Unless you went into a mini-baseball hiatus since the trade deadline, you probably heard that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen made some waves Sunday with his belief that Asian players are treated better than Latinos. Here’s a sampling:
“Very bad. 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?” Guillen said Sunday.
“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.”
I trust that most of us are smart enough to separate Guillen the individual (that’s an understatement) from Guillen the White Sox manager, but the team left little doubt of that fact by releasing a statement of their own Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune. It reads, in part:
“The White Sox do not agree with the assumptions Ozzie made in his
comments yesterday. Major League Baseball and the White Sox provide a
number of programs to help our foreign players with acculturation,
including English language classes and Spanish language presentations
related to the risks of and testing for performance-enhancing drugs.
The team also has Spanish-speaking staff assigned to serve as liaisons
for our Latin American players.
“Ozzie may not have been fully aware of all of the industry-wide efforts
made by Major League Baseball and its clubs to help our players succeed
in the transition to professional baseball, no matter the level of play
or their country of origin.”
Before I set you guys loose in the comments section, just remember that the White Sox are trying to run a business here. What else did you expect them to say?
We can debate whether a statement was even necessary, but if there was even a chance that their silence would have signified acceptance, it was probably worth it. Guillen’s larger point resonates with many of us, but his actual quote is clouded with generalizations and exaggerations.