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MLB: Blacks in Baseball Down To 8.5 Percent, My Thoughts

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida has released its annual report on the diversity of Major League Baseball. According to an article on, the report lists the percentage of black MLB players at 8.5 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2010.  It has been declining a little every year since 2008, when it was at 10.2 percent.

At last count, the article on ESPN’s website generated 2,582 comments, most of them critical of the article and the report. Most of the comments asked why no one is doing studies on the small number of whites and Asians in the NFL and NBA. For example, jayk318 said this:

“Here’s what I don’t get……why aren’t there studies done to determine the lack of white, hispanic, asian, etc. players in the NFL or NBA? Or the lack of asian players in the MLB? I could go in several directions with this, but the point is made. Why is the focus ONLY on the percentage of black players in MLB? And how is it anyone’s responsibility to raise that percentage?”

Why? Jackie Robinson, that’s why. Jackie Robinson was not only the first black player in Major League Baseball. He was the first black player in any major American sport.

He paved the way, not only for other black baseball players but for black players in the NBA, NFL and beyond. Had he not been successful, who’s to say if or when a black athlete would have been given another chance?

Also, many historians believe that things like Brown vs. Board Of Education and the Civil Rights Movement would never have happened had Robinson not been successful.

Now keep all of this in mind and think about that 8.5 percent again. The sport that started it all, that led to doors opening throughout society, has dwindling numbers of blacks on its fields. I think that’s pretty significant.

What do you think?

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Thoughts About The Yankees 2011 Rotation

With Opening Day now less than a week away, the New York Yankees appear to be finalizing their pitching staff, particularly their five-man rotation. This finalization, and what they apparently will go to war with, has got me worried.

No announcements have been officially made yet, but based on what’s been going down in the last day or two, it appears that the rotation will look something like this:

1. CC Sabathia
2. AJ Burnett
3. Phil Hughes
4. Ivan Nova
5. Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia

Why am I worried? First of all, AJ Burnett is the number two starter…the number two starter! I know he’s had a decent Spring, but I’m still not convinced he’s put all his demons behind him. In my opinion Phil Hughes should be the number two starter.

Second, Ivan Nova as the number four. He’s had a great Spring. A terrific one. But it’s only Spring. How many A lineups has he faced? Plus, I just can’t stop thinking about how he could never get out of the fifth inning last year.

Finally, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. I really don’t think I need to say more, but I will, just in case. These two guys have had good Springs but, that’s just it. They’ve had good Springs. It is entirely possible that their best years are behind them.

Hmmm. Will Yankee fans be looking at a depleted farm system come July 31st due to the trading away of their prospects for pitching? I hope not!

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Will Rafael Soriano Be a Problem for the Yankees?

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News is reporting that Rafael Soriano has a bad attitude and “was hated by almost everyone in Tampa Bay last year.”  Madden says Soriano didn’t like being brought into games in non-save situations or having to pitch more than one inning in a game.

Will this be a problem for the Yankees, or will Soriano toe the line for the Yankees like so many other troubled players have done once they put on the pinstripes?

We’ll have to wait and see, of course. But it looks like the Yankees have prepared themselves for the worst just in case, by giving Soriano two opt-out clauses and by not giving him a no-trade clause. If he opts out, they’ll get their draft pick back. If they want to trade him, it can be to any team.

Hopefully his three-year deal will be a successful one, free of opt-outs and trades.

Good luck, Rafael Soriano.

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