Escobar's season has to be over, and that's just the start
No, I cannot for the life of me understand what Yunel Escobar was thinking when he put on those eye-black patches with a homophobic slur written on them the other day.
It is senseless, vile, wrong, inflammatory; it makes no sense at so many levels I’m entirely confused.
And hoping that justice – heavy fine and a significant suspension – are meted out quickly by both the Blue Jays and major league baseball.
A suspension without pay for at least the remainder of this season is a start, I’d say.
Of course there’s no place for that kind of action in the game, any right-thinking human can understand that, and it makes you wonder about the kid’s personality and mindset and whether it’s really worth it to the ball club to even have him around.
Escobar’s a talented player, of that there can be no doubt. But he’s always been, to me, something less than the sum of his parts. He doesn’t seem to always hustle, he appears bored at times, I’m not entirely sure he can’t be moved with little impact on the team on the field.
What he did was so ridiculous it almost defies logic; I honestly can’t think what he was thinking and it will be interesting to hear what he says. And he has to speak to it and his actions, it has to be more than some scripted apology read off a piece of paper and I’m not even sure genuine contrition will be enough. There is no logical explanation but fans are owed an attempt at least.
But you know what?
Blame for this whole sorry charade has to be shared by everyone in the dugout and the clubhouse.
Someone – a manager, a coach, a teammate – needed to take him aside sometime Sunday and slap some sense into him.
Someone – John Farrell, Luis Rivera, Omar Vizquel, Jose Bautista, Brian Butterfield, Don Wakamatsu, all of ‘em and I could rattle off 35 names but there’s not enough space and that’s just a representative group and by no means am I singling them out alone -- needed to see what he was wearing and demand that he take it off.
I don’t for a second believe no one in the dugout saw it; it saddens me a bit that no one decided to confront him and, if it turns out they did and he ignored it, he’s got to go.
Two other points bother me greatly about this and I hope no one trots them out as explanations:
I don’t care what the non-literal translation is in some Spanish-speaking locales; we’re not there, we’re here and someone who saw it had to know what it means in these parts.
And when I saw or read something that perhaps someone else put the words on the patches made me laugh out loud. Who cares who did it, he wore it and he knew what it said.
This is a black mark on the entire organization – and organization I respect deeply because I know Alex Anthopoulous and Paul Beeston to be gentlemen of the first order – and they need to come down hard – very hard – on Escobar.
The acceptance of gays and lesbians in professional sports has long been a troubling issue to me but I do believe things are getting better.
They are not perfect and may never be but most leagues and teams are making strides to educate their employees and put out a message of inclusion to all fans.
This will set that back here a little bit, no doubt; how the Jays handle it will go a long way to speaking to their commitment to fans of every persuasion.
End of rant.
There’s a chance – late-day weather and Porter Airlines willing – that I’ll be among you later this evening.
I need a local spot – wings, tasty beverages, maybe a couple of TVs with ball games on them – in the area near the Arc hotel on Slater.
Don’t want to venture too far, don’t want to be out too late, might only have a couple of hours but do want to do something other than sit in my room for the night.
Oh yeah, if it’s Tuesday, I must be delivering Super Son to school for 7-freaking-a.m. because he has some saxophone skills.
How come there’s never a PD day on a Tuesday? Riddle me that, would you?
I wasn’t the biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination but there is no doubting Jimi Hendrix’s guitar-playing chops, is there?
More than 40 years after his death – this day in 1970 – still not too many who come close to his talent.
Back to baseball for a bit – there is no basketball, really – how cool is going to be when the TOD hooks up with Buffalo as it’s AAA affiliate next season?
If you’re from here and haven’t been down to that pretty little park smack dab at the bottom of downtown Buffalo – sometimes known as Urban Blight Central – you’ll love it.
Open air, tiny, comfortable and, last I checked, with ticket prices greatly affordable. About 15 minutes from the Peace Bridge, it’s going to be perfect for weekend ballgame/golf getaways.
Oh, and it’ll be easier for the team, too. No more having to wonder about inflated PCL stats from Vegas, no more travel woes for demotions and call ups; it’s win-win.
Only thing better was if they refurbished Oakes Park and put the team in the true centre of the universe.
Hey, let’s start early ‘cause I might have a flight and some airport time to get some work in.