Staring a long flight or interminable visit to the plastic-encased time capsule homes of far-flung relatives this holiday season? No need to drink yourself into oblivion, as Scott Johnson of theScore created the perfect holiday time-killer – a sports activity book!
Hit the jump for the Yunel Escobar customizable greeting card or the link above for the full book. Great fun for those willing to allow themselves a little fun.
It was never meant to be for Yunel Escobar in Miami. The situation was just too perfect – shamed Cuban ex-pat gets a second chance in his adopted home, playing before dozens of indifferent Marlins fans and a few excited Cubanos. Sadly, this dream will never become reality.
With the Marlins planning to use the other Cuban shortstop acquired from Toronto, Adeiny Hechavarria, as their everyday shortstop, Yunel expressed his desire to leave Miami in a Miami Sun-Sentinel report today. The former Brave and Blue Jay believes his skills as a shortstop would be wasted at third base, stating there are enough teams in the league for both Hechavarria and himself to find steady work at short.
Turns out Escobar didn’t have to wait long to his dreams to come true. Just as Rays fans and writers have long wished, the Island of Misfit Toys is about to get another lost soul. Reports suggest the Tampa Bay Rays are close to acquiring Escobar from the Marlins in exchange for Rays shortstop prospect Derek Dietrich, the Rays number 15 prospect in Fangraps preseason rankings coming off a strong season at Double-A. The deal was first reported by The Knobler.
The Toronto Blue Jays today blamed a lack of education for their team’s shortstop writing a message on his eye black that contained a derogatory term in Spanish that is hurtful to homosexuals. Given the mixed messaging and unaware utterances of stereotypes that plagued this afternoon’s press conference announcing the player’s subsequent three game suspension (which was approved by the team, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association), it’s easy to believe that ignorance, and not blatant bigotry, was the root of Yunel Escobar’s misstep.
Two things stand out to me from today’s purposefully penitent display in front of an assembled group of media members: 1) Mr. Escobar explaining his lack of deliberation by admitting that he has a lot of gay friends, among whom he counts his hairdresser and the person who decorates his house; and 2) Mr. Escobar confessing that “maricon” is something that Latin American baseball players say all of the time, which was followed by Blue Jays manager John Farrell claiming that homophobia was not a problem in baseball’s clubhouse culture.
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The Toronto Blue Jays have announced ahead of a press conference on the matter that Yunel Escobar will be suspended for three games for the derogatory language he used on his eye black during Saturday afternoon’s game. His salary for those three games will be donated to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
In addition, Escobar will undergo a sensitivity training program in accordance with the club and Major League Baseball, and participate in an “outreach initiative” to help inform and educate the public about “sensitivity and tolerance.” When the team returns to Toronto, he will meet with Patrick Burke of You Can Play.
Yesterday afternoon, it was revealed that Yunel Escobar wore eye black for a Saturday afternoon game that was decorated with the words, “TU ERE MARICON.” Since then, there has been much discussion over the translation, context and meaning of the phrase, which has ranged from the obscene hatred of ”You’re a faggot” to the trash-talking humor of “You’re a weakling.” About the only thing for certain is that there’s a negative connotation to the phrase, meant to describe inferiority.
While Escobar himself might suggest that the meaning he meant to convey with the writing below his eyes was something along the less offensive lines, it should be noted that this isn’t the first time that the shortstop has adorned his eye black with something offensive having to do with sexuality.
On a day when Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie was referred to as an inadvertent gay icon by the Toronto Standard, it has come to light that shortstop Yunel Escobar wore eye black on Saturday afternoon that was dressed with the phrase, “TU ERE MARICON,” which translates from Spanish to English as “You’re a faggot.”
Update: The Toronto Blue Jays issued a statement on Monday evening confirming that their team’s shortstop, Yunel Escobar, displayed a homosexual slur on his eye black during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
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.
General Manager Alex Anthopoulos will join Escobar, along with Manager John Farrell and Coach Luis Rivera to address the media in New York tomorrow afternoon.
Singular words used to describe Escobar’s action can’t help but be understated. It’s disappointing, disgusting and completely and utterly discouraging to see this. No matter the circumstances that led to it, and let’s be clear, we don’t know what those are, it’s inexcusable to promote hatred in any manner, let alone one that misuses the public stage that professional athletes are given.