For those who suffer the misfortune of not being able to stream this afternoon’s press conference– which Sportsnet is making available live at 3:30 ET– we’ll be following along here in this post, digesting the proceedings as they happen.

You can also listen live via the Fan 590.

For context, here’s what Getting Blanked, and DJF wrote about the controversy when it broke, plus my additional post after the Jays released their statement last night, and a follow-up from Parkes noting this wasn’t the first time Escobar has had questionable messages scrawled on his eye black.

[Update: It's a three game suspension-- see below for details. Oh, and tonight's game is rained out, officially. Day-night doubleheader tomorrow.]

Here we go…

4:25 PM: Well, there you have it. Escobar, who didn’t exactly look like he was suffering from flu-like symptoms, wasn’t asked why he missed the game on Sunday, after explaining that he heard yesterday that there were pictures on the internet. Outwardly he was contrite, apologetic, but insistent that he intended no offence, that it was a “word with no meaning,” and that it’s just something Latino players say. Yet he says that, now that it’s been brought to his attention that it’s not an appropriate word to use, he agrees with the suspension.

I don’t know if that went as well as it could have, though. The three games seems light, and the insistence that Escobar wouldn’t have known the context of such a word is pretty flimsy, given what we’ve heard– particularly from the Cuba experts in Cathal Kelly’s piece for the Toronto Star.

The Q&A went a little off message, or presented a bunch of mixed messages. For example, John Farrell saying homophobia isn’t a problem in clubhouse culture right after Escobar said that this was a word that’s used commonly by Latino players.

And as fun as it is to blame the interpreter– who appeared to be there as a vaguely neutral party, rather than having Luis Rivera speak– it’s not like they were going to fool any of the Spanish speaking reporters, of whom there were many, by softening the comments when translated.

Ultimately, Anthopoulos comes out of this looking best, I think, as he brought the positive, bridge-building sentiment and acknowledged the deep issue of homophobia– present in just the pure banality with which Escobar could say it was “a word without meaning”– in not just sports, but society. There’s no wrong in wanting to take this as a teachable moment for his players, and anyone following, and a jumping off towards making a positive impact with regard to education and visibility for how hurtful this kind of language is.

As the representative of the Jays as an organization and a company, I think he did well– and evoked, in a way, the positive end to the incident between Robbie Alomar and umpire John Hirschbeck, who later became friends, and Alomar a fellow advocate for research to cure ALD, the disease that took the life of Hirschbeck’s son, which Alomar infamously called the umpire bitter about during the incident. Even if you think the suspension is light, or wonder how Escobar will be viewed when he returns to SkyDome to finish out the season next week, I think the company looks like it handled a bad situation about as well as it could.

On the other hand, I must say, Farrell and Escobar, though their task was tougher, didn’t do a tremendous job of representing the clubhouse. From the questionable insistence that nobody saw or could have prevented Escobar from entering the field of play with such a message on his eye black, to the straight-out-of-the-50s  ”some of my best friends– or at least my hair dresser and interior decorator– are gay” line, it wasn’t exactly satisfactory.

Will it be sufficient to satisfy enough fans to let this whole thing blow over? That remains to be seen, and I’m not entirely sure it will. But it’s still murky. And the sad fact is, we know this won’t be the last incident of its kind, given just how common this kind of hurtful language is in locker room culture– and certainly not only among Latinos. Yes, it’s entirely naive to think of athletes as paragons of virtue, but that doesn’t justify in the slightest the instinct so many have to brush this incident off, or to chalk it up more to the ignorance of someone taking clubhouse language into the public.

It’s ugly, and it’s a long way from being rooted out, and that’s why I’m with Anthopoulos on this one, who seemed to at least know and accept what’s wrong about this, and to view it in whatever way possible so as to turn a negative into a positive. I don’t know if I can say the same of Escobar, and I certainly don’t think I can of Farrell, which only adds to the disappointment we all ought to feel as fans in the wake of this.

Like Yunel, you can also donate to You Can Play– and of your actual own volition, too!

See below for the chronology of the press conference, as it happened…

4:05 PM: That’s it. Final update coming.

3:59 PM: ”Honestly, the ‘you’ is not referencing anyone specifically,” the interpreter explains, before looking around the room to see if there might be another job available.

3:57 PM: This translator isn’t helping anyone, I don’t think– well, at least not the Jays and Escobar. It depends on how it’s said and who it’s said to, he says.

3:54 PM: “I have many gay friends. The person who cuts my hair, the person who decorates my house is gay,” he said. Seriously. “Honestly, they haven’t felt as offended.”

3:53 PM: ”I apologized today to my teammates and my coach, because it was not their fault,” Escobar says.

3:52 PM: We spent the day at the commissioner’s office today, with the players’ association, Anthopoulos says– however, the suspension comes from the team itself.

3:51 PM: “Honestly, I wish this wasn’t an issue any longer. I have no issue against the gay community and I’m sorry,” Escobar reiterates.

3:49 PM: Farrell says he was surprised by all this, as the messages on Escobar’s eye black were usually “positive, motivational, uplifting.” The manager says, “if someone had seen it, I suspect that someone would have said something.”

3:48 PM: ”At the end of the day, if the Blue Jays become a vehicle, if Yunel becomes a vehicle, as unfortunate as this is, to make things better,” Anthopoulos says, that will at least be a positive thing to come of it.

3:46 PM: ”It’s been a terrible thing in my career,” Escobar says. Of the suspension, Anthopoulos says it was done collectively– front office, ownership, and MLB. “I don’t know if there’s a right way to ever do these things.” He adds, “there is a problem not only in sports, there’s a problem in society, and ultimately what this is about is how we move on from here.”

“From a Latin perspective the word is used,” AA says. “Obviously that doesn’t make it right.”

3:44 PM: “What came out in all of this is a lack of education,” says Alex Anthopoulous. “It’s something we’re not proud of, we’re not happy, and I think it’s something Yunel is now going to become and advocate, and to work with those groups.” He continues, “suspending someone doesn’t fix the problem that’s going on, because it obviously goes beyond this.”

3:44 PM: He reiterates, “it was a joke,” and “it wasn’t directed at anyone in particular.”

3:43 PM: ”I’m embarrassed,” he says– for his team and for the organization, he adds.

3:41 PM: “It went from what was intended to be a joke to a problem. … I didn’t see it as something as bad at the time as it’s been interpreted.” He adds that “I agree with the suspension, I don’t have any problem with that,” all of this through a translator, of course.

3:40 PM: ”It’s word without meaning,” he says, through Rivera, saying that it’s a word used among teams, and the intention was never to be offensive. “It’s something said around among Latinos,” and “it was not something directed at anyone in particular,” he adds.

3:38 PM: Farrell: no one paid attention to what was written, because he’d written so many messages on his eye black, and the text was small. Ergo, no one stopped him.

3:37 PM: “I’m sorry for what happened, and I can guarantee this will never happen in my career. It’s a lesson I’ve learned and I don’t intend for it to happen again in my career,” he says via the translator. He apologizes again to the gay community.

3:35 PM: Escobar is making a statement in Spanish. He looks reasonable sheepish. “I’m sorry for the actions,” he says, via translator Luis Rivera. “It was not something I intended to be offensive… it was nothing intentional or directed at anyone in particular.” He adds, “I don’t have anything against homosexuals,” apologizing to “anyone who may have been offended by this.”

3:33 PM: From the official release:

The salary lost by Yunel Escobar during his suspension will be directed by the Toronto Blue Jays to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).   Yunel will participate in an outreach initiative to help educate society about sensitivity and tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation.  His participation will be conducted in consultation with all parties involved. Escobar will also participate in a sensitivity training program in accordance with the Toronto Blue Jays and Major League Baseball.

The Blue Jays want to reaffirm that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.  The club looks forward to supporting the efforts of You Can Play and GLAAD to help promote education for players and fans alike and to help keep language like this out of the game and society.

This sounds like the way it should be handled, yes?

3:31 PM: Shit, sorry about that, internet blip for about four minutes, so we had to turn on our radios. The Fan 590 guys say that it’s a three game suspension– via an official release from the club. They then proceed to talk about the implications for Baltimore. Fucking seriously? We’re back in business, but still waiting for the audio to kick in on Sportsnet’s feed.

3:26 PM: Not sure what I was just watching where Rosenthal was speaking– perhaps the radio feed?– but it went to dead air after Kenny Ken Ken’s comments, while the computer Parkes is on had the live video from the conference room in the Bronx. I had to restart my feed, so… fuck… now internet troubles all over the place here.

3:20 PM: The stream has started up, with a little preamble (or pre-taped segment, it seems) via the Fan 590 radio, I believe, with Ken Rosenthal speaking, explaining that he expects discipline of some kind. He notes Ozzie Guillen’s comments about Castro having warranted a suspension in the Marlins’ eyes earlier this season.

 

Comments (304)

  1. So much to do about calling the red sox homos

  2. Any predictions on what will be written on Yunel Escobar’s face during the conference?

  3. I bet he says he meant it in the “wuss” or “sissy” way and not in the “faggot” way.
    But he’ll also apologize like crazy.

  4. What I find interesting is TSN doesn’t give a shit about the Jays as much as they do about anything related to hockey, yet now that something some may call mildly scandalous happens, the Jays are everywhere. Where the fuck were these guys when the Jays were actually playing decent baseball?

    Ugh. Anything to grab viewers with publicity I guess.

    • when were the jays playing decent baseball? was i not there that sunday?

    • The fact that they’re owned by TSN’s direct competitor might shed some light on that ;)

      • I thought about it, yet here they are with a live feed of the announcement of Escobar’s suspension (and probably a public apology). Rogers would have to give them an approval to show it, so it makes little sense to me.

  5. I won’t be tuning in because I’m just going to be plugging my ears and shouting “Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo” over and over for the next 15 days or so.

  6. Yuny suspended 3 games

  7. Yunel, 3 game suspension, his pay given to GLAAD and You Can Play

    • Sounds reasonable… I think.
      I think he should also be suspended one more game on whatever day the pride parade is next year in TO and he should have to attend :)

  8. Really pathetic the jays will be donating his salary to some gay charity as if that somehow makes it better.

    • What would you have preferred?

    • Exactly how is it pathetic? It may not be enough, but I don’t see how it’s ‘pathetic’.

      • It’s a cheesy way to cover up this mess by throwing some cash at the situation. Just apologize and get over it.

        • The money has to go somewhere. Either Rogers can keep it or they can give it to these people. Meh.

          • Oh God. Now we’re going to get a slew of articles about how Rogers allowing GLAAD to profit from this instead of themselves as proof they are willing to spend on the Blue Jays.

          • Actually Jays 2010, you’re the only one making a big deal about the money, not Rogers.

  9. I said before Roger McDowell’s 2 week suspension was for way, way worse behaviour and Kobe paid $100K for his yelling at ref – Yunel loses $92,600 – seems a bit light

    • You wouldn’t fine an office worker who makes 60k a year that much for similar conduct, would you?

      I think percentage of total income must be taken into account

      • You generally wouldn’t fine an office worker making 60k a year, at all. People act like Yunel would be fired if he worked in any other job than millionaire baseball star, but honestly, as someone who’s worked in HR, homophobic remarks (very sadly) get made in offices all the time and the result, if it even gets reported, is pretty much always just a warning/sensitivity training

        • I think if a employee was to make as public of a spectacle as Yunel did, I think a company would be forced into disciplining an employee to some extent.

          Sadly corporate punishment is based on the outrage created, and in a closed office environment. (as you used as an example) away from the public eye, I don’t think companies are compelled to action as they would be if it happened on national TV.

  10. If my math is correct, 3 games of forfeited salary for Escobar is about $100,000. Which is what Kobe was fined for his slur at the referee in the NBA last year.

    • Kobe’s was said in the heat of the moment – this was pre-meditated and thought out and executed. He didn’t say it, he displayed it. On his face.

  11. Yunel lose $92,600 in pay, seems a bit light. Kobe was fined $100K. In relative salary, though Yunel is losing more as a percentage of his pay. Roger McDowell’s 2 weeks suspension was for far, far worse behaviour. I would have thought a week.

    • That’s because AA signed him to that sweet deal. Too bad Vernon Wells didn’t make such a comment.

  12. Lighter than I thought though the fine was a bit heavier.

  13. No one thought to bring a translator to this show?

  14. Suspensions are nice, but I think a personal gesture would go a long way.

    Getting penalized is different from actually showing remorse, and I think thats what people who were offended are really looking for.

    But whatever, I think this was gonna be about as big a deal as the Jays decided to make it.. and they didn’t make it a big deal. Moving on

  15. LOL @ I have friends who are gay.

  16. Seems about right. MLB decisions seem to be consistently based on precedent. The precedent of other play’er’s arb awards for arbitration. Contracts of others used in contract negotiations. Given there was a physical component to the charges against Delmon Young, roughly half of the suspension he got seems fair. Of course Delmon got off way too easy, but once you set that kind of precedent it’s hard to just ignore it mere months later.

  17. Can we just point out the ridiculousness that there are no Spanish speaking reporters covering this team for a local media outlet??

    • What, you mean in Toronto? There’s only one Spanish newspaper in Toronto, and it’s a pretty small outfit called El Popular. They do some coverage of Los Azulejos: http://diarioelpopular.com/?s=azulejos&search.x=0&search.y=0

      But really, what do you expect? Not a very big Spanish media market in Toronto.

      • I don’t mean for coverage to a Spanish audience, but to actually cover the players who speak Spanish. Wilner admits he knows little or nothing of the Spanish speaking players unless he can corral Luis Rivera or another bi-lingual player to interpret for him, which is not their job. The media outlets here should be looking to hire a bi-lingual reporter – a tremendous amount of coverage is lost by not having these guys engaged in the same type of pre-game, post-game interviews as their English teammates. I feel less informed because of that. There has to be some experienced Dominican or Venezuelan reporter who could be brought in to augment coverage of this team.

  18. “I have gay friends” is never a good justification. “This isn’t racist, I have black friends.” Not helping.

  19. I get the sense that Escobar is trying to soften the message he wrote on his eye-black, when it was as direct as he wrote it. This would explain the translator’s confused state.

  20. Can’t stream through Sportsnet, but TSN is working fine. Meh, I’m turning it off anyway.

  21. I came here to say exactly that. Now I want a press conference where the Jays apologize for using the worst translator in the history of ever. You have a sensitive subject to talk about and THIS IS THE GUY they use to communicate with the press???

  22. CNN? Spanish reporters?

    i get that this is a big deal

    BUT

    its not this big of a fuckin deal. poor guys getting nailed to a cross

    he’s just a fuckin idiot

    • +1

    • I think part of that is the fact they’re in New York – had it been Kansas City I think the coverage would be different.

    • Yunel is certainly being embarrassed to the point where he’ll never use the word again near a camera or recording device.

    • Well said people won’t be happy until they’ve had their pound of flesh or more. People make mistakes, people pay the price for those mistakes – most of the time, but then again some are never satisfied.

    • News Stations are desperate for stories like this. It falls into the perfect “entertainment news” category.

      No significance or importance whatsoever. I mean, he wasn’t even trying to make some sort of statement, he was just being a complete idiot.

  23. Genuinely unsure, because I’m not a native Spanish speaker. Would “marica” have created such furor? I’ve never heard it and never used it, but while “maricón” means “faggot”, it more literally means “big marica”, or “big wussy”. It’s a bit like a Brit using “queer” to mean “strange”, rather than as a slur, but in a context where the slur would make sure, and getting into trouble for it.

  24. Anyone who’s been to a school with fobs knows this is a common phrase made in a joking way.

    Sure, maybe he should’ve grown up but they’re still playing a kids game.

  25. So ballplayers can see the way seams on a baseball spin, and are able to distinguish a breaking pitch, etc… but they can’t see the lettering on Yunel’s eyeblack?

    Such BS…

  26. How many different ways can this guy apologise? Enough.

  27. okay Yunel, end the press conference with “I am boycotting Chick-Fil-A and taking my eating talents to Chipotle”

  28. That transaltor is fucking horrible. Yunel talks for 2 minutes and the translator says “I’m sorry” yeah right.

  29. Farrell is a fucking idiot! Why is it always an excuse with this organization.

  30. fuck it, lets play ball.

  31. I hope someone asks:

    “Yunel do you ever have gay thoughts?”

  32. “My interior decorator is gay, My hairdresser is gay.”

    Wow…

  33. “The person who decorates my house is gay. The person who cuts my hair is gay.”

    HAHAHA.

  34. The only thing worse than Escobar’s apology is the interpreter. This shitshow is going downhill fast.

  35. i watched a portion of the comments on tv in regard to escobar, are you sure they are the best commentators you can find,it was terrible particularly the part about hanging by a rope

  36. Exaaactly.

  37. Yunel is going to dance on Ellen next week too, with his stylist

  38. I feel like I’m watching telemundo

  39. Yunel Escobar and the Toronto Blue Jays abide by the Mitt Romney school of public relations.

  40. Can we now get down to some serious losing?? We have a top 5 draft pick to secure!!! And, it looks like a manager to trade. #TankNationRainbowPrideChapter

  41. It’s a leadership problem really. Can we get Terry Francona on the phone to manage this team? Can we get Bautisia back to set these guys straight?

  42. Why is that confusing?

    • But what do you expect?

      Is he doing anything different than 29 other managers? Probably not. Yet he’s the one who has to deal with this shitstorm. I think he did a reasonable job under the circumstances.

      • is this a joke?

        farrell says he doen’t think homophobia is a problem in his clubhouse…. while sitting at a press conference for his shortstop being suspended for WEARING A HOMOPHOBIC SLUR ON HIS FACE.

        you can’t make this shit up.

    • Or you could read Dr. Jeffrey Satinover’s book and not be such a scientific ignoramus. Whicheve’.

  43. Ok, that’s over. Cue up Bobby Valentine and move the media circus back where it belongs.

  44. Reporter: Yunel, can you tell us who are your gay friends?

    Yunel: um, Kelly Johnson . . . . Adeiny, Chipper Jones and Frank Wren.

  45. My only comment at this point has to be: Seriously? This has gotten way too much attention, it is a non story.

  46. The sad thing I suppose is that it’s just a prime example of the culture he was raised in and now works in. Communist regimes aren’t exactly known for their warm fuzzy feelings to gays. A locker room atmosphere isn’t much better. Of course it doesn’t make it any better but the guy is a total product of his environment. Hopefully the exposure will go a long way to changing things but I suppose a certain percentage of people will never be satisfied with the results.

    • What a shame such nuance seems beyond most of the people involved in reporting this story.

      • I don’t think it’s necessarily beyond them. I’m sure some of them know it’s good media to shit out one instance of a widespread problem.

      • Of course because moral outrage is so much more fun. We’re all guilty of it at times but some really get carried away while choosing to ignore other serious issues like the DUI’s in sport or the beatings.

  47. Well, I for one am glad we went through this elaborate dance and ritual flagellation. Hopefully the gay community can recover from what has been a very dark chapter in the history of persecution. Whether or not Yunel meant to viciously attack an entire group of people – and I think everyone has gone ahead and assumed he did – we can all agree that such language is unacceptable in a 21st century society, depending of course on the various interpretations and uses of the word used. Hopefully we can now live in a world where baseball players never again use curse words – a kinder world, a gentler world, I dare say a better world!

  48. Today’s apology threat!

  49. Awesome, Bob Mccown is ripping this guy.

    • This McCown guy is an example of EXTREME Hate far worse than anything Yunel did … the tones of voice tell it all. As a culture we have lost ourselves if we support McCown and trash Yunel … I thought I lived in Canada not Rush Limbaugh

      • Thank you Smelly Dog. McCown is making me fucking sick right now. He has never made a mistake/ Give me a fucking break already!

      • hey smelly dog, write that on your face and go to work tomorrow and see what happens.

      • Mccwan is out of control. His hate for YUNEL IS over the top .

        Yunel was stupid for writing those comments on his black eye patch.

        It wasn’t the first time he did something like this & the Latinos in the clubhouse should have warned him.

        I am sure that Farrell has a rudimentary knowledge of spanish or could at least ask Viaquel what those sayings mean.

        This is a failure of more than one person & AA knows it.

        Howevre, I would like to see Mccowan blow his lid the next time a Maple Leaf gets a DUI, which is more serious.

        A DUI could potentially kill someone whereas Yunel looks like a fool with his anti gay eye patch.

  50. Who was pitching that day – Lester? How funny (not haha funny, but strange funny) would it be if Lester actually was gay, this drove him out of the closet, Yunel wound up being a bigot and baseball made an important step forward in accepting gay people.

    Probably not though – Lester looks like the kind of douchebag that does body shots out of strippers’ asses…

  51. I’m more offended by the price of beer at the Rogers Centre than I am about what Escobar wrote on his eye black. Everyone just chill out.

  52. This whole apology was a sham.

    • Yes burn him at the stake now. Get a grip. He made a mistake, he apologized for it and now he’s paying the price. Is he still an idiot? Yes. Does he know not to do anymore? Yes. Are other players more aware now? Yes. Look for the positives and move on.

      • If he actually gave an explanation then I would.

      • That would be grossly poetic considering the term “faggot” is derived from the fact that homosexuals weren’t considered worth a stake of their own to be burned at in the middle ages, they’d just throw them on the pile of faggots (aka bundles of sticks) that were being used to immolate the main burning victim.

      • +1.

  53. I think the Jays should vacate all their wins and get the #1 pick!!! :D

  54. Quick – turn off the Fan. It is getting retarded quick. Bob MCCown is an idiot apparently….

    • How awesome would it be if Bob McCown said ‘faggot’ then everyone got so upset that we needed to have another apology news conference slash suspension about it tomorrow, thus perpetuating the news cycle indefinitely?

      • Oh wow, this caller now wont go see another Jays game because of this? Seriously?

        I am not gay, but that seems a little too far, doesn’t it?

        I don’t know…..just seems too much to me.

    • *Apparently*?! What was your first fucking clue?

  55. Did Escobar just out Rajai Davis?

  56. 3:33 PM: This sounds like the way it should be handled, yes?

    Yes absolutely!

  57. I’ve never seen Farrell look so out of it. Like he didn’t get to take his afternoon nap or had just smoked a bowl with Rasmus.

  58. (Wife of Yunel Escobar’s hairdresser is flipping through channels, stops at press conference)

    “Honey, isn’t that your baseball player customer?”

    (Turns up volume on TV, as the wife’s face goes pale with shock)

    WIFE: “Sergio… you mean you’re…?”
    HAIRDRESSER: “I told him that in confidence!” *smashes bottle of Barbicide*

  59. McCown: “We’ve seen this before with these Spanish players … it’s a cowardly way to go” Who’s a coward?

    • There’s more than a hint of irony in the not-so-subtle racism being displayed by McCowan and others of his ilk right now, honestly.

      • I couldn’t agree more.

        Could McCown be any more insensitive to Latino’s? What a fucking coward he is.

        And while we are on it ‘No more second chances for Yunel’ or anybody…

      • Sadly he’s not wrong though. It’s part of the culture just the same as hatred of blacks or other ethnic groups was a big part of other cultures. There’s a strong religious aspect to it and in Escobar’s case a political one as well.

        You just have to look at what happened in California of all places when gay marriage was overturned there. The fact is just like racism, bigotry is deeply engrained in every culture.

        • Get a grip. You’re a fool if you think athletes don’t use the word fag. Yunel was just stupid to use it in public.

    • Let’s put this in context. He was talking about players with functional english speaking abilities speaking through interpreters.

    • I don’t know Escobar is homophobic or not but I’m sure bob motherfuckin mccown is racist.

    • Sounds like McCown doing a pretty good Don Cherry impression

  60. Screw you Escobar. Just because I’m well dressed it doesn’t mean that I’m gay.

  61. Hopefully the only good thing that can come out of this is that farrell gets canned asap for allowing this shit to go on. He has no control of this clubhouse. I’m damn sure that everyone knew he had it on.

    • Yes, because what we want in a baseball manager is akin to some HR flunky in a fortune 1000 enterprise.

      • Whatever value there is in managing a clubhouse…however difficult it is…considering the makeup of the Jays clubhouse (extreme diversity, many castoffs, insane injuries this year), don’t you think in some ways it’s one of the hardest clubhouses in MLB to manage?

        I do

    • to be honest, i was the most impressed with how he handled the situation

      he had esco’s back while admitting he made a mistake

      AA was terrible disappointing through his player further under the bus,
      i was never a big farrell guy but he got a bit more respect from me today

  62. Shit he makes around 100K in 3 days. That’s really fucked up if you think about it.

    • “Club friendly contract” is all I kept hearing when they were talking about trading him at the deadline. Kind of puts it in perspective doesn’t it?

  63. Now that that is over I think I will go out for a fag, or do now have to say cigarette

  64. Me, and being a burgeoning gay icon, are offended.

  65. Jays game postponed tonight. I sure hope it’s because of the weather.

  66. I wonder what would have sufficed for those people who say Escobar didn’t say enough/that the apology was a fiasco.

    I mean, sure the hairdresser/decorator thing was silly… but if it’s true? The rest? Pretty much boilerplate stuff, IMO.

    • I doubt anything would have sufficed. There is really no way for Yunel to come out looking good of that press conference (although I don’t think it was handled as well as it could have been).

  67. Fuck 2012.

  68. If the conference had ended after what was said in Stoetens 3:37 update I think it’d been better…

  69. Sanctamonious Media Fuckfest STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are not stopping homophobia with your words, it didn’t happen after Kobe, it didn’t happen after Kenyon Martin, it didn’t happen after Stephanie Rice, it didn’t happen after Wayne Simmonds or Colin Clark, it didn’t happen after Eminem or Axl Rose, it didn’t happen after Ken Phelps, etc etc

    Wake the fuck up bloggers, talkers, radio hosts, etc. You are not changing shit.

  70. Yunel’s one of those voice-doesn’t-match-face type of guys.

  71. You mad bro!?

  72. FWIW, an ESPN poll shows that folks are split pretty evenly between their view of the penalty as being “Too harsh”, “Just right” and “Too lenient.”

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8395863/toronto-blue-jays-yunel-escobar-suspended-three-games-gay-slur-eye-black

  73. What exactly was it that McCown was saying?

  74. “Will it be sufficient to satisfy enough fans to let this whole thing blow over? That remains to be seen, and I’m not entirely sure it will.”

    No apology would ever have caused this to blow over immediately. Its the actions he/they take that matter, not the words. It will likely be forgotten by the collective in a week or so, and moreso if Escobar plays well. No one complains about Kobe or Amare’s “homophobia”, do they?

    One last thing, from someone who actually matters in this regard. Pat Burke from You Can Play’s reaction:

    “RT @BurkieYCP: Don’t think the @BlueJays or @MLB could have handled this any better. Combined discipline with education to ensure everyone learns from this”

    • Good point. Heard him on CBC radio this morning. He was very rational, well spoken, and fair. If he’s happy I’m happy.

    • I think it will be blow over in no time. It won’t necessarily be forgotten because any negative character attribute follows a player around in sports for life. That’s just the way it is. Reporters need shit to talk about.

    • From Burke on the radio to these type of comments, it becomes clear why he is so successful in his position with YCP: He never, EVER tries to shame people or pile-on people who say these types of things. His approach is always to turn a negative into a positive and move forward from there. That is such a great approach to take and will get him supports from all realms. The people who simply say “That’s disgusting, trade him, suspend him” (basically all that was said on both DJF and Getting Blanked yesterday) want to only punish the negative rather than fix a problem to make a person a better person moving forward. I agree with Burke, education and rehabilitation is the key to fixing these types of issues.

    • Whew! Thank you, Mr. Burke … for awhile here I was fearing the barbarian hordes led by McCown were overrunning the land.

      I would like to know where I can formally protest to The Fan 590 about McCown’s totally unacceptable behaviour. Preaching that there should be no forgiveness, we’re past forgiveness as a society. This is FAR a far worse (and more than a slur) It’s a frontal attack on a sane and decent world.

      • I was tempted to be snarky and suggest you google it but I despise McCown enough that I will happily do the legwork myself:

        Online feedback:
        http://www.sportsnet.ca/contact/

        Mailing Address:
        Rogers Sportsnet
        One Mount Pleasant Rd.
        Toronto, ON
        Canada
        M4Y 3A1

        Phone:
        1-888-451-6363

      • Ugh, McCown made me fucking sick too. What a complete piece of shit he is.

        • Thanks guys … I got rattled there; hard to make a dog feel sick … we’re used to smelling shit, but McCown gagged me.

      • +1 Mccowan is out of control.

        • +1, thanks for the link. time to report some feedback. He and Brunt were sickening.

          • I found McCowan and Brunt’s comments and attitude during prime time sports on 9/18/2012 far more offensive, intolerant, racist versus Latinos and hate-filled than Yunel Escobar’s eye black. I believe they should be reprimanded for their disgusting behaviour.

  75. Did anybody ask Brett Lawrie’s opinion?

  76. Hey Stoeten, good job on the final summary.

  77. LET’S GO TO WAR AGAINST ALL OTHER CULTURES UNTIL NOBODY IS MEAN TO ANYBODY!

  78. In baseball terms I wonder if this latest bit of negative publicity just made AA’s job that much harder this winter when it comes to attracting free agents. While not on par with the shit going on over in the Sox clubhouse it’s not exactly a selling point either.

    First he’s got the stigma of a wicked batch of pitcher injuries to worry about, a lousy record this season and now this.

    • No offense, but it’s laughable to think this will have any impact on potential free agents. You know what will? $$$$$$$$$

    • +1.

      The braying hordes of politically correct fans want AA to dfa escobar.

      Trading escobar for scraps will further weaken a team whose strategy is to draft international free agents from countries where gay rights are not a top priority.

      Escobar was foolish to write those things on his eye patch.

      However, it is the responsibility of the coaching staff & veteran latino to tell escobar what he is doing is wrong

  79. ike davis is available. I wonder if we’ll see yunel traded before the season ends?

  80. I cannot believe he said his gay friends were his hairdresser and hia decorator. What a complete joke he is. Yunel should be gone. Period.

    • Baseball contracts are guaranteed so Jays can release him but still owe him full contract. Giving someone 10$ million to not have to work anymore seems, stupid. Doesn’t more positive come from this if he leans from his mistake and works with LGB community then to cut and pay him. Your outrage is making you stupid and irrational. Why don’t you direct your misguided rage towards actual Homophobes like most of the Republican party and guys like Tim Thomas then at stupid uneducated Cuban baseball players who aren’t intentionally homophobic rather just not very bright

      • It’s funny when people try to make a point about people they consider to be bigots by making stereotypes and basically being bigoted towards that group…

    • Are you a hairdresser, or interior decorator, or both?

  81. I also think if the comment had been directed against any other group he would have been done. Shame on the Jays.

  82. With $5 million a year, how does this dude still not speak a lick of English????

    • This is a very valid point, which speaks to the man’s (mistaken) priorities and his judgement, but I should note that Alomar was slow in coming along as well. But Escobar knows more English than he lets on, I am quite sure.

  83. Farrell is a joke, yunels comments are positive and uplifting? There was another pic where yunel wrote “no penis”. How is that uplifting?

    Why has stoeten not posted that pic?

  84. Yunel should declare himself a Republican and that he cares about “family values” like Tim Thomas does and then apparently it’s OK with the media. Of course, people are freaking out about this yet seem oblivious to fact that the current presidential and VP candidates are openly anti-gay and could potentially be LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD. WTF?!?! I’m not saying that what Yunel did wasn’t wrong, just that people freak out about this yet it’s ok for millions of Americans to be outright homophobic and not just stupid like Yunel but there is no outrage because they are Christian Republicans and hide their homophobia behind the bull shit line of caring about traditional family values. Society sucks!

    • Was thinking this earlier, yet the moral outrage is nearly as high while all that’s going on. It’s obviously ok to think like that and talk around it without actually using a slur.

      • indeed, Its funny how an issue like this in sports and quite frankly, completely insignificant people are outraged. I don’t hear Bob McCown on fan590 railing against Mitt Romney and Ryan who could potentially lead the United States and are openly homophobic and will actually effect that gay and lesbian community yet lets lynch Yunel Escobar for something stupid he wrote under his eye. Rage and anger about this issue is totally misguided and should be directed towards those who could potentially yield power and allow their homophobia to dictate policy and laws rather then some silly cuban baseball player.

    • Not all Christians, or all Republicans are homophobic anymore than all gay people are interior decorators and hairdressers. Just because you’re bigoted towards groups that are ok to bash in the realm of political correctness doesn’t make you better it just makes you a different kind of bigot.

      How ’bout you sit this one out for a while champ…

  85. A video about Yunel’s childhood http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzgKSGD6Hgo

  86. it’s real simple, pro baseball players live in a bubble and are really not that smart, same goes for hockey players. Really embarrassing that we cheer for these morons. It’s our genetic freaks against yours.

  87. For crissakes he made a mistake, apoligized for it and is getting a loss of pay. Let the first of you out there that has never either said or done something that was misguided throw the first fucking stone like in Iran or some fucking place. Move on and work on fixing this fucking roster.
    The only way Escobar gets traded ( and rightfully so) is if and only if it helps our team get better, for eg involved in a trade for Upton. Otherwise he will, as expected, be the starting shorstop next year.
    For Fsakes , half the league w/b turning over every week if every guy who said or moved or did something somebody somewhere didn’t like. SHIT!!

  88. This was a perfect example of how our society is becoming more and more like a grade school. Yunel is the kid who said something mean to someone and got brought into the principal’s office for bullying and now he’s suspended for two days and has to write a paper about how he learned that words can hurt just as much as fists.

    Except there’s one difference – we’re supposed to be fucking adults. Yunel didn’t insult a specific person with that epithet nor did he use it in reference to a specific person, ie in an interview. If even seeing the word ‘maricon’ is perceived as some kind of hate crime then that’s seriously fucked.

    I don’t even doubt that he should have been suspended, though I think the pertinent crime was displaying inappropriate language on television. However, this business with paying penance to charities as if Yunel had actually attacked an actual gay person is preposterous. And watching him have to sit there and grovel to that fucking mongrel media horde was disgusting.

    Some day some of you will make a mistake. And I hope that it is magnified into the same kind of personality defining slander that this has been.

  89. Most important outcome for the team here going forward – when Jays let KJ walk and announce that Hech will be the starting SS next year and Yunel will move to 2B. Given (1) bad press that chased Yunel out of Atlanta; and (2) the worse press of this incident on top of a shitty year at the plate; our friend Esco will be in no position to complain internally or externally about the move. So we get to play Hech at the position at which he has the most value (and is the better defender vs. Esco) without having to worry about Yunel sulking – I would think he’s gotta be a true company man now.

  90. McCown is a fucktard. He actually went as far to attribute Yunel’s stupid action to his “hatred” of homosexuals.

    • Yes. He actually took Yunel’s word that is the equivalent of calling someone a Nancy boy to reflect his “hatred.”

      What the fuck?

    • mccowan is the same guy that calls alex greek boy and yet he’s so offended. what a fucking hypocrite.

      • Yes, because Greek Boy is a term that has been used for as long as anyone can remember to denigrate the Greek population. Use your head.

        • So, calling the next Greek person I see ‘Greek Boy’ will not result in a punch in the gut?

          Still isn’t polite. And is still hypocritical.

  91. He’s apologized, effectively donated money to a cause that he wronged, and will meet with the head of that organization. It’s a lot more than what others who use homophobic slurs (or have used in the past) have done. He’s more high profile than, for example, a blog writer, but clearly not as intelligent nor educated. Does he really deserve to be punished to a greater degree than everyone else?

  92. It would have looked great on the organization if they had sat him for the rest of the season.

    And it wouldn’t have affected them one bit. September for a non-contender is when you want to play the kids, anyway.

    • Right. Very realistic and highly intelligent. A penalty wildly disproportionate to the offence, which the PA would have grieved and had overturned, and the whole thing could play out again in the arbitration hearing and the media once more.Surprised the organization never thought of something that bright.

      • What is proportionate than? A lot of folks are calling for an outright dismissal. Seemed to me that missing the last 16 games was a decent compromise.

        Do you always communicate in sarcasm? Are you unable to articulate thoughts otherwise?

        • A lot of folks are bloody idiots. What’s a punishment proportionate to the sin
          of writing a distasteful message on your face so small that people practically
          have to look for it to find it? Maybe you just tell him that he fucked up and
          why what he did is bad. Then you let that be the end of it. No lynch mobs
          required and everyone’s at least as well-off.

  93. Not giving Yunel a free pass…he needs to know and understand the values we as a society hold. He messed up, and was properly punished.

    That said…..it’s a luxury that we take for granted that we as a society can summon up all of this collective energy, for the express purpose of making sure that somebody, somewhere, is not “offended.”

    Believe it or not, there are many places in the world (re: the vast majority) where offending someone just doesn’t matter. Places where people are more worried about getting enough to eat, making sure their families have a roof over their heads, avoiding disaeses common in the 3rd world and unheard of in the 1st.

    Obviously, if yunel wants to live here, he needs to understand our values. But before we go crucifying the guy, let’s realize that we are ALL products of our environment, and that the guy is not the Great Satan because he holds a view that is, in all likelihood, very common among many of his peers.

    Education is what’s warranted, not castigation.

  94. “I have many gay friends. The person who cuts my hair, the person who decorates my house is gay,” he said. Seriously. “Honestly, they haven’t felt as offended.”

    Nice stereotyping here. That’s like saying “I have nothing against African-Americans. My butler, maid and chauffeur are Negr–oops, I mean African-Americans”.
    I wonder where Yunel will be playing next year?

    • It didn’t go exactly like that.

      Escobar said that his gay friends were not offended by the whole thing. Then some arsewipe asked him who his gay friends were.

      He shouldn’t have said the first comment, and the answer to the arsewipe is “I don’t think it would be appropriate to name those people here”

    • Hopefully in Toronto. He seems to be rather good at baseball even if he’s not
      steeped in Canadian culture and values.

  95. Explain to me how the rest of the Jays did not notice this? Did Yunel write this on his eye black? Did one of the other non-English speaking Jays do it? Is there a choice of eye black, the homosexual slur, penis comments or plain? Things that make you go hmmmmmm…

    • OK, let’s ignore the present homophobia controversy for a moment and focus on the penis one. Suppose I write “What” on my right eyeblack and “the fuck?” on my left eyeblack. Clearly a bit distasteful, but who am I sexually harassing (or whatever has your arms up about this)?

  96. I think I would rather have KFC and beer

  97. Nothing makes my blood boil like a “sorry if you were offended” apology. Just say “I know what I did was wrong and I’m sorry.”

    I would have liked the Jays to match the salary he forfeited and donate that as well as a show of good will.

    I agree that education is more important than punishment, but I can just picture the team all giggling like a bunch of 8th graders at their mandated sensitivity training now.

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