables - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Or mabye it’s Reviving, not Returning. Sorry, too lazy to look it up, but its a good program.

  14. simon94022 - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    This story is another example of the hand-wringing and self criticism that dominated the baseball world. No other major sport does this.

    The demographics of MLB are actually not far from those of the US as a whole, with blacks just a bit underrepresented and foreign born Latinos considerably overrepresented in MLB.

    Compare to the demographics of the NFL, NBA, or NHL — all of which are grossly different from the overall population of the United States. Yet as always, it’s baseball that for some reason is expected to apologize and Do Something about a problem that doesn’t really exist.

  15. anxovies - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    To give you an idea of how little people knew about race and nationality back in the day, I can remember a discussion between some of my uncles during a televised ball game (black and white, of course) in the early 1950s. They were discussing whether Willie Mays was Black or Puerto Rican. For a year or so I thought he was Puerto Rican until somebody told me he was from Alabama. Back then there was a stigma associated with being Black, who were thought to be inferior by many, so a good player like Mays might be labeled as a Latin American. I think it was something that people did to keep from admitting that Black players were as good or sometimes better than White players.

  16. chitownjeff - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Keep lying to yourselves about how this isn’t a problem. The Atlanta Braves this year went all in and are sporting a all black outfield. Now I’m all for the players are players.. etc etc I don’t see color nonsense.. Oh how I’m so so tired of this as an issue annual post. But when I watch baseball today.. as opposed to growing up with it in the seventies and early eighties.. the lack of athleticism is apparent. I was just watching the 1973 world series and when Cleon Jones came to the plate Curt Gowdy mentioned about what a standout football player he was in high school. Trust me.. today’s Cleon Jones is going to bama and he’s gettin ready for the combine. Baseball fans love to live in a closed room.. where nothing matters but numbers pulled out of the air.. I don’t need numbers when I watch Dave Parker throw from right field.. or I watch Barry Bonds go first to third.. Continue to sparse Lapchick’s numbers..

    • lbjackal - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      What do you mean by “problem”? Baseball is just not a cool sport in the black community. Why does that matter? Let people do what they want to do. If black people want to play football and basketball and white people want to play baseball and hockey, and east asian people want to play baseball and solve math problems, south asian and australian people want to play cricket, and europeans and south americans want to play soccer, why does any of that matter? Why should we try to change it?

    • scoocha - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Remind me why the lack of AA players is a problem? Baseball is the sport that has the least amount of athleticism and always will. Sports like football are where athletic and powerful people play, baseball is hand-eye coordination. How else do you figure one of the best hitters in MLB is fatty Miguel Cabrera. He’s a great hitter but can’t do anything else well on the field.
      My advice – just wait for football in September.

      • dford6 - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Earth to scoocha: There are way larger guts on NFL linemen and in far greater numbers than MLB players. Plus, if football players were so athletic and powerful they would play both offense AND defense during the games.

      • scoocha - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        NFL takes a larger toll on your body then a MLB game you know that, just stop it.
        Watch your team’s next game – count how many times a player sprints (at his fastest) for more than 100 feet. Maybe a few times – a 3B, long OF ball; in the NFL that happens almost every down.
        You can disagree with me but please but coherent statements together.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Look everyone…we have someone new to the game!
        The Hardest thing on the planet to hit a baseball.
        I would add playing outfield is a close 2nd. Hell…playing SS is a close 2nd. Playing 3rd is a close 2nd. Catching is a close 2nd. See the pattern here?
        Watch some games and you will understand.

      • scoocha - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Absolutely agree – but you are mixing up hand-eye coordination with athleticism.

        I’ll watch some games, you get an education. Most likely a Mizzou college graduate. Try ponying up for a private school for your kids’ sake.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        You are incapable of having a discussion without being a complete penis head aren’t you?

  17. anythingbutyanks - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    American born black people make up about 12.6% of the population of the United States, and 8.5% of MLB players. Considering that over 25% of MLB players on opening day rosters are foreign born, if we assume that the effect of foreign born players suppresses the rate of American born players equally across the races, then you would expect the rate of American born black players to be about 9.5% of MLB if it reflected the population at large. In short, out of about 850 players on opening day rosters and inactive lists, these people are biatching because there aren’t 9 more American born blacks in MLB? Wow.

    • scoocha - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Great post, horrible username, probably due to smalltown/backwoods upbringing.

      • anythingbutyanks - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        Small town and backwoods upbringing? You nailed it. However, my name means anything (or anyone) but the Yankees. As in, New York Yankees. I am a fan of all sports in general, and there are a few teams I always root against, but I wish nothing but pox and plague for the Yankees every day.

      • scoocha - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        And why is that? Because ESPN told you so? What are they doing that’s so bad?
        If you mention money, I’ll have to send you an economics book and some ricin in the mail.

      • anythingbutyanks - Apr 20, 2013 at 9:02 PM

        Of course money plays a role. Not because they “buy” championships, but because for years they had virtually no limits on what they were willing to spend. One dreadful consequence was the assumption that every superstar free agent would head to NY once they hit free agency, which is bad for the game. Then there is the fact that even the FAs they don’t get, even a little demonstration of interest artificially inflates the price of marquee players, which is also bad for baseball. How many times before the mid-90’s did a player get a contract that was so bad that teams could barely afford to move on when the player turned in sub-par performances year after year? Not often. Enter the Yankees and their preposterously rich contract offers for EVERY star player and every offseason we see a handful of players receiving contracts they can never hope to live up to and which make them untradeable and hurt their teams competitively for years. I am a Cubs fan myself, so the impact isn’t as great, but there can be no doubt that small market teams cannot compete in MLB unless they have the best scouting, drafting, and farm systems in the game (a la Tampa Bay). Along those lines- name a big FA signing by Tampa Bay off the top of your head. Stumped? Hell, TB can’t even keep their OWN FAs that came up through their system. So yes, it is money. The Yankees turned the FA market into a bubble, only they have the finances to keep on pushing through while other teams suffer the consequences year after year.
        BTW, I also hate the Yankees for their strong sense of entitlement, for having the arrogance to embrace the “Evil Empire” moniker in an almost sleazy way, for acting sore and butt hurt every time something doesn’t go their way (boo hoo!), and just for generally being so effing self-important in every other way imaginable. (Also why I hate the Patriots, but they don’t have the economic impact on the NFL like the Yankees do on MLB due to the salary cap.)

      • scoocha - Apr 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Great, at least you have some informed opinions here, unlike most of the NYY haters.
        Remember that the NYY have also screwed themselves with their FA actions because no team will ever trade fairly with them again. When Cliff Lee was available, the team wanted 5 great prospects/players from NYY but only 2-3 from anyone else. It’s kind of a chicken/egg situation now.
        In terms of the Evil Empire thing, I find it kind of strange that the other teams and their fans hate the NYY but need them to come to their stadiums to help attendance (not CHC, STL, a few others) yet the NYY don’t get any additional benefit in terms of game receipts, etc.
        Good talk, I’m glad you hate NE.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      Great post ABY. You nailed it. Do me a favor…
      Copy your post and paste once a day for the next several days.

  18. Cereal - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Baseball may be profiting (sells it self & is a natural trend) but overall it is eroding at its core due to failed marketing & poor leadership by Selig & Co

  19. mickinmd - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    The 8.5% of American Blacks represents a HIGHER percentage of American Blacks in Major League Baseball than for American Whites or Asians. Yes, non-Hispanic Blacks represent 12% of the American population, but MLB is NOT 100% American players.

    To say there’s a problem with Baseball dropping from a higher percentage of blacks is anti-White racism and I resent it.

  20. chacochicken - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    What is the breakdown for MiLB?

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      On point Chaco. And one fine African-American at that. Smoking hot!

  21. psousa1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Or as Buster Olney pointed out today (correctly) the % of white players is also down. It is societal.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      Or, more disturbingly, MLB is being more aggressive signing international players b/c they can take advantage of them more.

  22. hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    The last time you mentioned this it got me thinking about starting position players because opening day was approaching and the ATL/PHI games were going to have 8 black players (Brown, Mayberry, Rollins, Howard, 2 Uptons, and Heyward) out of the 16 starting position players…

    This isn’t perfect, by my count I have 14.9% (38 out of 255) starting players are black players. And a lot are average to above average starters. The percentage drops so low because of the lack of black pitchers (5 SP’s, no closers).

    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      *and Revered

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM


  23. countertrey44 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    So, the NFL has roughly 60 or so percent players that are non-white, the NBA is 17 percent white, and the NHL has 50 or so black players total and MLB needs a study, committee, etc?? How about a “Why are our youtube policies so archaic” committee. That seems to be more relevant.

  24. countertrey44 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Unbelievable, the NFL has roughly 60 or so percent players that are non-white, the NBA is 17 percent white, and the NHL has 50 or so black players total and MLB needs a study, committee, etc?? How about a “Why are our youtube policies so archaic” committee. That seems to be more relevant. Or a study into those other sports. Or NASCAR, or Golf, or the Rap industry, or country club membership, etc etc etc

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