Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic

Re: Brewers' new diversity could pay off at gate


Jarjohm

I know there was some discussion about Eugene Kane's 2004 column about diversity on the Brewers' roster on here recently. Well, he's come out with a sequel of sorts and I haven't seen anything posted about it here yet (surprisingly).

 

Brewers' new diversity could pay off at gate

 

I'm sure everyone will have their own opinions, but the new column ticked me off as much as the first one. I'm happy the Brewers are attracting more African-American fans and I love how diverse Milwaukee's roster is, but how can Kane basically make claims that Brewers' management avoided bringing in African-American players without providing any evidence at all?

 

Anyways, I was ticked off so I already wrote a letter to the editor. Here's what I said:

 

Quote:
Eugene,

 

While you were patting yourself on the back so hard about the increased numbers of African-American and Latino players on the Brewers' roster since your 2004 column, you must have failed to notice that all four players you mentioned (Prince Fielder, Bill Hall, Rickie Weeks and Tony Gwynn, Jr.) were a part of the Brewers' system before that edition even hit news stands and one (Hall) was already on the big league club.

 

Whether it is an exciting, young ball club, the racial make-up of the roster, the Brewers' marketing campaign, or, most likely, a combination of all three, there is no arguing that an increase in African-American fans is a good thing for the Brewers and the community.

 

Your insinuation of racial bias in the team's roster management, however, is completely unfounded and, frankly, insulting. Do you honestly believe management was passing on African-American talent for lesser players before Mark Attanasio took over? Do you even have a shred of evidence to support your ludicrous theory aside from the flawed method of simply going down the Major League roster and counting the number of African-Americans?

 

As you mentioned, the African-American players on the Brewers are joined by several Latino contributors (Francisco Cordero, Carlos Villanueva, Yovani Gallardo and Johnny Estrada come to mind) to make one of Major League Baseball's most diverse rosters. I hope that in the future you will choose to celebrate that diversity and an impressive up-and-coming team rather than wasting ink on self-promoting "I told you so" columns rooted in twisted false logic.

 

Go Brewers!


 

I could have gone on longer (and poked even more holes in his argument), but I tried to at least keep it close to the Journal-Sentinel's word limit. We'll see if they print it... Either way, I feel a little better after venting...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

I read the article earlier tonight, and felt similarly. I think your response was well written, and pretty much sums up my thoughts far more eloquently than I could have done. It's a tricky subject, but your fact-based argument should be convincing to most everyone.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He just strikes me as one of those race-baiting/political party-baiting columnists that really have very little substantially to say about anything.

 

For those of your with birds, they're the best sections for cage lining.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:
Seems like every column he writes in the Journal Sentinel is laced with bringing up racism. I can't stand reading anything he writes. You want to get rid of racism? STOP WRITING ABOUT IT!

 

Just because you ignore a problem, doesn't mean it goes away. I agree with what you are saying about racism being in almost every column of his, but just because he stops writing about it won't make it go away.

( '_')

 

( '_')>⌐■-■

 

(⌐■-■)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Black Americans will only follow a team that has black stars, and Latino Americans will only follow a team that has latino stars, will White Americans only follow a team that has white stars? Or are White Americans the only ones that don't care about the color of skin?

 

I agree that we shouldn't ignore racism. But E King thinks every problem in the world is caused by racism, and he's starting to sound like Chicken Little.

The poster previously known as Robin19, now @RFCoder

EA Sports...It's in the game...until we arbitrarily decide to shut off the server.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed diversity wasn't celebrated when the team was bad. In 2002 we had Eric Young, Jeffrey Hammonds, Ron Belliard, Alex Ochoa, Bill Hall, Jose Hernandez, Alex Sanchez, Ruben Quevedo, Jose Cabrera, Nelson Figueroa, Valerio de los Santos, and Luis Visciano, yet drew only 1.9 million fans. But Eugene Kane is right. It's not the quality of the players, its the color of their skin that really matters.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of what Kane says in his articles are true. But the fact that he injects racism in just about everything, really takes away from the weight of his argument.

 

But I guess he gets what he wants, readers who just read to get angry. No such thing as bad press eh?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Braun is our best hitter right now, we must need more Jewish players!

 

Yet another embarrassing article from Mr. Kane. I'd be offended if I was one of the players mentioned. I wouldn't want people claiming that my race, not my level of talent, is what helped the team succeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is chiefly annoying about Kane's article is that it didn't have to be annoying.

 

He could have just written an article about how cool it was that the Crew has a very talented corps of players and that given the number of African-Americans in the game today, it's very heartening to have such a large representation of talented African-Americans on a team whose home has a sizeable African-American population. There is a hint of this, but it doesn't seem to really be the theme of his piece.

 

Instead his article is launched from context of how he "told them so." Does he realize that Billy, Prince, Rickie, and TGJ had all been drafted by the Crew before he wrote that? Does he think his article somehow made these guys major league caliber talented? As others have pointed out, the Crew had already had an African-American president, two African-American managers, and a fair number of African-American players.

 

When an article/story is about how great the author is and not about chosen subject matter, it's usually a pretty crappy piece of writing (I'm sure we could all think of a few sports writers who also fit that bill.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember a thread on this forum about the 2004 column. It was either Patrick or Toby who posted that we (as brewerfan.netters) often didn't even know the race of a player until he got promoted to Beloit and a picture was available. That pretty much eliminates racial bias on the part of this community. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

 

(The draft pick selection thread would indicate that a lot more player pictures are available on the 'net in 2007.)

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea of Kane charging racism is, predictably, overstated, if you read his column. He is merely lauding the increase of black and brown faces on the Brewers roster, albeit with some odd triumphalism that is out-of-place. He's not a very good logician, or writer, for that matter, but his points are valid.

 

The main of the column is dedictated to celebrating diversity-a concept that whites from the suburbs find threatening, for the old hackneyed reasons, and which is why Kane is often attacked. This is mainly since there is no other voice in the local media talking about race, except to cry racism whenever any member of a minority group asks that this subject be discussed; or to bring up unrepresentative and outlandish expressions of calls for racial justice. (Using Michael McGee Jr. as a metaphor, for instance.)

 

It's a straw man set up that whitewashes (pardon the phrase) the real and serious issues surrounding race that linger in society-and in baseball.

 

Anyone from the City of Milwaukee, or even the suburbs, who believes that race is an inconsequential or an outdated topic is deluded or worse. Just ask Henry Aaron.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe the topic of racism is inconsequential or outdated at all. I just don't think using the Brewers as an example of it works very well.

 

The 2004 roster may have been somewhat Caucasian, but singling out one season as an example, especially when there's so much evidence to the contrary, doesn't seem fair.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brewer Fanatic Contributor

I don't have a problem with the general tone of the article. I personally don't care about a players race so long as they are good, but I understand that a lot of people do care. So I understand why its important to have guys like Fielder, Weeks, Hall, etc in Milwaukee. The off-field aspect is something that shouldn't be overlooked.

 

What I don't like the whole "I was right" attitude, because he wasn't. It wasn't "time to get more black and Latino players", it was time to be patient and let those guys in the system get to Milwaukee and do their thing, especially with Fielder, Weeks and Gwynn being in AA when the original article was written.

 

If Kane had spent a little time on research when he wrote his initial article, he could have written about how minority fans should be excited about the future because of guys like Weeks and Fielder and Gwynn, instead of claiming to have an answer to a problem.

Chris

-----

"I guess underrated pitchers with bad goatees are the new market inefficiency." -- SRB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:
time to get more black and Latino players"

 

If someone were to reverse this and say the Bucks have been losing because they don't have enough white players, they would be viciously attacked. That is my problem.

 

The way to end racism is to stop using skin color as a basis for ANYTHING, be it sports, politics, or social issues. Milwaukee is pretty horrible in terms of race as (at least from my viewpoint) we have possibly the most segregated city in the nation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kane's argument in this particular column strikes me as full of holes but as someone who doesn't read the J-S I'd venture to guess that his perspective on race as a black man in Milwaukee is likely very different from the majority of the town's demographic. Not good, not bad, just is. The paper also probably hired him to talk about race issues, that's pretty standard practice, for better or for worse.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, he replied to the e-mail/letter to the editor that I sent him and the paper (and posted above earlier). It was pretty predictable, but he completely ignored the huge holes in his argument and my beef with what he was saying. Here's his response:

 

Quote:
Yes, I know they were on the farm team. But as you must know, many teams NEVER get to see their top prospects actually join the home team when they become stars.

 

The Brewers should be credited for bringing their players up and not trading them while they were prospects, as many major league teams regularly do.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Eugene Kane


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That article started out obnoxious, but concluded very well. After Kane is done with his egotistical and deluded self-promotion (including the false claims that diversity is why the Brewers are winning), I think it tells a good story.

 

It's good doing anything with a diverse ammount of people. I grew up playing North Central little league, and our All-Star teams always had a somewhat diverse roster. I didn't experience much diversity in my Wauwatosa Catholic school (they actually tried to kick the only black kid in the school out halfway through eighth grade because her father was dying of cancer and her mother couldn't pay the last semester's tuition because of hospital bills). So Little League was where I met and made friends with my black and latino peers. I wouldn't have had as good an experience on an all white team from Brookfield or something.

 

Our All-Star team won State a couple times, and one year made it to the third round of the regional finals in Grand Rapids. We were two wins away from going to the Little League World Series. But our roster was good because we had good players, not because we were a diverse team. It was fun because we had a diverse team, and we got to share a little bit about each other's lives, which were somewhat different. But Kane is nuts if he thinks diversity causes wins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Brewer Fanatic Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premiere Brewers community on the internet. Included with caretaking is ad-free browsing of Brewer Fanatic.

×
×
  • Create New...