Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Race-Based Ball:
Ezequiel Astacio might be surprised to learn he isn't black. At least, according to the Associated Press he isn't.

"Astros roster has no black players," announced the AP headline. That would be the Houston Astros, allegedly the first team with no black players to compete in a World Series since 1953. Except, Houston has a few black players. They're just Hispanic blacks, so they don't count.

Baseball is probably the most racially diverse sport in America. But the race-counters have discovered that the number of non-Hispanic black players is dwindling. Only 9 percent of major league players this year were "black," according to the AP. And by black the AP means African-American. Black Hispanics are counted as Hispanic.

"We know that we have to work to do," Commissioner Bud Selig whined. "We'll continue to intensify our efforts. I'm very aware, I'm extremely sensitive about it, and I feel badly about it. But we need to get to work to change things."

Yes, suddenly Major League Baseball is horrified that it doesn't have enough players of African heritage who were born in the United States. If we parse the ancestry of baseball players much further, we'll soon be worried about the lack of Norwegian switch-hitting catchers or left-handed relief pitchers who grew up between West 155th Street and East 110th and aren't named Rodriguez. It is starting to get ridiculous.

The reason baseball has fewer American-born black players is that they've chosen other sports. The AP reported that half of NCAA Division 1 basketball players and 44 percent of NCAA football players are black. But only 6 percent of the baseball players are. America's best black athletes are opting for other sports. That's sad, considering the great opportunities available in baseball and the hell black players went through to integrate the sport. But is it really cause for great worry?
He should check out the All-Latino Team