Archive for the ‘Yunel Escobar’ Category

Well, this blowed up real good, didn’t it? Which isn’t to say that I would have expected otherwise, given the nature of what was written on Yunel Escobar’s eye black on Saturday. It’s a situation that demands comment, context, and, hopefully once the parties involved have spoken on the matter, contrition, followed a deep breath and a return to something resembling normalcy– and maybe some kind of suspension while we’re at it, depending on what exactly it is that we hear.

I don’t know. The Jays, at least, are taking steps in the right direction, having released the following statement regarding the incident:

The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game. The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter.

Alex Anthopoulos, Sr. VP Baseball Operations and General Manager will be available to the media tomorrow afternoon at Yankee Stadium and we expect him to be joined by Yunel Escobar, Manager John Farrell and Coach Luis Rivera. Details and location for the media availability will be announced tomorrow.

If you’ve somehow missed the gist of what I’m talking about, check the original post from below.

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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.

Ugh.

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.)

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Our friend Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors passes along a post from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, in which he spoke to Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers about their shortstop situation for 2013, now that the club has washed its hands of Stephen Drew, essentially giving him away to Oakland earlier in the week.

“There’s not a lot on the free-agent market, so more than likely it’s going to take a trade,” Towers tells Piecoro. “We’ll probably have to trade a good player — or a couple of good players — to find one.”

Well, well, well. The Jays have something almost resembling a mild surplus at that position! And while the Rangers, with Elvis Andrus in place and Jurickson Profar ready, would be able to do some serious business in this regard, if they wanted to, the Jays might be able to do something a little more modest and reasonable with the Diamondbacks.

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A few things out there worth mentioning as we head into the last weekend before Tuesday’s trade deadline, none of which is really worth making an entire post for, though. Here’s a rundown of what’s rumbling…

The Yunel Escobar stuff just won’t stop, with Buster Olney chiming in with a tweet that full-on assumes the Jays’ shortstop is on the market, but that his supposed attitude problem continues to be a… er… problem.

“There’s no question that Yunel Escobar’s clubhouse reputation is not helping his market value; it’s been a red flag for some teams,” he writes, piling on what his colleague Jerry Crasnick was talking about yesterday when he tweeted that the A’s “appear lukewarm on Yunel Escobar. They value clubhouse dynamic, and they’re concerned how well Escobar might fit.”

It bears repeating, however, what Richard Griffin said in his live blog at the Toronto Star during yesterday’s win, which I included in yesterday’s Afternoon Snack.

“All I know is that the GM speaks fondly of Escobar as a baseball-first, clubhouse rat,” Griff explained. “He stays late to talk baseball with the other guys and has been there after midnight with AA and EE talking game stuff. Inside the Braves clubhouse may have been a different story because that place has traditionally been run by golf-playing card-playing starting pitchers who do not like flare and individuality. The Jays have a different clubhouse so observations about Yunel fitting in are coming from outside. Will he be traded? Maybe, but not because of attitude.”

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I don’t know why we’re hearing so much of this stuff, except perhaps because we know the Jays are neither going to confirm it or deny it, but today we have yet another rumour-mongering involving Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar, this time from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Now, it’s undeniable that it makes a little bit of sense to think the Jays might see the value in dealing Escobar and his very friendly contract. Adeiny Hechavarria may be more ready with the bat than I generally tend to believe, and this week’s promotion of Anthony Gose may indicate that we should believe even less about a prospect’s weak PCL stats than we already do. And though I don’t think I’m wrong in believing that the defensive value Hechavarria could provide probably isn’t nearly enough to offset the gulf between his bat and Escobar’s when he’s going well, it’s pointed out to me every time we’ve gone through this exercise that there may be more value in having Hechavarria plus whatever Escobar can be traded for, than there is in either shifting the younger Cuban to second base or slating him for the minors as a redundant piece.

And right now Escobar’s bat doesn’t look anything close to what it has at his peak.

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I tend to think this kind of stuff is… pretty much crazy, actually, but here we’ve got another rumour about the Jays and their willingness to move Yunel Escobar. And this time from an actual respectable source! Ken Rosenthal’s latest at Fox Sports.

The Jays are willing to move Escobar, sources say, in part because of their belief that Triple A shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is ready to play in the majors. Hechavarria, 23, is batting .314 with an .805 OPS in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

OK, so Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail has been on the “move Escobar now” train too– though maybe not necessarily based on sourced information about trade talks, but rumblings of a souring on Yunel from within the organization– and I’m not going to disparage his info (um… today), but this stuff still strikes me as a little pecuiliar.

Sure, Kevin Goldstein was saying late last month that Hechavarria’s making real progress at the plate. And yes, the numbers look good, absent the giant wad of context that is the PCL. But… um… GIANT WAD OF PCL CONTEXT!

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The YuniBomber

You get the feeling that Jon Morosi likes smothering his traffic bread in delicious Jays-fan butter, so it’s kinda of little surprise that he’s rumour mongering once again today in his latest for Fox Sports, as he tosses this nugget into the Jays section of his team-by-team breakdown of the up-for-grabs AL East:

In the near term, keep an eye on shortstop Yunel Escobar. Once prospect Adeiny Hechavarria arrives in the majors — which could happen any day now — the Blue Jays will have the flexibility to move Escobar for pitching. The A’s, Mariners and Pirates are possible trade partners, because they have pitching depth and a lack of production at shortstop.

It’s interesting, though.

I mean, I suppose that moving Escobar would make total sense if the Jays if they felt that his overall numbers this season– a .300 OBP and .275 wOBA– reflected his true talent level, because that’s probably about what you can expect from Hechavarria, who’d then improve the club with his otherworldly defence. But I don’t know why anybody would think that’s where Escobar is truly at.

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