Morning Bits: Johnny Damon, Implicit Racism, Kyle Farnsworth
Here are a few items of note on the morning:
WHO WOULD GIVE DAMON A 2-YEAR DEAL?
- With Atlanta’s recent proposal, it appears that the Johnny Damon sweepstakes is now a legitimate two-team race, with the Tigers and the Braves currently vying for the Yankees’ former left fielder. In the end, the team that may ultimately emerge the winner of the winter-long pursuit might be the one willing to go beyond a one-year contract, as Damon, even with very little on the table, is said to be holding out in the hopes that he will receive a two-year deal. According to Tony Paul of the Detroit News, the Tigers are the likeliest of the two organizations to offer that, as they are in a desperate position whereas the Braves have much more outfield depth to turn to.
ACKNOWLEDGING IMPLICIT RACISM IN BASEBALL
- Moshe over at The Yankee U has an excellent piece out on implicit racialized assumptions that may unconsciously influence our understandings of baseball players and the game of baseball itself. Moshe points to my recent writeup regarding Robinson Cano and speed, expanding further on the racial biases involved while comparing Cano to Boston’s beloved Dustin Pedroia. Essentially, as Moshe puts it, white players, like Pedroia, are often framed by both the fans and the media as gritty hard workers (blue-collar) while minorities are conversely positioned as players who get by on their inherent talents, yet fail to give as much effort as their white counterparts. This is clearly not an explicit display of racism or ethnic prejudice, rather, it is illustrative of the way in which deep-seated historical and cultural perceptions regarding race manage to tacitly invade our thoughts.
KYLE FARNSWORTH TO START FOR THE ROYALS?
- After a fairly heavy read on race, I figured a laugh might help break the ice. Apparently, the Royals are considering using Kyle Farnsworth in their starting rotation in 2010. Farnsworth, who has not started a game since Bill Clinton was in office, has added a few more pitches to his repertoire and will be stretched out this spring in order to prepare (the bullpen will remain a possibility, as well). Interestingly, Kansas City’s pitching coach, Bob McClure, used Joba Chamberlain to explain Farnsworth’s potential transition. “Chamberlain is still in that mode where he’s learning, so he’s pitching like his hair’s on fire, and it seems to me he’s a little more suited for the ‘pen at this point,” McClure said. “Farnsworth, to me, just went the opposite. He was able to start throwing 92, 93 [mph] and use some two-seamers to where we think it may be something to look at.” Sure, Bob. Whatever you say.
That’s it for now. As always, I’ll be back with more later…
Photo via the Boston Globe