This was posted to Yahoo! Sports on August 31st.
Can’t downplay Saltalamacchia’s postgame dig at Latin players
By Ray Monell, Yahoo! Contributor Network
I must have missed something when I started covering baseball, because apparently excessive celebrating—called hotdogging by traditionalists—is exclusive to players of Latin American descent.
At least that’s what Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia expressed before beat writers Tuesday night following his team’s 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.
The catcher was explaining his views of his Yankees counterpart, Francisco Cervelli, who hit a fifth-inning, solo home run off starter John Lackey and clapped his hands (once) as he touched home plate. Lackey took umbrage with the celebration and struck Cervelli in the back with a fastball two innings later. Lackey’s intent was obvious—although he denied it—but the significance of the game for both New York and Boston would be overshadowed by Saltalamacchia’s postgame criticism of Cervelli—and, by extension, more than half of the Western Hemisphere.
“It’s just Latin players,” Saltalamacchia said. “It’s the way they play the game. It’s okay to an extent. If you go a little further than that, that’s when you need to step back.”
I know you were blinded by emotion and indignation, Jarrod, but the only person who went “further than that”—or frankly, too far—was you.
Cervelli, according to his bio, is Italian through his father and Venezuelan on his mother’s side. He was born and raised in Venezuela but has represented Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Now, let’s switch roles here. Let me put into words what Saltalamacchia said, but from the mouth of a Latin player, just to make painfully clear to those who believe no violation was committed how much of a bigot the catcher came across as.
For instance, imagine Cervelli saying, “It’s just white players. It’s the way they play the game.”
Would he not be singling out a group of people—in a very insulting manner—by saying that?
Again, think for a second, and take the proverbial pull from GM Brian Cashman’s objective pipe, and ask yourself if such a comment from Cervelli—or anyone, for that matter—would meet the qualifications of what deserves to be classified as a racist statement.
Whether Saltalamacchia is an actual racist is something only he and those close to him know, but the words he uttered were indeed racist.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?
Dear Mr. Monell,
You are an idiot.
Do you really mean to tell me, that if Ozzie Guillen had said this, you’d take it the same way? And if this was really another salvo in baseball’s incredibly historic race war, that Ozzie himself, the greastest defender of Latin baseball wouldn’t be rioting to everyone in the radio/television listening world?
Or is this some long-winded inept attempt to take an old world baseball city/team that for decades was looked upon as racist (and with reason thanks to Tom Yawkey’s good ole’ boys club) and just cash in a little more fury. Yes, I’m sure with a name like Saltalamacciha he’s racist to Latinos all the live long day. Just ask David Ortiz… oh wait, Big Papi defended him, right (of course that was during Jarrod’s expanding upon his statement which you chose not to report). Yeah, he must be racist too. Shouldn’t that be your next article of immense importance to the Yahoo! sporting world..? ‘David Ortiz defends racist’
After all, no one has ever accused Latino players of being passionate to the point of sometimes being over-zealous, right? Just like no one has ever taken a quote from a player or manager and used it out of the context for which it was meant.
Salty is racist? That’s a fairly strong accusation in this day and age. However, I’ll hold my judgement till he finds a way to work his white hood in with his RedSox home whites.