Ian Desmond to skip 2020 MLB season

Discussion in 'Fighting Gamecocks Forum' started by MowerDave, Jun 30, 2020 at 1:12 PM.

  1. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    Cites racism in the game. Among other things he cites the 8% of players in the league who are African American. I'm not sure what he wants done about this particular issue or who he wants to do it.

    There are presently no barriers of any kind preventing African American kids from taking up baseball. There were concerns years ago that it was an expensive game b/c of all the equipment needed and that was the reason for declining interest in the game by African American kids, but there are plenty of youth baseball initiatives across the country that were started to tackle this. Besides, latinos have about a 28% representation in MLB and many of them come from even more impoverished areas than inner city African American youth. Mariano Rivera played with a cardboard glove as a kid. Kids play barefoot in the Dominican. That particular argument holds no water. Access to the game is not an issue.

    I'm just not sure what you can do? Even with such a small percentage representation in MLB, many of the games biggest and most marketed stars are and have been African American players. So it's not as if their presence in the game has been downplayed or minimized.

    Who knows why or for what reasons, but African American kids have demonstrated a strong preference for football and basketball.

    Can you mandate that teams have a certain percentage of African American players when there aren't enough who are interested in playing to enable those quotas be met?
     
  2. Gamecock Lifer

    Gamecock Lifer Well-Known Member
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    We know exactly why African American kids have a preference for FB/BB- partial/ limited scholarships in baseball. If you cannot afford (yes plenty AA athletes CAN afford college but the truth is statistically, a higher percentage cannot) college, and want a full ride with the potential to use that college scholarship to get you a degree or catapult you to the pros... do you go play baseball where there is a handfull of full scholarships to give out so they split them up and give a bunch of people partials? Or do you go play FB/BB where every signed/scholarship athlete gets a full ride? This has been discussed at length but unless the NCAA starts allowing for more scholarships to these secondary sports- black athletes will continue to gravitate to the ones with the best financial incentives.
     
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  3. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    What about poor latinos?
     
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  4. Gamecock Lifer

    Gamecock Lifer Well-Known Member
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    What about them? The vast majority of the Latinos in pro baseball were from Honduras or some other Latin nation and were brought to the USA specifically to play ball- often right into MLB or farm systems. The college scholarships mandated by the NCAA have zero impact on them.
     
  5. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    So it's agreed there are routes other than college.

    Your contention, then, is if they simply create more college baseball scholarships, then African American participation in MLB, over time, will increase to approximately the level of white players?
     
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  6. MookieBlaylock9

    MookieBlaylock9 Well-Known Member
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    I have no idea what he is protesting or his goal, but I think many people would adamantly disagree with that statement.
     
  7. Gamecock Lifer

    Gamecock Lifer Well-Known Member
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    If Ian wants to make changes to this trend, he should be going after the NCAA not boycotting his year in the MLB. This will end with a big “ok whatever, thanks for saving us a bunch of money kid” from the owners. MLB will shrug and say they have no control over it and they don’t. Guess he just retired..
     
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  8. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    What barriers are there that prevent specifically an African American kid from taking up baseball as a youth?
     
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  9. Gamecock Lifer

    Gamecock Lifer Well-Known Member
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    It will increase... I have no idea how far. Who says it needs to be 50/50 of white and black players? There are approx 3X as many white people in America as black people. It would be horribly disproportionate if there were an even number of black and white players in any league... Which is another point- why are white players not trying to get something done about the disproportionate numbers of black players in pro FB/BB? All the fuss we hear is that there are not enough black COACHES- nobody cares about the lack of white players... why is that?
     
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  10. MookieBlaylock9

    MookieBlaylock9 Well-Known Member
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    Tball? I don't know, but it is extremely cost-prohibitive as kids grow older. Hockey is the same way. It used to not be that way, but I don't blame anyone for that, but parents want their kid to do well and spend a lot of their time and money on lessons, academies, travel leagues, etc.

    Do you think that problem has been "fixed" by MLB because they have "initiatives"?
     
  11. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    I guess my issue is this: Who cares?

    Whites make up about 28% of MLB. Approximately the same for the NFL and NBA.

    Though African Americans make up only 8% of MLB, they make up greater than 70% of both the NBA and NFL. That's a staggeringly high percentage.

    So African Americans make up a majority of 2 out of the 3 major sports. Whites do not make up a majority of any.

    Is it as simple as: people choose to play the sports they want to play?
     
  12. 92Pony

    92Pony Well-Known Member
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    'GASP!!' That can. not. be. it! We MUST inject race and make it a racial thing!! (Forcryinoutloud.............)
     
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  13. winloseortie

    winloseortie Well-Known Member
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    Wow you have totally mis represented his very lengthy statement and framed in a manner about quotas in MLB. Here is the article

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cn.../ian-desmond-opts-out-mlb-spt-trnd/index.html
     
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  14. uscg1984

    uscg1984 Well-Known Member
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    Basketball is pretty cheap, I guess, if you forego the $300 shoes. But the overall equipment costs for youth football have to be higher than youth baseball. The difference must simply be in who absorbs the cost. I assume Pop Warner league provides kids with football equipment while little league does not provide them with a baseball glove?
     
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  15. MookieBlaylock9

    MookieBlaylock9 Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure the reason. I should say that I don't think it's MLB's responsibility to make baseball more inclusive and accessible. My point was that it is difficult to keep up if one does not have the means. But I also don't think it is a necessity to go to college on a sports scholarship or make a living doing it.

    Yes, I would say that football is not started at an early age like other sports. I think talent and physique is what separates football players at an early age, and a kid that played pop warner doesn't really have a big headstart on someone that waits until high school to start. I may be generalizing and too lazy to think about it right now, but baseball just seems to need more practice and training. Hockey is the same way.
     
  16. Gamecock Lifer

    Gamecock Lifer Well-Known Member
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    Here is an article about the money problem with college baseball and their limited scholarships. It focuses on a hero for CCU during their NC run. Imagine a kid playing college FOOTBALL or BASKETBALL, dominating the playoffs to take his team to a National Championship. Chances are he will go on to at least get drafted and not have to worry about money (well until his career in the pros is over right?). Ever heard of a FB or BB star graduating with six figures of student Lon debt? I have not.

    https://www.omaha.com/sports/with-s...cle_9c27f775-3564-5051-b7f9-f258c8c37fd1.html


    While I know that this thread is about MLB specifically... My point is that we have been told over and over of the financial hardships with black vs white communities and families broadly speaking right? Take a kid from a lower class upbringing, no credit, no money... Then tell him “hey you can come to this school and play baseball, but you will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year in tuition, books and room and board over and above what you scholi pays, OR- you can go to this other school to play FB/BB, with a free ride and stipend to feed yourself. Which one is more appealing? Health risks of the sport aside- the choice is not hard. Baseball is simply more of an affluent sport from childhood on. Affluent parents have more time and money to be able to volunteer or help fund a little league, pay for travel ball... Poor kids cannot. As a higher percentage of black Americans are poor compared to white Americans, this means they simply do not play much baseball comparatively. Meanwhile- every free park/playground in America just about has a basketball goal. $5-10 for a basketball and you got a whole game!
     
    16 Gamecock Lifer, Jun 30, 2020 at 5:43 PM
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020 at 5:48 PM
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  17. Gamecock Lifer

    Gamecock Lifer Well-Known Member
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    Now, take it a step further- call it racist, say if you think it is true or not... But the prevailing notion is that black folks are better at football and basketball than white people. That stigma is not as widely held in baseball it seems... Nobody is saying black folks cannot play baseball well, it just seems that historically the (perceived?? Real??) inherent athletic advantages that people see in black people when it comes to FB/BB are not seen as creating a dramatically superior product in baseball with the same consistency as those other sports.

    There are more reasons than all these- incarceration rates are mentioned by some and numerous other factors, but in the end it seems to be a socioeconomic cause more than anything. Baseball is common in affluent areas, not as much in less affluent areas, and kids tend to gravitate to sticking with the sport they are the best st and have the best chance of continuing their career in. The lack of many full scholarships in baseball puts it at a dramatic disadvantage for the most athletic kids who can succeed at the next level in more than one sport. More commonly, those best athletes these days tend to be black... And they pick BB or FB.

    Also, think of the ego of college age athletes- notoriety has to come into play as well. If you are a FB or BB star, you are the big man on campus. Baseball players are second class by comparison. They are still athletes, still “Pretty well known”... but I bet you damn near every sports fan in America knows who Clowney is. Outside of SC, there probably are not that many people who could name a single player off of either of the back to back NC baseball teams we had. Fair or not, that is the truth. (Same for any secondary sport... How many people outside of SC who are not AVID WBB followers do think could tell you was #1 in the AP this year when the season was cut short?)
     
  18. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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  19. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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    If your parents don't have money you won't go far in baseball or softball. My brother has to fork out a couple of grand for each kid to play travel ball in the Summer. If you don't your kid is gonna get left behind, Bottom line.
     
  20. uscg1984

    uscg1984 Well-Known Member
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    Well, I know that is the justification most-often cited by parents of travel ball players. I'm not saying it's not true, but how do all these poor kids from Central America make it to MLB?

    And if the only way to get good at baseball is to spend a lot of money playing it, that doesn't exactly make it unusual among American sports.

    Isn't the real problem with baseball that not enough American kids are playing it, period? Baseball just isn't as popular across the board, not just with black kids. Six friends can go to any park in America and play a pick-up game of basketball or touch football after school. To play a pick-up game of baseball, you pretty much need an actual baseball field and at least 12 friends to form anything resembling two teams. Logistically, it's just a lot more complicated.
     
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  21. Expro19

    Expro19 Well-Known Member
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    That's just asinine.
     
  22. GivEmDaSpurs

    GivEmDaSpurs Member
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    So in 2018 there were 623 US and MLB players and 254 international players on opening day rosters. The average salary is $4 million. If each player gave 2% to their hometown community or other areas of need (low income since that is what Desmond mentions) that would be $80,000 dollars. Without even going into what MLB and the owners could do, the players could effectively change the culture of future baseball by giving back.

    I admire Desmond's stand and his willingness to bring the change himself versus just getting on a rant social media style. Read his heartfelt message and learn from his actions. This is true protest at it’s finest! He wants a change for his family, a young man that he invested in that was killed, and to change the culture of baseball for the black community based on his personal experiences.

    I wish that many others would be a part of the change instead of demanding it, destroying what others have worked for, looting, resorting to violence, rioting, or taking over cities. I am rooting for you Ian Desmond!
     
  23. gamecokpride

    gamecokpride Well-Known Member
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    So far the only attempts in this thread at explaining the discrepancy have cited economic disparities, NOT any racial one.
    And that gets torpedoed by the sheer number of Latin American players from dirt-poor backgrounds playing in MLB.
    I would love to take a freaking sledgehammer to every high horse erected for every issue in this country right now!
     
  24. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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    The kids in central America play baseball in the Summer leagues also .
     
  25. adcoop

    adcoop Well-Known Member
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    Most kids don't play sports on the playgrounds anymore. Too much time on video games. For most, the only exposure to sports is something organized whether it be at the local YMCA or a rec league through the city. Sandlot Baseball is a thing of the past. That's where most Black baseball players learned to play when there were larger numbers of minority players. I presume that is why you see more Latin American players. They are probably still playing and developing skill in unorganized settings. Many Black kids play baseball until about 11 or 12 when they age out of the rec leagues and have no avenue to play unless they spend their money on travel ball. Many of the Middle Schools have Football and Basketball teams, but no Baseball Team. So, if a kid is not developed enough to be at least on a high school B team or pay the money for travel ball, thoughts of playing baseball end pretty much.
     
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  26. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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    How do parents spend alot of money in the Summer on football?
     
  27. gamecokpride

    gamecokpride Well-Known Member
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    My oldest went to 2 camps every summer which amounted to many, many hundreds of dollars.
     
  28. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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    Considering you don't have to have money to play summer league baseball and they have Schools designed for youth baseball players in Central America that kills your argument.
     
  29. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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    Why nothing is live? All they gonna do is teach foot work. You could do that in the backyard
     
  30. GivEmDaSpurs

    GivEmDaSpurs Member
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    Warning...a rant is coming. Many, many kids are drafted straight out of HS. Baseball is not a sport that you have to go to college to make it to the pros. So, throw out the cannot afford college or lack of scholarships argument.

    Having coached a travel baseball team for 14-16 year old kids for several years, we never turned away anyone due to financial issues. We made it work. I have seen many parents of other kids allow other kids to stay in their hotel rooms, pay for meals, give equipment to, etc... I was able to get sponsors for my team. They covered all uniform expenses and tournament fees. I was not the only team that did it this way. However, we played many big dollar teams that had the best of the best. We had kids on our team that were black, brown, tan, white (whatever kind of label you can put on it-) to me... they were just kids wanting to play ball. And before anyone says that I must be affluent let me set that straight. I was a counselor for abused kids at a group home and my wife was a stay at home mom.

    I have also had a son on a travel football team when he was 12-14. He was coached by some of the finest men that cared greatly for their community. 3 black coaches and 2 white. The majority of the kids had to get rides to and from practice and be given the equipment because they couldn’t afford it. The coaches would do anything for any of those kids. The head coach Al; demanded no problems in school, passing grades, and if there was disrespect at home... no play time. But, they countered that with providing tutors, groceries, an open ear etc... Most of those kids went on to play for their HS teams. My son was one of 5 white kids on the team and most of the teams we played had similar makeups. We as a family experienced some “hazing” (what I called it back then - today it would be called racism). So it does work both ways.

    My point is that opportunity exists (at least in our town and many others) in SC and NC. One might have to look for it but it’s there. Whatever sport one chooses for whatever reason. I am forever grateful to Coach Al (my son’s football coach who happens to be a black man) and I hope the kids that played baseball for me feel that way too (even though I am a mid aged white man).
     
  31. MookieBlaylock9

    MookieBlaylock9 Well-Known Member
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    Being poor means a lot of things. It doesn't just mean not having money. It can mean lack of transportation, food, emotional support, positive influences, self-esteem, etc. Poor is different everywhere.
     
  32. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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    I'm sure dealing with 14 year olds and older your dealing with whole lot smaller number than 8 year olds. Not many Coaches are gonna pay for Hotel rooms for their players every weekend and provide transportation.
     
  33. Gamecock Lifer

    Gamecock Lifer Well-Known Member
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    Nice stories. Nobody says those opportunities don’t “exist”. The point being made is that less black kids play baseball And it is in part because of economic reasons. I grew up in the poorest county in SC- Allendale. I can assure you the opportunities you mention did not exist there when I was a kid. There was one little league and It was all white kids in a county that was majority black. The only athletes that made it big from that area were football players. I think the numbers show my experience to be more similar to the norm With regard to sports unfortunately. I envy people who grew up in “nice” places sometimes.
     
  34. vipercock

    vipercock Active Member
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    The Dominican MLB players do largely fund the youth leagues in the DR.
     
  35. Silver_Coconut

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    It’s a sport. Don’t play. Who cares?
     
  36. DeepfriedCock

    DeepfriedCock Active Member
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    Also every MLB team has a youth Academy for baseball there. It's a whole different set of rules down there its baseball 24/7.
     
  37. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    You are wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    He had a series of 9 instagram posts. He did not mention Coronavirus until the last one, and only in passing in 2 sentences. He had 8 posts in a row elaborating on racism in the game.

    Racism in the game was the heart of his message. You need a lesson in reading comprehension. Just because he mentions coronavirus does not mean that's what his posts were about. You apparently didn't read past the second sentence of the article.
     
  38. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    You can say that about most of the sports. It takes a lot of money to send your kid to camps for any of the sports. The kids who are truly good spend all their time with private coaches, going to camps, etc. In any sport.
     
  39. biting curve

    biting curve Member
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    I read the article. What immediately jumps out to me is if he wants to skip the season, he really needs to spend the summer talking with a therapist. He has very deep issues going all the way back to his childhood.

    MLB has been desperately trying to boost black involvement in the game for many years, particularly in inner cities. It’s a hard sell. Kids can play basketball 24 hours a day. Kids can lean on football, because they can get a full ride. That means a lot to kids from tough environments, you have to remember Javon Kinlaw went to JUCO solely because he was homeless and he’d have a roof over his head. He moved on to us, now he’s a millionaire.

    Baseball? Many parks have basketball hoops wide open for use, while baseball fields are in disrepair or have the gates locked. You can dribble or shoot hoops by yourself, baseball not so much.

    Baseball in the US costs money to play, and money for access to scouts. Brandon McIlwains parents were able to buy access for him to events while he was in HS, which raised his potential in eyes of scouts, who are under pressure to sign black athletes. He really didn’t stand out here, really didn’t stand out at Cal, but now he’s been drafted. I hope he’s successful, but realistically he’ll likely struggle.

    Travel baseball costs money, for the better teams it costs big money. When my nephew was playing years ago at the highest level of the East Cobb organization in HS, they played teams who would fly in extra pitchers if they were in a tournament and were running short.

    When my oldest son was a Sophomore in HS, he travelled to Puerto Rico to play against a lineup of very good teams. Like the Dominican Republic, baseball is life there. When you fly in and circle the island, what stands out is the number of baseball fields. It’s a way for kids in poverty to escape the island and have a better life. There are former MLB prospects/ players scouting and coaching, the better players are identified young and groomed with other great players.

    MLB has staffed academies in the Dominican, likewise identifying players young. They’ll sign prospects at 16, some for big money, some for pennies on the dollar. Most wash out.

    Lots of reasons black kids don’t gravitate to baseball, just like few black kids gravitate to golf, tennis, soccer, etc. There are tons of reasons, some logistical, some socioeconomical, some financial, some just preference. Maybe MLB needs to stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
     
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  40. MowerDave

    MowerDave Member
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    I'm still struggling to see why this is an issue.

    African Americans make up nearly 3/4 of the NBA and NFL. There is absolutely nothing about MLB that prevents or inhibits in any way the success of African Americans in the sport.

    I just see why it's perceived as though they are underrepresented in MLB. Every profession in the country doesn't have to represent the racial makeup of the country.
     
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