I’m a big fan of Dirk Hayhurst, however, like most people in my line of work and of a certain vintage (and, most likely, a certain level of stubbornness), I absolutely despise Bleacher Report. So, while happy to see him get a good gig, I was partly disappointed when he announced that he’d been hired on as a national MLB columnist there, at the home of what A.J. Daulerio once extraordinarily aptly termed Google-raping SEO “stories”, because I do not and will not read that site.
Except, as it turns out, in exceptional circumstances.
I can still get my Dirk fix through his personal blog — and from Bigger Than The Game, a review of which is still coming, and would have been here sooner had I not left my copy on the damn couch when I road tripped to the southern states last month! — which is great, especially for juicy Rogers- and Jays-related tidbits like this one, which came from a piece Dirk wrote after he was irked by a former colleague saying his snark towards the Jays on Opening Day may have been driven by “sour grapes”:
I was also the guy who, half way through the season, tweeted that the music Rogers Jays coverage was playing on every Blue Jays highlight package—two song choices, Metric’s Stadium Love, and Monster Truck’s Sweet Mountain River—had gotten to a level of annoyance that, when combined with the abysmal Jays season, made me want to leap off the CN Tower.
Twitter followers loved it. Rogers management… not so much. I was back roomed and told never to do that again. I laugh about that now because, when it happened, I was like, “but, it is annoying—you know it, I know it, and they (the fans) know it.”
Delicious stuff, right?
Less delicious, however, is what he laid on the organization today, in one of the few non-”What time does the Super Bowl start?” pieces available at BR.
“This team has too many Latinos on it to win,” mused the old scout beside me. “Get too many of them together on a club and they take over. The club divides, has no sense of itself. They might not be terrible. I mean, them boys can play, but they ain’t gonna win no championship. They’re too emotional to go the distance.
“No, no”—he shook his head—“I ain’t seen no team with this many Latinos in the lineup win.”
. . .
The comment didn’t shock me. Spend enough time around the inner workings of the game, you’ll hear this kind talk. Mostly from its antiquated members who’ve been overexposed to the same idiosyncratic, psychosomatic, superstitious behavior that brought players classic baseball rules of thumb like, “The darker the skin, the tighter the spin.”
What may be shocking to you is that this scout was a valued decision-maker. An evaluator of talent whose job it was to see what the team needed in order to win. He was the kind of old dog that was brought in by young, sabermetrically inclined officials to help bridge the gap between eyes-on baseball experience and cold, mathematical production analysis. His big contribution so far: the team was dark.
And the club this person is talking about? The club that he worked for?
Your Toronto Blue Jays.
[Edit: As some commenters have pointed out, it's not explicitly stated who the scout works for, however, the second paragraph is only just ambiguous enough to leave open the possibility that this could be a scout there to watch the Jays on behalf of another club if you squint real hard. Seems fairly clear that the team he's been hired by as "an evaluator of talent whose job it was to see what [they] needed to win” is the team he made his “big contribution” to by saying that it “was dark.”– AS]