(Pumpsie Green – back in the days when the Red Sox could Identify one qualified black guy)
Promising to “take a page out of Barack Obama™s playbook”, Bugs & Cranks’ Dan Tobin is no longer satisfied wondering if the Boston Red Sox are baseball’s whitest team. Though his research finds “they™re not even the whitest team in the AL East”, he’s bothered just the same about “this team becoming a bunch of honkies.”
The team is whiter than it used to be, and every time someone goes down, it seems there™s a new white face to replace him. The days of deciding not to sign Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson for racial reasons are behind us, but the franchise that was the last team in baseball to field an African-American player now fields zero African-American players. A city with a troubled racial past, from Charlestown busing of the ™70s the Celtics of the ™80s, now fields a whiter than average baseball team. It™s not panic time, but it™s still slightly troubling.
Maybe Red Sox management has an idea of what a œbusiness-like player looks like, and to them it happens to look more like J.D. Drew than Vladimir Guerrero. Maybe management sees Japanese players as fitting the template and Latin American guys as not. Maybe it™s a coincidence that 71% of this year™s Red Sox hitters are white guys, compared to 31% for the rival Yankees. Or maybe it isn™t.
It would be irresponsible to believe the Sox are outright racists ” I think they let Pedro walk because of money and shoulder health, and we all know how badly they wanted Mark Teixeira six months ago. But there are real questions to be asked about how we™re building this team, and it would be just as irresponsible to ignore the trend of our racial makeup. I have no clear answers, but it™s work thinking about, and talking about, and deciding whether things need to change.