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 this....you 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.