Let’s help research subconscious racism in sports commentary

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We’re all aware of the subtle racism that creeps into sports broadcasts, writing and general fan chatter.  About how the white guy is a hard worker and the black guy is gifted. About how the Latino guy is lazy and the white dude is nursing a hidden injury.  About how you can tell the hustlers from the loafers by the color of their skin.  It’s all so common. Just ask B.J. Upton here. He gets that crap all the time.

But it’s also totally anecdotal.  We point it out when we see it, but just how pervasive is it really?  That’s the question that Seth from Dingersblog.com is trying to figure out, all scientific-like.

Seth has been tracking this stuff anecdotally for a long time, but now he and a grad student have come up with a way to quantify the instances of subconsciously-racist commentary, and to do it, they need to pay some people to watch a lot of sports and sports news. To that end, they’ve set up a Kickstarter account to grab some donations.  Click here if you’d like to help the project.

I’m very curious to see what this all amounts to.  Sometimes things are worse than we think. Sometimes we see something objectionable — like the subtle racism — and point it out to the point where it becomes overblown.  I’m not sure how this will all cut, but I’d like to find out.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

Kent Horner/Getty Images
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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.