OF on the move

Rick Ankiel signed a deal with KC. He hit .231-11-38 last year for St. Louis, OPS+ 76. 26 walks, 99 K. In 2008, Ankiel, the former pitcher, hit 25 HR for the Redbirds.

The Mets traded for Gary Matthews Jr. from the Angels. Matthews hit .250-4-50 for the Angels last year, OPS+ 83. A move designed to help ease the Beltran hurt. Matthews, 35, is a .258 career hitter, OPS+ 93. To get him, the Mets traded reliever Brian Stokes, 2-4, 3.97 with the 2009 Mets.

Octavio Dotel signed with the Buccos.

So, Tiger Woods is apparently in a sex-addiction clinic in Mississippi. I would hope it isn’t co-ed.

Speaking about addiction, Miggy Cabrera has been going for treatment of alcohol abuse. His drunken domestic abuse episode with his wife during the last weekend of the season sure didn’t help his Tigers, who blew a 3 game lead with 4 to play.

Interesting bit in the NY Post today. 60 Minutes does a feature on the preponderance of Samoans in the NFL, but in 1988 Jimmy the Greek got canned for his thoughts about the preponderance of blacks in the NFL. One reader (and the Post) pointed out that the views espoused by both seemed similar…only the same network (CBS) that canned the Greek in 1988 airs similar viewpoints now?

Add Fergie Jenkins to the bash McGwire now bandwagon.

  

3 responses to “OF on the move

  1. There are some important and fundamental differences between the “60 Minutes” piece on Samoa and football, and what Snyder said in connecting the purported breeding of slaves for alleging that blacks are naturally better athletes. Snyder said, “The black is a better athlete to begin with because he’s been bred to be that way — because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs. This goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trading, the owner — the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid.”

    While there were some questionable things in the “60 Minutes” piece, such as generalized statements on Samoans being big and born big, things that should have actually been substantiated or contextualized better, these and the majority of quotes in the piece that connected ideas of discipline and hard work in Samoan culture came primarily from Samoans themselves.

    There is a distinct difference between a people making observations about the relevance of aspects of their own culture to a sport, and a person in Snyder making broad historical and cultural allegations about which he appeared woefully unfamiliar–and after a few drinks, no less.

  2. Unfortunately, I work on Sundays, so never get to see 60 minutes anymore. So I just am going by the NY Post report on it. I’d like to have seen the piece.

    Obviously, the Greek’s statements, at a restaurant and after a dinner with a few drinks, were uncalled for (as was, a few years later, Al Campanis’ remarks on Nightline). I just wonder, without seeing the piece, how much of 60 minutes piece on Samoans echoed the Greek on blacks.

    It’s sad that we still look at sports in that way, though. Can’t we just enjoy the game?

    A better study should be on not genetic, but socio-economic conditions and how those conditions drive sports. In the early 1900s, poor Southerners (for the most part) drove baseball. Cobb, Jackson and Speaker fit that agenda. Then the immigrants. German (Gehrig, Ruth), or Italian (DiMaggio, Crosetti, Lazzeri, Berra). Sons of immigrants. Once the color line was broken, the blacks. Now, it seems, the hispanics. Central America. Puerto Rico.

    It seems like baseball gravitates. It is a way out of poverty for many.

    I remember what I read somewhere. It was a comment on the NBA. A person said or wrote that on a hot summer day, drive through NY or Philly. You would see the whites at the swimming pool but the blacks on the basketball court. Then you wonder why the NBA was predominantly black. Simplistic? Maybe. But most likely accurate.

    But in a few weeks, check out the Winter Olympics. How many black Winter Olympians do you expect to see? Outside of Debbie Thomas in figure skating, do you expect to see a black figure skater? Skiier? Speed skater? Probably not. Which made Cool Runnings and the Jamaican Bobsled Team a phenomenon.

  3. I thought the “60 Minutes” piece did a pretty good job on the socio-economic aspect of it, Mike, mentioning the poverty and people not having many other opportunities. Football is a way out for many Samoans for that very reason, and some such as Polamalu characterized it as such. That was what I meant by substantiating it, with income statistics for example. “60 Minutes” didn’t do that, and should have.

    Genetics and more are why I am wary of generalized statements about a people. Give me a quality socio-economic study backed by statistics any day.

    You’re right about the Winter Olympics. Also, on the lack of African-Americans and others in them, some of it is sports are cultural and are embedded with cultural (mis-)perceptions, such as hockey being just for whites (which is changing–Iginla, Grier, Weeks, et al.) and basketball being just a black sport. That is, often when people see certain groups highly represented or not represented in various activities, they can be dissuaded from them, figuring, “That’s not for me.” At least as prevalent a reason can be economics, for some sports such as hockey, competitive figure skating (lessons, travel), and skiing are expensive. So many people, not just inner-city youth of color but poor urban and especially rural whites, simply don’t have the means to play those sports. Anecdotally speaking, I grew up in a nearly all-white, working-class area with a lot of kids who, like me, didn’t have a whole lot–not dirt poor, but without a lot of discretionary income. Those were the kids who populated indoor hockey leagues and went to public schools, while the more well-to-do kids I went to a private Catholic high school with played more organized ice hockey. Same sports, different avenues.

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