Monday Morning Starting Five: Does Ozzie Guillen Have a Point That Asian Players Are Treated Better Than Their Latino Counterparts?

Oswaldo Jose Guillen is one of the most outspoken figures in professional athletics. I want to interview him more than any other person in sports. His latest comments stating Asian ball players are afforded more than Latinos has struck a chord: “I say, why do we have Japanese interpreters and we don’t have a Spanish one. I always say that. Why do they have that privilege and we don’t? Don’t take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. We bring a Japanese player and they are very good and they bring all these privileges to them. We bring a Dominican kid . . . go to the minor leagues, good luck. Good luck. And it’s always going to be like that. It’s never going to change. But that’s the way it is.” Guillen spoke the aforementioned Sunday before Chicago played the Oakland Athletics. When an individual points the finger at racism one must understand the incident in question is most likely at the end of a long list of similar incidents where nothing was said. No one is pointing at every single dispute and screaming That’s Racist! That’s ridiculous. I’d rock with Ozzie Guillen here, when we’re all old and senile or 1,700 years in the past because he speaks his mind from the fox hole. If he says there needs to be more Spanish speaking interpreters and given his baseball experience, how are his words inaccurate? He’s a manager with a winning track record.  He sees everything and his heart will never be questioned. Those who speak without fear of corporate repercussion are alright with me and it appears Ozzie makes a lot of folk uncomfortable. Look at history…racial discrimination is highlighted when folks speak out. Ozzie is simply highlighting where he thinks baseball is lacking. If a language barrier exists and no one does anything, who wins?

Another point, the question must be asked if baseball considers Asian players a more lucrative commodity than their Latino counterparts. This is a very important question and I’ll let you all discuss its depth and authenticity.

I can’t speak on a disparity between Asian and Spanish speaking interpreters because I do not know the numbers per capita.

I ask those who find Ozzie’s words offensive to take a deep breath, step back and truly think about what he’s saying. If you pass off and label this as simply an illogical rant (I respect you Susan), then a discussion on the issue will not be permitted to fully develop.

Those thinking to themselves “What is he crying for? These people make absurd amounts of money, thus have no leg to stand on. This isn’t racism.” Forget about the money, this is not about the money athletes and managers make.

Understand the distinction.

I don’t agree with everything Ozzie says but in this case, my ears are open.

It also must be said that if Ozzie hadn’t won a World Series, he might not be employed because of the controversy his emotion seems to cause.

Ozzie Guillen is not some crackpot coach who has lost his wits but remains a capable manager.

We are fortunate he’s a great leader and I look forward to Ozzie continuing his distinguished career and advancing thought by using his position to speak on the ills of society whenever they may arise.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there is definitely racial tension brewing. Speak on it in all areas with rational thought or we all suffer.

Pushing stuff under the rug further exacerbates what is a real problem. Latinos are catching mad wreck currently and I’d rather listen to the facts instead of again, running with the pack.

Judge yourselves accordingly.

Before I get to the links, there is a new technology implemented on TSF that allows links to a growing list of sites to be moused over and viewed directly on the site. TSF links are easier to share on social networks and email via the corresponding header as you scroll down pages.

The links…

Ozzie: Latino players don’t get fair shake (Chicago Sun Times)

Jets CB Darrelle Revis holding out from camp (MSNBC)

Fair question: Is Allen Iverson being blackballed by the NBA? (Bleacher Report)

This cat is a beast: Ex-Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli gets a second chance at Mississippi (USA Today)

Remembering Lolita LeBron, who died yesterday at 90 (Washington Post)

Black August. On James Baldwin’s birthday: An Open Letter to My Sister, Angela Y. Davis (History is a Weapon)

Essence: White editor won’t diminish our love of black women (The Grio)

ESPN Announcer To Black NASCAR Crew Member: “Tap Dance For Us” (Jalopnik)

Patrick Hayes I appreciate the props (Love of the Game)

Sorry for the delay, server admins were working on a patch.

14 Responses to “Monday Morning Starting Five: Does Ozzie Guillen Have a Point That Asian Players Are Treated Better Than Their Latino Counterparts?”

  1. TC says:

    I couldn’t agree more. How can one dispute the facts? From a numbers perspective, it’s obviously incomparable. Two hands could probably count the number of Asian big-leaguers while obviously Latinos are a massive part of MLB, and have been for some time. I think Ozzie’s on to something. I hope MLB takes this critique in the manner in which it is intended. Also, Ozzie has some brass rocks. Love that dude. I loved his D back for the ChiSox in their garish uniform days and as you said, he’s a leader in a world which dearly needs them. Absolutely fearless.

  2. CAvard says:

    Way to go Mizzo. I was waiting for your response to Guillen’s latest remarks. Well said all-around… and you beat Dave Zirin to boot. Will share with everyone!

  3. Origin says:

    Well said TC………..I couldn’t agree more.

    The latin players have been viewed for awhile as cheap labor nothing more nothing less. And in MLB’s eye they have no reason to cater to them they have the latin folks following the sport. Where as with the Asian players the league views the asian market as untapped and they will do whatever it is in their power to make sure that the asian players are successful. All the while using the Latin players as cannon fodder. And to top it off the Latin players are coming from poor backgrounds. So the league is without a doubt dogging these guys out.

    Ozzie was right in everything he says.

    Also Mizzo I am glad you put a link up to that Essence article. I had a discussion with my wife the other day about Essence Mag. I told her how I was telling black folks once the owner sold the company to white investors that the whole mag would change for the worse in my eye. Not only that but the previous owner cut a side deal with the company that owns it……. as to not let anyone else bid on the company or know that the company was up for sell. This upset a few black elites who actually wanted to buy the mag.

    Anyway I find Essence to be very divisive in their articles pitting black genders against one another. Yes I understand that Ebony, Jet and Essence are not the magazines they once were and they no longer have ground breaking articles and reporting. They are basically 70 pages of advertising and 30 pages of articles now. But its seems as though Essence is nothing more then a URBAN MAG and no longer an actual Black Mag for Black women. And don’t let me start on those mag covers they have to kick up dust and start controversies. Essence is no more for black folks (I.E. black women) then BET is for black folks.

  4. Origin says:

    Sorry Mizzo I meant to say great article………typing too fast. Funny I got up this morning and new that you would have something to say about this. Thanks so much telling it like it is.

  5. RBD says:

    Here’s the problem with Guillen’s comments: Latin players and Asian players come here with entirely different backgrounds from each other. Allow me to explain.
    In almost every case, Asian players in MLB have only arrived here after several years of professional, big-league experience in their homelands. They’re often 25 to 28 years old. They head to these shores directly from Japan or Korea. In the eyes of most MLB executives, they’re ready for the big leagues here. Negotiations are done and the players are on their way soon thereafter.
    Latin players — in most but not all cases — arrive in this country after spending time in the Minors. And in the specific case of the Dominican, that journey begins at home. MLB has a policy that says any team operating a Dominican academy must offer classes in English as a second language.
    In short, there is a system in place.
    Another difference inherent in the above discussion is economic. Asian players arrive here — again, in most cases — as MLB-ready, highly coveted and highly paid veterans. The Red Sox paid $50 million simply for the right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Therefore, they’re going to provide as much help as possible to foster the investment.
    Latin players arrive in the Majors — again, a generalization — as unproven rookies in whom there has been relatively little financial investment at first.

    It is not perfect. This is where Guillen’s comments merit examination. Apparently, some teams do a better job than others in helping foreign players who are on American-based Minor League teams. A standard policy should be enacted or improved to ensure that all Latin players get acclimated to their new work environment.
    It is inaccurate to suggest that nothing is done for Latin players, however.
    Another issue involves the languages themselves. Korean and Japanese don’t use the alphabet common to Romance languages. Asian languages are based on characters. A Dominican kid can probably figure out some written English words, often known as cognates. But a Japanese adult? Show him this blog and he’d have no idea what’s being written without more extensive formal training.
    These are inherent differences of baseball culture, economics and linguistics. There’s more to the story than Guillen suggests.

  6. Mizzo says:

    It’s cool O. I added a couple of links. Including one where an ESPN announcer says something stupid again.

    As far as the Essence piece, when mainstream mags around the globe are headed by a Black woman, I’ll get down, but until then…nah.

    Thanks TC and CA.

    Question for all. Can you see the first pic?

  7. Mizzo says:

    Appreciate the comment RBD and your comment is yet another reason why we all must talk instead of superficially passing his comment off as yet another Ozzie Guillen rant.

  8. Origin says:

    Exactly brotha Mizzo……..a sista wouldn’t even get that chance at a white mag.

    Then on top of that essence has a white fashion dircetor too.

    Yeah it sure is a mag for sistas………whatever. But thats on us thats what happens when you let someone else have control of your image. Thats what happens when black elites (Bob Johnson and the rest) sell out black folks who supported and helped them become rich and powerful.

  9. Origin says:

    Wow Mizzo I didn’t even see that link to the comment from ESPN the announcer.

    More reason to avoid that network like the plague. Tap dance for us I mean really……….whats next. Telling them to eat that watermelon and fried chicken for us.

  10. mapoui says:

    somehow I got the impression Bob Johnson was made an offer he could not refuse!

    is that right?

    the again Tarvis said he did sell out his company…

    why did he not sell it out to blac folks? there are ways…..

  11. mark says:

    Hey Mizzo,
    I’d just like to thank you for your response to RBD. There are many bloggers who resent anybody who questions them, or doesn’t just praise their point of view to the heavens. Yet here you are, appreciating this person’s response, and welcoming a diversity of views. That’s a welcome change from other places, and one reason I enjoy reading your blog.

  12. Mizzo says:

    Mark we’ve always been a site to do so. Readers here know the lengths I’ll go before banning a troll. Lost readers along the way, but because of the perspective here, we have to make sure dissenting views are welcomed.

  13. TC says:

    Mizz – I’m using Safari on a Mac and can’t see the first pic. RBD – great comment. I think you’re right that perhaps not nothing is being done, and that, when looked as a labor issue, MLB is trying to maximize return on investment by providing translation…..but when seen as a human-rights issue… much money have these hard-workin’ Latino dudes made for Bud Selig and MLB? Also…as a foreigner living in Korea, I can tell you, you’re absolutely right about the possibility of picking up enough of the language simply by virtue of the fact that a Romanic alphabet is common both to the Dominican/Venezuela, and the US. I lived in Croatia for a year and it was a lot easier to pick up the language because I could read (however badly) the writing. In Korea, one has to learn another alphabet so it’s slower going. Anyway, great comment Origin..