Monday, September 17, 2012

Yunel Escobar wrote what on his face, now?

In one of life's great mysteries, my typical orientation to sport is the total opposite of how I just generally read life. Niney-nine percent of the time, I'm all about the qualitative analysis and teasing out the nuance that numbers miss; when I'm talking games, though, I'm usually discussing data and metrics.

So, when people say that a ballplayer is "a winner", I mock them for seizing a quality that's hilarious undefinable. And when they say someone has a "bad attitude", I ask for the proof that it affects performance. Thus, when the Blue Jays traded for - and extended the contract of - Yunel Escobar, a player infamous for being surly and supposedly a bad teammate, I was thrilled. Here's a guy who's undervalued and underpaid for reasons that have nothing to do with his numbers. So long as he's performing above his pay-grade, he's a good thing.

And then, this happened.

Strangely enough, I learned about the existence and meaning of "tu ere maricon" only a couple weeks ago - at a World Cup qualifying game between the Canadian men's team and Panama. It's a homophobic slur, most commonly translated as "you're a faggot". And it's just fucking awful to see it scrawled across any athlete's face. If there's a way to cut or suspend him without paying him - and I'm pretty certain that there isn't, unfortunately - I am all for it. Just get rid of him. Find a bottomless pit and drop him in it.

It gets worse, though. Because fans are already doing cartwheels in an attempt to defend or dismiss his actions. For instance, from the page where the photograph was first posted:

  • "Let's not make such a big deal about mind your business and he will mind his business."
  • "relax. its not big deal"
  •  "Ho hum - obviously he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer"
  • "what ever happened to free speech? dont get me wrong i dont hate gays but its just a name!!! get over it, soft people"

 Sometimes, people are just awful. And no number can justify that.

1 comment:

Jayson said...

This is hard to fathom and impossible to justify, but thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'm looking forward to attending my first Jays game in nearly three seasons next week, and now I know to boo Escobar.