Funny definitely isn’t the word I’d use, but it’s certainly odd that on the day where Brett Lawrie is declared a burgeoning icon in the city’s gay community, we might have a related incident on our hands, of a seriously ugly and unfortunate nature.

Above we have an image of Yunel Escobar taken on Saturday, which has been posted on Flickr by frequent Twitterer @James_in_TO. On the Flickr page he writes:

For those whose Spanish isn’t fluent, have never seen Scarface or fail at google, Yunel’s eyeblack “TU ERE MARICON” translates to “You’re a faggot”. There are some small Spanish locales where it translates to “pussy” not “faggot” but that’s a very small possibility.


Now, to be entirely clear, I don’t speak Spanish, so I’m entirely taking this at face value and could absolutely be wrong about the interpretation or the context. I’ve already received a tweet from @BanditDeW, who explains, “All the latin players I ever played with used that as a generic curse word. Not a slur directed at a specific class.”

That would provide some measure of relief, I suppose. And I think it’s only fair to point out such potential contradictions, because I don’t want to throw Escobar– or whoever put this on his eye black– under the bus without making it known that we really don’t know the context here, or enough about the language to draw any hard conclusions yet– or at least I don’t. Additionally, at least theoretically, this could be the work of Photoshop, I suppose, but I’ve spoken with James on the internet, I know he’s not just some random, and personally, I have little reason not to believe that what we’re seeing here is real– and I’ve just had it confirmed from the video of Saturday’s game that, indeed, the phrase was there. (Other sources are finding other photos, too.)

A commenter on this post adds: “I have latino friends who use this phrase very often either playfully at each other or as a curse word, not neccessarily as a slur against gay people.”

Pointing that out sure is an easy way to dismiss some of the dark connotations and make us hope that it’s somehow a mix-up, but I don’t think that’s at all a satisfactory answer. I mean, some folks use the N-word playfully amongst friends, and I think we’d have a problem with that phrase being written on a player’s eye black, playful or not.

And perhaps, as James suggests in his Flickr post, this explains why Escobar suddenly came down with a “flu” yesterday and was absent from Sunday’s game– or even Mike Wilner’s suggestion on Sunday’s post-game JaysTalk that he’s starting to believe some of the rumblings about the club souring on Escobar.

I mean, while it’s not outside the realm of possibility that none of Escobar’s Spanish speaking noticed the saying or did and thought it entirely benign, you can’t help but start to think that maybe someone did see it, and decided it best to– quite literally– let Yunel wear it.

That’s getting a bit too conspiratorial for something that we just can’t know too much about– or, again, that I can’t. Keith Law, however, responds to questions in Spanish during his chats for, and doesn’t tread lightly into this one:

Even if you can let yourself look beyond the ugly language and see it as somehow an honest mistake– and I don’t want to be too gentle on him in offering that as a suggestion– it’s incredibly unprofessional and just plain dumb to have gone anywhere near there, and a total embarrassment to the club. There is no reason that can make such a slur acceptable, and somebody in that dugout– presumably Escobar himself, unless he was unwitting– should have been keen enough to fucking well know better.

And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the immature, insensitive, offensive culture that would, in the year two-thousand-and-goddamn-twelve, think a thing like that is funny. Like… for fuck sakes…

What’s possibly worse, we have a common sense-based suggestion from ex-Jay Dirk Hayhurst, who writes about the incident on Facebook and Twitter in no uncertain terms as though it was a prank.

“You know what, I have to think someone wrote it there, so when YE picked up the eye black sheet he read the insult at him, but then he was like, ‘screw it,’ and put it on anyways thinking everyone would laugh (probably did) and the rest is history,” he explains. “I honestly think little positive or negative thought went into this. It’s just one of those regrettable acts of stupidity.”

“Don’t be mad at me for knowing how a locker room operates. I’m not condoning it, I’m just saying, I (sadly) understand it,” he adds.

So, indeed, the potential exists for more morons in the clubhouse here– though in Hayhurst’s theory, the person who wrote it probably didn’t intend for Yunel to wear it out onto the goddamn field in front of thousands of fans, possibly millions at home, and countless cameras. Ugh.

Comments (277)

  1. Fuck this guy.

    • “(Chile) asshole, coward, irresponsible husband or father (mean or rude person)” nope

      • Are we going to remove all context from every possibly offensive word, and totally erase them altogether from the english language? Ok then. I expect the boys to stop referring to Mat Latos as a douche since there is obvious misogynistic undertones to that language. I would be outraged.

    • I think everyone should tone down their attitudes until the guy speaks on the subject ! And all the holier then thou bullshit I have been reading like no guy on here has ever called a buddy a faggot ! Or a pussy ! Nevermind the fact that it might be something we don’t even get cause we are Canadian or American and have a different culture then the rest of the planet. I would be surprised if it doesn’t turn out to be a innocent mistake that has been blown out of purportion be the evil inter web again as stupid as it may have been to wear.

      • Well said. It’s probably not too much different than when Billy Ripken had Fuck Face written on his bat then made it on his baseball card. Actually, that picture should be on Yunel’s card next year.

  2. Ughhhh…. I hope this isn’t real.

  3. maybe this is the last straw that gets him traded in the offseason….

  4. Wait– Lawrie is an icon in the gay community? What?

    More to the point here… ugh. I can’t imaging there being any good explanation for this.

  5. “Ugh” is right. Poor lapse in judgement.

  6. i dont get what the point of him doing that was, we’re clearly missing something.

    I just dont think players write messages to other people in their eyeblack

    • I’ve never seen nor heard of anyone writing messages in their eyeblack and I very much doubt that Escobar did.

      • There’s this guy you may have heard of…goes by the name of Tim Tebow. (Of course, Bible verses in the eyeblack may be a touch more benign)

      • Another fake post.

        Grow up man.

        Why didn’t Visquel or the other Latinos tell him to take it off??

        The person who did the prank should apologize.

  7. Anybody actually look at this from a Latin point of view, not a North American one? I have latino friends who use this phrase very often either playfully at each other or as a curse word, not neccessarily as a slur against gay people.

    • To clear things up: not defending or excusing Yunel. Just saying.

    • People do that with the N-word, too. Does that make it appropriate to wear on one’s face? I’m asking honestly.

    • Neither is “that’s gay” in N. American culture. Doesn’t make it ok. Intentional or not, it sends the message that being gay is something to be ashamed of and that ain’t cool anymore.

    • So? Friends call each other “homo” and “queer” all the time too. But someone of even limited intelligence would realize that publicly, that’s a bad idea.

      • depending on where ur from in latin america some use it as like Bro/N**ga etc …. if u use a non latin view then it looks very offensive but i agree theres no need 2 get attention by doing that

  8. Fuckit.

    If it can be interpreted as “Youre a pussy”, then case muthfukinclosed.

    Do you think players like Pete Rose, Paul O’Neil, or Travis Fryman ever called other players “pussy’s”?

    Just old time baseball.

    • yah but do they write it on their face?

      maybe someone played a joke on yescobar

      • If someone played a joke by writing “You’re a faggot” in Spanish on Escobar’s eye black that’s as bad as Escobar writing it himself. Writing “fuck face” on the knob of a bat right before it’s used in your baseball card photo (happened to Bill Ripken), now that’s a funny prank. This? Not so much.

        • i lack the context of the spanish language. but just because something translates literally to something doesn’t mean its usually socially

          i’m italian and I know of lots of slang words that are openly used for other uses that have derogatory meanings.

          not really an excuse, its poor judgment but I’m not sure yet if its a homophobic thing

          • it is used to attack gays, call guys pussys etc but its like the word ni**a .. in south america we use Marica (short form of maricon) instead of bro

    • Yep. Just like Ty Cobb’s hatred for them negros!


  9. What’s the point of this? Who on the field would even stand close enough to him to see what it says? The catcher and the home plate umpire? Was it a special message for somebody watching at home?

  10. it does look photo shopped though, look how perfect the letters are.

    unless don wakamatsu wrote it, the letters would look more uneven i think?

    • You don’t need pristine penmanship to write block letters like that. I’m guessing someone else on the team wrote it on the strips as a joke before Escobar put them on and Escobar just didn’t bother or didn’t have time to get a fresh pair before the game started.

  11. we got bigger things to worry about, like how to get a better fuckin team.
    I’m sure some english phrases come off aa weird or such in spanish or german or swahili or whatever so move on for fuksakes

    • Amen! Isn’t ‘zona looking for a shortstop? He and Hill will look great together.

    • But you know they can’t because it’s a fucking addiction to get into everybodies business but their own.

  12. Stoeten la barba es como una gigantesca bola de pelo púbico.

  13. Ok…I might have overreacted because I’m into vodka/soda number 3 so I’m stepping back a little. How do we know Brett Lawrie is an upcoming icon in the gay community? When? Need more facts before drawing rather than jumping to conclusions.

  14. Los Yankees de Nueva York son como la lintballs atrapado en mi bum. Maloliente y molesto.

  15. Just read some articles on gay rights and language in Cuba – not the kind of thing you’d expect to find yourself researching before commenting on a baseball blog – and I saw maricón described as “semi-derogatory, but also the most commonly used by gays themselves”.

    More to the point, who would write a pointed insult like that on their own face? Doesn’t that make it look like the insultee is the person whose face it belongs to? Doesn’t this seem a lot more like a prank written by someone else? Maybe even by a non-Spanish speaker in the clubhouse trying to have fun with a Spanish insult he’d learned – note that the O doesn’t have the required accent in the eyeblack, which is something a native Spanish speaker wouldn’t be likely to omit.

    Not trying to be the guy grasping at straws for excuses, I’m just saying it makes literally no sense to put “You are a f****t” on your own face in public.

    • That gay individuals use it themselves wouldn’t exactly make it less of an insult or less inappropriate or disgusting.

      • The semi-derogatory part was what I was getting at – the hopeful angle that this is just a playful locker-room-talk bit of smacktalk for “sissy”, and not what we’re all dreading

      • Gay people will call each other fag, much like black people will use the N word.

        But do they put it on their face? Are they athletes that play on Jr Jays Saturday? This is all roundabout and all comes down to things having a time and place and forum. On the field is a poor choice of all 3.

        Though I will say a few Jays have the flu right? Not buying that part of the conspiracy.

  16. Maricon is fag though it does vary from country to country in Latin America. In Colombia men who know each other will often call each other “marica” in a friendly way. IIt’s not that strong. In some countries it means more “sissy,” in Mexico and Peru, it’s strong and is a slur about gays. I’m not sure what it’s meaning is in the Caribbean

  17. Faggot is also a generic curse word in English, in many instances. That doesn’t make it ok by any means.

    Maybe someone else put this on his eyeblack as a joke… locker room ribbing that wasn’t meant to leave the locker room, but Escobar never looked in a mirror.

    • escobar not look in the mirror? c’mon

    • I’m not sure. He usually has some writings on his eye blacks.

      • Very interesting tidbit in that article. It finally makes sense now to me why Damaso Garcia burned his uniform. It doesn’t make it right or less riculously stupid and outrageous, but at least it makes sense.

        In 1986, a struggling Damaso Garcia burned his uniform in Oakland after another bad night, and was reamed out by manager Jimy Williams in front of the whole team because he thought his second baseman was disrespecting the organization.

        The other Latin players on the team didn’t see it that way. Garcia was traded before the next season.

        “He did it out of frustration,” says Tony Fernandez, the longtime Blue Jays shortstop. “I know Damo, Damo is a very proud man, Latin players are very proud, and sometimes you are so frustrated you don’t know how to express that frustration and the best way for him to express that was by burning.

        “Basically he was saying to himself, ‘I’m going bad with this uniform, I need a new uniform, I need to create something to break out of this problem.’ He never thought that could create such a controversy.”

    • Or forgot he had it on?

  18. Break out the pitchforks, I’ll gather the mob for the witch-hunt

  19. For those who says it’s not faggot, well google it, that’s what it means. I find it hard to believe that anyone in the dugout like edwin would let him get away with that. Or most likely he was told and didn’t give a shit. Once again this demonstrates how farrell has completely lost the clubhouse and the inmates are running loose. I’m sure yunel teammates are happy to let him hang himself after the stunts he keeps pulling.

    I’m sure when farrell is asked about it he’ll say “I was told it means you are my hero so I was quite flatterred”

    • no one is suggesting an alternative meaning

      but we still lack cultural context.

      in some cultures, including spanish ones, theres no such thing as gay bashing. a faggot isn’t a term for a gay man its a term for a loser or a sissy.

      would this be a story if it said you’re a loser or you’re a sissy?

      We are looking at this from the western worlds point of view, we are far more advanced in terms of gay rights. we lack the context

      not sticking up for escobar at all, its his job to learn the lay of the land. but i think calling it a homophobic slur is really premature. he’s guilty so far only of having a cursive word written on his face

      • That is ridiculously stupid. It doesn’t matter about other cultures. He’s playing in CANADA. The language is ENGLISH. He shouldn’t be writing any stupid shit. Funny how edwin or omar or the rest of the spanish players are smart enough to know this but it’s always the same punk who get’s caught pulling punk ass moves like this.

        • Your comment would have more impact if you hadn’t ridiculously just tried to blame this on Farrell losing the clubhouse.

          • You;re telling me that farrell wouldn’t have noticed that message on his eyes during the whole game while yunel walked right in front of him for 4 ab’s?

            And did farrell do anything about yunel stealing everyone’s popups? no.

        • thats ridiculous. ichiro still doesn’t speak english, his job is to play baseball, whether or not he assimilates to canadian or rather north american culture is his decision.

          I’m not sticking up for him, he’s an idiot for writing that on his face regardless of meaning.

          I’m really just trying to provide some context, that it can’t be considered a homophobic slur without context.

          in jamaica, being homophobic is normal, being gay is illegal.

          in some countries women are treated like property and dont have rights..

          the reality is that north america is far more advanced than other nations in terms of equality.

        • thing u dont understand is 50% of latinos from venezuela, dominican etc play on the jays & they joke around with each other …. living in toronto u dont just know english u also speak another language, this is the most multicultural city in the world but yes he made a stupid choice 2 have those words

      • I agree. There are an incredible amount of patients being encouraged for new immigrants – even for us (born in Canada) to adjust to their ways. I’m fine with that. It’s cultural competence and it goes a long way in creating and maintaining peace amongst people in a multicultural country. So, if this word does not mean the same as it does in Cuba, that we believe it means in the literal translation, why can’t we give him a freeby?

    • Says someone presuming to know anything about the inner working of the Jays clubhouse

    • That’s insane.

    • I love when people use terms like “Once again” to “prove” something that is a completely fabricated narrative they have written.

      The boogers under my chair know more about the Jays clubhouse than you.

    • The Farrell apologists have egg on their faces.


      I doubt Farrell knew what that meant on Escobar’s face.

    • You are so fucking stupid it hurts my brain.

  20. Kelly Grubers hijo bastardo podría ser un bastardo, pero este hombre tiene una ballsack tan grande como British Columbia.

  21. Who the hell watches Jays in September to find this stuff out?

  22. Personally, I see this as a non-issue. I don’t care if we live in Toronto or not…. sensitivity issues. How about let some people have fun without taking it seriously. When Yunel Escobar personally calls you a Fa***** , go ahead and get upset. If you’re actually upset about what was most likely a practical joke by teammates, a playful joke by escobar himself, or…completely none of your business, then you have larger problems.

    My personal discretion tells me that it was most likely a practical joke, but even if it wasn’t I could fucking care less. I’m so over political correctness, it’s so overrated. I’m tired of people being oversensitive.

    Could care less. Next time do it in English so we can all enjoy.

  23. You have to think that that message had to be directed at someone. but who? Maybe kelly johnson. After all he just stole a pop up from him and pissed him off and maybe words were exchanged.

  24. No one knows all the details yet. I for one dont care enough to find them out either. But it’s never a good idea to hang a guy before the details are known.

  25. I wouldn’t be too worried about this. As a languages major, direct translations are difficult. And to reiterate what others have already said a lot of people don’t necessarily us it as a curse word. Bottom line we don’t know how he meant it, and this is pretty much a side-show. This just irritates me because it seems typical of Yunel and his loud personality.

  26. Its unfortunate that this has allowed the appropriate amount of clickage . Stoeten have you really thought this out? Is this now the TMZ of the Jays?

    i dont know whether this is a troll job or he is just is plain stupid

  28. Like a few others have said, this seems more likely to be a prank someone played on Yunel. It’s essentially like writing ‘you are gay’ on someone’s belonging.

    I have trouble believing someone would write ‘you are a faggot’ on their own eyeblack, meant as a diss to the opposition, who wouldn’t even be able to read it.

    Maybe I’m wrong, and Yunel is a total idiot… but I feel like it’s a prank.

    • If it’s a prank, that the prankers (?) should be punished.

      • Unless the pranksters pinned him down or something and wrote it on his face such that he had no idea what it said, Yunel ultimately knew what the message said and chose to take the field with the message plastered on his face anyways. He shouldn’t be absolved of poor judgment here.

  29. But wait, I thought Escobar’s character issues weren’t a real thing? Wasn’t that the narrative after we got him and Rasmus? Clearly nothing to see here…

    • What the fuck does Rasmus have to do with this? Totally different narratives, even if they both are true.

      • Because the argument here is usually that “character” is some antiquated notion not at all worth factoring into player evaluations, which is kinda bullshit.

  30. Thinking about it, I think someone else would probably have had to write it on his face for him. It’s tough to write words neatly looking in a mirror where things are reversed

    • Those are stick ons you dipshit

    • They’re stickers…

    • I’m pretty sure they’re self-adhesive strips. He, or the explanation I find more likely, a clubhouse prankster, can write them on the eye black strips before he puts them on. Ultimately, Escobar chose to take the field wearing the strips with the message. So he deserves part of the blame at least.

  31. It doesn’t shock me that Escobar is a turd, but what’s troubling to me is that the clubhouse and bench is filled with people who either speak Spanish or have been around baseball long enough that they’ve probably picked up the profanity in one of the dominant baseball languages.

    • what troubles me is that ppl continue to read this and comment the same fucking comment, im sure its a prank blah blah blah. If it’s a prank then brutal fucking prank, if its not a prank then its simply Escobar just wanting a new clubhouse just like he did with the Braves. And if it’s the second one I hope Brett Lawrie gave him that black eye

      • I don’t know if you’re saying that’s what I wrote, but it wasn’t. My point was that a lot of the people on the bench knew exactly what it said, regardless of whether he wrote it or it was a “prank”, and it bothers me that in 2012 no one else stopped him, in either case.

  32. If it’s his doing, regardless of the intent…this is his “Who gives a fuck?” moment.

    Cut him.

  33. Also, Escobar wasn’t the only late scratch yesterday.

  34. For those who don’t believe that this is a non issue should take a step back a second. YE wrote a perceived slur on his eye black in a televised game while representing and playing in a city that has one of the largest and influential gay communities in North America. Do you think that the members of this community are not entrenched in influential positions in corporations who support the Toronto Blue Jays? And if Rogers and the Toronto Blue Jays (who, I have no doubt, similarly have members of the gay community in influential positions themselves) do nothing about this perceived slur, then it’s egg in the face of Blue Jays and Rogers and possible pulling of sponsorship which means less dollars to spend in the off season.

    YE may have put the Jays in a difficult position.

    • +1.

      Is DJF the first media blog to publish this photo?

      It could go viral, making Stoeten a celebrity.

      I was pleasantly surprised to read about Stoetens comments on the renaissance hotel to catch a game.

  35. “And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the immature, insensitive, offensive culture that would, in the year two-thousand-and-goddamn-twelve, think a thing like that is funny”

    So, the unfortunate culture of pretty much every baseball player ever, as per Dirk Hayhurst, who relates another maricon story:

    Let’s not kid ourselves and think professional sports locker rooms are bastions of tolerant language. Yunel got caught, is all, and from a PR perspective for the team just thank God it wasn’t Bautista instead

    • The difference here is that it doesn’t surprise me Escobar would go along with something like this. Bautista seems too mature/focused to ever do something like that.

      Maybe I’m wrong.

    • Agreed. I obviously don’t know if veterans like Vizquel and Encarnacion knew of, let alone condoned, the prank, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did and laughed along with it, or even were the ones that wrote the damn thing. Anybody surprised that something like this could happen in a clubhouse full of 30 20-30 year old testosterone-driven jocks (and one 46 year old) is kidding themselves.

      This is probably the clubhouse equivalent of leaving your Facebook open and having a friend come in and change your status to “OMG, I LIKE IT UP THE ASS!!!!111″ We’ve all seen it pop on our newsfeed one time or another. Yunel showed poor judgment in hitting the like button instead of deleting it.

      • this is true. this was very stupid of him, but it’s ‘baseball stupid’ or even ‘normal dude stupid.’ the same type of stupidity that produces rookie hazing and spitting out tobacco while you’re on live television. it’s all too dumb for this century.

    • Yeah, this. I just presume most ball players are dick heads. This was a pretty stupid move on Yunel’s part and won’t the Jays PR on a brutal season but that’s as far as I give a shit about this story.

  36. well Spanish people are known for saying whats on there mind , but yeah that’s pretty bad to do he shouldn’t do that.

  37. Well, Escobar comes from place (Cuba) where people go to jail for being openly gay under the Castros. If you haven’t seen the movie “Before Night Falls” starring Javier Bardem, check it.

    Either way, since he’s a starting shortstop with a bad attitude and worse bat, I’d say trade his ass. I’m tired of this experiment, and we need a second baseman for 13′.

    • Way back when, this was certainly the case. It’s not anymore… I saw lady boys flirting with cops the last time I was there.

  38. Hayhurst is a fuckin toolbag

  39. If this is the real deal, it’s gonna be harder to trade him for fair value this off season…THAT’S the real crime.

  40. Fuck. I can’t buy tickets or even wear the fucking hat unless he’s punished and quick. Fuck. Seriously Jays, suspend him and make him apologize so we can move on.

  41. This gay Jays fan was already heartbroken from this season, and now this?


    • Shitty, man.

      • I like this comment in that in can show some of the problems of translation. Here “shitty” means “bad” and has nothing (in this case literally nothing) to do with feces. Direct translation would tell you otherwise.
        Let’s cut Escobar some slack for this. We don’t have to imagine the worst in people.

        • I’m with you man.

          This world is going to hell in a handbasket because Political Correctness and the vomit it spews.

          By the way, I’m sick and tired of people who are prejudice against biggots.

  42. Ugh, this really sucks.

    I like Escobar and he’s a solid player so if he gets suspended for any meaningful games (next year), it’s going to hurt the Jays. It probably doesn’t help his trade value either if the Jays were going to explore that side of things. Hopefully if there is a suspension, it will only eat up the rest of this miserable season.

    Oh yea I guess it’s a bad message to send and all too.

    • Seriously doubt Escobar is suspended by MLB.

      Maybe something internal, but the MLB doesn’t tend to suspend for this sort of thing (think: Delmon Young)

  43. I suspected “prank” from the first second I saw this. I’ve learned to accept that pretty much every athlete I admire has either said or done deplorable, insensitive things behind closed doors, in an environment of living and eating and sleeping and breathing pretty much every second of your life with a bunch of other 20-something barely-educated testosterone-fueled small-town jocks in a supercharged high-school culture of sex and money and little supervision.

    If I’d learned Bautista, or Romero, or Encarnacion, or any other “mature player who would NEVER do such a thing!” had gone into Yunel’s locker and written “Tu ere maricon” as a prank on his eyeblack, I wouldn’t be surprised, and it also wouldn’t surprise me if Yunel put the eyeblack on and paraded around in the clubhouse to get chuckles. Why he wore them onto the field is beyond me. (But from a lot of accounts, it seems to only be during the pregame? Or does anyone have any shots of him wearing them during the actual game?)

    In any case. Dumb prank. Very, very dumb to take the prank too far by wearing them onto the playing surface, something the MLB conduct policy constantly hammers away at players: “Keep the shit behind closed doors, but don’t bring it out onto the field wearing our jerseys where you represent us.”

    I doubt any Jay will own up to writing the offending message on Yunel’s eyeblack, either. It’s a very self-preserving culture, everyone will stand behind the teammate who wrote the message, while Yunel will likely take the fall for PR reasons.

    • I was watching the game, and he most definitely had it on for first at bat and maybe his second.

    • idiot.

    • Once again…you really shouldnt hang a guy without knowing all the facts. So far people want to suspend, trade, and fire him. There’s someone blaming Farrell for “losing” the clubhouse. There’re people saying someone wrote on Yunel’s eyeblack as a prank. We have no idea if that’s true.
      No one knows any of these things as facts. We DO know there’s a picture of him
      with some spanish words on his eyeblack, but even the translation is in question, And whoever it was that said he played the 1st inning of the game with the words on the eyeblack needs to produce some proof. My Hi def TV doesnt show that kind of stuff unless they show a full screen shot of a guy’s face.

  44. Maybe this was just written there just in case somebody was looking so closely to find something to be outraged about, that they actually inspected his fucking eye-black.

  45. The Star has an article on it now, though it’s very brief as they know about as much as everyone else: not much.–blue-jays-yunel-escobar-played-game-with-homophobic-slur-written-across-eye-black

  46. How does Farrel or any of the other coaches in the dugout not see Escobar pregame and ask a spanish speaking player what is written on his eyeblack?

  47. You guys are all Faggots! Yunel is a badass.

  48. I have played sports for many years, many things were said in jest or to get someone to try harder, or simply to lift the tension in the room at a critical moment. Unfortunately in todays society especially in media circle things are way to blown outof porportion and this is another case of that. How about reporting something positive and decent ?

    • Carlos…I get that guys in the clubhouse say shit in jest or to motivate players BUT that should be left in the clubhouse. Yes, you are right in saying that we live in a hyper-sensitive society which is exactly why the Blue Jays must play nicely in the sandbox and discipline Escobar or potentially lose corporate sponsorship.

  49. The proper way to write this would be: “TU ERES MARICON”. I don’t have a Spanish keyboard so I’m missing accentuation on “tu” and “maricon”. Also, if you compare the way I wrote the phrase with the way it’s written on Escobar’s face, the phrase on Escobar’s face is missing the letter S on “eres”.

    Now, a lot of Spanish speaking people mispronounce letters or don’t pronounce them at all and this may translate to the way they write them so if someone pronounces eres without the s, they may write it without the s as well.

    Just saying that there are obvious errors with the way the phrase is written. This could mean that it was informally written by a Spanish speaker who knows better or by a Spanish speaker who mispronounces and misspells words or it was written by a non Spanish speaking person who just googled the sentence in English and got this as as result or it could be photoshopped.

    Who knows, bottom line though: Not good for the Blue Jays.

    • Jeff Mathis came down with flu-like symptoms and was scratched with Escobar yesterday. Hmmmm..

  50. What a bunch of over-reacting, whining pussies…

    It probably doesn’t even mean the same as f***** anyways.

    Context people, context.

    • Oh I know what you are saying, but if you get this kind of reaction on a small forum like this, imagine the reaction on a larger scale that could be consequential to the Jay’s near future.

  51. This whole story is dumb. It shows WAY too much bias and opinion. If you are going to write for a news company, go ahead and tell what happened, but don’t include your own opinion. Sure, you may think that Yunel was out of line or you may think that what he did was just fine, but don’t let people know in your story. Opinions are for COMMENTS, people. Also, I think that Dirk Hayhurst is a smart person, he knows a lot about baseball, and you no one should put him down (or put anyone down for that matter) in their own story. Finally, I play baseball, and I can tell you that practical jokes, pranks, etc, are part of the game, even in youth leagues. I’m not saying that the message on Yunel’s eye black was good or bad, I’m simply saying that it’s all just part of the game.

    • I love how you get mad at Stoeten for taking a swipe at Dirk Hayhurst(who by the way is a complete idiot) yet you seem to be not at all affected by the fact that Escobar(or whoever wrote it) just took a swipe at an entire segment of the population….. Your values are seriously out of wack imo. If as you say that kind of banter is accepted in sports and “part of the game” then why wouldn’t this blog’s role in criticizing Hayhurst be similarly apart of the nature of the business.

  52. Now, why would Yunel wear eye black that bashes gay people? That’s right, he wouldn’t. It’s a curse, not necessarily directed at a certain group. This is blindly obvious. These things are blown way out of proportion, not to mention that this WOULD NEVER offend anyone if it wasn’t presented to the public by the media. Now Yunel will have to face the consequences for something that should have gone relatively unnoticed.

    It’s not a good decision by him, but it has been made an issue.

  53. Okay. I wanted to make sure that no one had said this and frankly I’m amazed no one did. Maricon is a very, Very, VERY common curse word in Latin America. It is similar to how Motherfucker would be used here and that’s not considered a derogatory term to people from West Virginia. Or like wanker in the UK just kindof means asshole despite the masturbatory origins.

    To my knowledge (and admittedly I probably didn’t live in Latin America long enough to understand all of the nuances of bigotry there) maricon in no way carries the same prejudicial connotations as the word ‘faggot’ does in English.

    If we want to debate whether or not Yunel should be putting curse words on national TV, that’s one thing. But I would stop WELL short of declaring this to be an announcement of Yunel’s distaste for gay people. Although of course I don’t know Yunel. Maybe tomorrow he’ll just put ‘you’re a faggot’ on his eye black so there’s no confusion.

    • Okay, I looked through all of the comments on this thread (15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back) and this one is the best. I spent two months working in Puerto Rico and although my Spanish is rudimentary I heard people use this word many many times. The comparison with “wanker” as used in the UK seems about right.

      It’s sad to see the pathetic descent into political correctness of this blog. Some of you people would faint dead away if you ever spent any time in the many parts of the world where people actually say what’s on their mind.

      • absolutely true-try working in Germany as I didi-they are very blunt.
        Over here we , in general have a bunch of pussies (ooo can I say that)? runiing things, and never really saying what;s on their mind for ooooo…fear of offending someone somewhere. Christ we have an economy falling apart and we’re worried about eye black? grow a pair and get going ( are u allowed to say that?)

    • Yeah, I’m thinking people might want to read this post before attacking Yunel.

  54. who cares

  55. Not that it necessarily makes it any better, but maricón is the equivalent to someone here calling you a Nancy or a Sally. It comes from “Maria.”

    It isn’t as harsh as our use of “faggot,” and it certainly doesn’t even come close to “nigger” (I think some folks here use the latter comparison just to drive home a point).

    Just saying.

  56. I’d like to hear from Sideshow Mel.

  57. So stupid.

    On every level imagineble. What was Escobar thinking? Why didn’t his teammates do something (unless they don’t care about him? it?) Do none of the coaches speak Spanish?

    Now, I can’t imagine MLB suspending him (Delmon Young was arrested for his anti-semetic slurs and he got nothing, I think), but I can see where he gets a nice sit down from the club. Maybe gets sent home from this road trip, along with some PSA work with You Can Play.

    Let’s not pretend that this is an isolated incident, though. I mean, we have far reaching examples of this being pervasive in sports. Kobe Bryant was fined $100K for using the word to an official, various times its been thrown at Sean Avery (no suspensions), Cam Janssen recently got in trouble, DeSean Jackon & James Harrison were both caught in their own trouble for using it.

    Now, does it make it any better that Yunel did this? No, it probably makes it worse, if only because the awareness of this as an issue is so “out there” in the athletic community. But the sanctimony is a little much for my liking.

    Get him in a ton of trouble, sit him down for some games (internally), do some community work, have everyone learn from it and then move on.

    • Are you fucking serious? The old do some community work and PSA’s for an issue he probably gives 2 shits about? Ya, that will show him. Why do people feel the need to punish people for saying stupid shit. You call him an asshole, decide you dont like him and move the fuck on.

  58. By the way, I definitely appreciate the turn away from fratboyish antics of years past to the maturity and thoughtfulness we see on the site today (seriously, I do), but a quick search will reveal a good dozen or so homophobic remarks made by you and Parkes in years past.

    I guess I’m just saying, you and Parkes have come a long way from making the following comments on your site between 2009 and 2010 alone:

    “I’m still not sure which one is more gay.”
    “It takes a special kind of talent to make that song even more gay.”
    “Beer, pork and Blue Jays make Oktoberfest look gay.”
    “B. Abreu (more like Gaybreu)”
    “Oakland Gays”
    “I realize that figurines are completely pointless and gay”

    • Not to mention way too many uses of “fag” and “faggot” in the past few years… ugh… kinda dispirited now, wish I didn’t do that search considering how much I respect Stoeten and Parkes as writers today

      • There’s no doubt that their writing/thinking has changed significantly since starting work for The Score. Considering their past history, I do wish that they wouldn’t be so self-righteous about incidents like this, though.

    • That was before they realized Keith Law was a paragon of political correctness. Wouldn’t want to miss a chance to lay down for the Law.

  59. Mets and the 51s have agreed to a contact for their AAA team.

  60. gregg zaun speaks, says that the words weren’t even right spanish.

  61. In other news, the Mets just announced they have a development deal with Las Vegas. Buffalo/Toronto should be done soon now.

    • Sweet! Thanks for changing the channel on this shit.

      Escobar, or the alleged prankster in white, fucked up. There is no way to mitigate putting a homophobic slur on your face, especially on Jr Jays day and especially in a city with one of the highest gay populations in the world. It just goes to show you exactly how stupid Escobar is. Say your goodbyes now, I doubt he’ll be around for long.

  62. I’m just surprised he was able to write so legibly on his own face

  63. I have family from South America and speak Spanish – yes, I can corroborate, this is a homophobic slur. I hope Escobar makes amends for this.

  64. Not a slur.

  65. I wonder if that message is for Hech (who he perceives is slotted for his job) or KJ (who stares daggers at him after he steals infield pop flies) or AA (who is shopping him around)?

    This is obviously worse than Kobe Bryant’s outburst as this was premeditated (written out). Kobe was fined $100K.

    • and Roger McDowell was suspended 2 weeks without pay by the Braves for his outburst in SF, which was extreme (he taunted guys verbally and simulated sex with a bat, tried to intimidate a guy in front of his son, etc). So, somewhere between Kobe and McDowell??

  66. A quick internet translation of maricon suggests it ALSO means wimp or sissy. So maybe we should all be very careful before judging this guy.

    • Where is the fun in that when people can whip out the old moral outrage? I’m certainly not defending him, not in the least, but it’s certainly something to see when a public figure does something wrong.

  67. I don’t know how the black patches work. Is it possible that he picks them up face-down and doesn’t see what’s written on the other side. Slaps them on his face and heads out. Some Latino clubhouse guy who has a beef with him gets a laugh and he’s unaware until someone tells him. Which might be a while since, as y’all have said, you would have to get pretty close to even notice.

    It’s just that this kind of comes flying out of left field. We’ve never seen Yunel do anything like this before.

  68. I have a feeling that a non-spanish player/staff person wrote the words as a cheap joke for Escobar to read himself. It is like writing “u r gay” on someones binder in jr. high school. It obviously doesn’t look good, but I don’t think the whole thing needs to be such a huge issue. Management will ask around about what happened, maybe someone is punished behind the scenes, maybe AA will be even more inclined to trade him (although his value is low, might not be the best move purely from a baseball prospective), but I don’t think this is something that a bunch of sensible adults will be harmed by.

  69. Escobar’s mistake was having this happen (to him?) before an off day with no AAA Bisons contract finished yet.


    He’s still my favorite Jay since maybe Jimmy Key. It’s been a long time since I had a real favorite.

  70. Wasn’t the story on Escobar when he came over here that he had an attitude problem and that he butt heads with the coaches?

    Maybe he’s what I call a “Small “c” Christian”, which is one of the over-zealous and preachy religious type of the Christ Flavour that has very narrow minded views towards gays and marriage and prefers a world filled with the “Conventional family unit”. Maybe Escobar is just pissed off at his situation and looking to piss enough people off to get out of Toronto.

    Maybe he’s just a bit stung in the ego because an old man Omar Vizquel is getting all the playing time on a garbage team while he sits on the bench.

    One thing is for sure; Yunel ain’t happy. And now that people know he’s not happy, he’s not worth a damn thing on the trade market.

    Sucks to be the Jays, but not as much as it seems to be Yunel Escobar.

    Shit happens. Bye Bye Yunel! On talent, I’d think the Jays should be building around him, but I don’t know how you can smooth this over.

    • “but I don’t know how you can smooth this over.”

      The same way Kobe Bryant, and many, many others have smoothed it over?

      Apologize, do some community work.

      Just get out in front of it, and don’t let it linger. Admit you made a mistake, don’t do it again. As long as they don’t let this linger, its out of the news cycle in 24 hours, to be replaced by 24/7 NHL lockout talk.

      • Agreed, it will be forgotten in time and they certainly shouldn’t be moving him off the team because of something like this. Heck, Amare sent a slur out to a fan on Twitter a few months ago, got fined for it, and apologized. Does anybody remember it now? Same with Kobe’s incident…that’s one of the last things that would ever come to your mind when describing him.

        Really, this just seems like a bit of clubhouse humor gone wrong. And judging by what some of those familiar with Latin America are saying in this thread, the word is not even comparable to what Kobe/Amare/many others have said/done. We might just want to hold off on skewering the guy.

        • Yep.

          Yunel definitely needs to be reprimanded publicly for this and has to apologize, because it was callous, insensitive and stupid. The Jays will definitely want to get out in the community and do work with You Can play or an equivalent to repair any damage done there. It can be a building moment for the franchise if done properly.

          But to say it’s an insurmountable obstacle for Escobar or this team is just wrong.

          • Yes, I’m sure they’ll have him apologize tomorrow and that will largely be that.

            On another note, I do hope they don’t trade him this offseason (barring some kind of ridiculously good move, which I wouldn’t put past AA I guess). Selling low on his talent doesn’t make a whole lot of sense with his great contract, especially without any real replacement at SS (I fear Hech’s bat over a full season) and no 2B under contract for 2013.

  71. Does anyone honestly think that one of the ‘gentlemen’ and truly loved clubhouse players of the game, Omar Vizquel, would allow Yunel to actually have something derogatory written on his face?

    I’d like to think that Vizquel, if this was truly as despicable as some think/interpret, would have intervened at some point. Actually, I’m pretty sure he would have.

    If I had a team mate that had something offensive written across their face, I would say something.

  72. No seriously, fuck this guy.

  73. Though it adds an extra dimension to this, the point really isn’t whether maricon is being used here in a literal sense or not.

    People who are dismissing this as a non-story have their heads up their asses. These are professional players and they have no business going out with derogatory messages on their bodies.

    If you disagree, then by all means, write ‘You’re a faggot’ on your forehead and go to work, then come back and tells how funny everyone thought it was.

    The question though is who’s responsible.

    I can’t see why someone would write this on themselves. And if they did, surely another player or coach wwould tell them to take it off.

    More likely that it’s a prank, with everyone going along with it, like when we see a player with a bubblegum ballon on their caps in the dugout.

    But this hardly makes it better, as then it becomes a real lack of judgement by not only who did but the coaching staff as well.

    In the end, I’d have to think it’s just one of those stupid things that goes on in a dugout, like whoever wrote ‘fuck face’ on Billy Ripken’s bat years ago.

    But that doesn’t make it a non-issue and someone needs to be fined here and make a public apology. And that includes any coaches, if they knew about it and condoned it.

  74. random thought

    the jays presented 3 different lineups on sun with more than one scratch due to “flu”

    could one of the other scratches also be involved in the possible prank?

    i.e. good ole boy mathis


  76. homophobic, stupid, immature

  77. I’ve never seen or heard of a doctored photo on the internet. Has to be real.

  78. [...] that Twitter would be the devil’s workshop for players.  Who would have ever thought that eye black could become a weapon [...]

  79. Yunel is fierce! That eyeblack is meta fierce!

    You combine that with Colby’s Shocker signals and Jose’s ESPN photo shoot, we have the scandalous team in baseball

  80. so the new Blue Jays slogan for 2013 is (tentative soft voice with questioning lilt at the end) “It Get’s Better!?!”

  81. honestly, really who cares.. if that bothers you, you don’t have enough to think about in your life

  82. This reminds of of the Luis Suarez witch hunt in the Premiership. It’s wrong to judge Escobar’s conduct, written in a different language and forged in different cultural norms, by our cultural norms. It’s absurd. Multiculturalism craves diversity except when it’s actually diverse.

  83. For anyone with time on their hands. Escobar had something written on his eyeblack his first game back from paternity leave. I want to say they were played Boston then but can’t be sure.

  84. Wilner will use arbitrary endpoints to say he didn’t where the eyeblack between Sept 1 and Sept 16

  85. Nice to see most everyone being so positive. Surprized at the amount of interest in this story though. Reminds me of another knucklehead, from the Atlanta Braves, ladies and Gentlemen please welcome…..John Rocker!

  86. Hey atleast it adds some interest to the Jays season, AA PR move!

  87. Well, it’s obviously not a doctored photo.


    Press Conference tomorrow to address the situation. AA, Escobar, Farrell, and Luis Rivera will all be there. Read into that what you will.


    Is this the same handwriting as the offending message? I don’t know what the hell “Chilling” is supposed to mean, but this message looks less likely to be a prank than “tu ere maricon” and more likely to be something written by Escobar himself.

  90. I’m hearing they will announce the Jays have signed Yu Darvish at presser.


    Serious to Christ, there had better be more than this statement and his apology tomorrow. Like a dog who shits up the rug, he needs to be smacked on the nose. 2 game suspension at least.

  91. I hope Howard Stern sends someone from his staff to the press conference to ask questions – EPIC!!!!

  92. Just cause, Aaron Hill is out OPSing Albert Pujols

  93. I speak Spanish.. I grew up in a Hispanic country and yes people use MARICON o MARICA all the time .. Specially between friends ..(Remember the rest of the world has a different culture) It is consider a swear word .. Basically is like using FUCK for English speaking people yet if Yunel actually wrote that on his face.. He was pretty dumb!!

  94. It was “eres maricón” (tu for emphasis as the pronouns are usually dropped in Spanish). Not “Soy maricón” (I am a faggot), which would conform with some of the apologist explanations being forwarded here.

    Cubans, Argentinians, Mexicans growing up in Buffalo, NADIE IMPORTA… men in these cultures define themselves by the quality and vehemence of their masculinity, especially with regard to the Anglo cultures in North America which are perceived as softer (i.e. “sissy”).

    Everyone should learn from this. Yes, on a certain level, it is just a function of boys being boys together. But boys grow up. Professional athletes eventually leave their cocoon, where their every need is catered to, and learn how to fend for themselves. The value of baseball being played in so many countries is that different cultures can contribute. Without a discussion of what Torontonians and Canadians find acceptable, we fall into Stoeten’s position of “Who cares if the Jays represent Canada?” Dismissing Escobar or trading him would teach him nothing.

    There are all manner of cultural nuances that should be considered by those dousing themselves in their own moral outrage, yes. But the intent and direction of using words this way, words like “faggot” (YES, THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS) is universal across cultures. Don’t kid yourselves.

  95. Should be interesting to see what happens. Obviously the wording/meaning is going to have to be explained one way or another. Then MLB will have to decide on whether they believe that or not. Obviously one is going to merit a stronger punishment but there’s going to be punishment.

    While I don’t think it’s right up there with the Rocker situation it seems it’s pretty close.

    Rocker was originally suspended 45 days and fined him $20k and the arbitrator (the same one who sided with Braun) reduced it to 14 days and $500 dollars.

    For perspective Rocker’s comment was this:
    “I’d retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

    Still it’s amazing how saying something will get you a stiffer fine and greater social condemnation than getting behind the wheel of your car drunk or beating up your wife.

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