Because he’s bad at baseball,* Yunel Escobar has long been widely derided by fans of any team he’s played for. But now there is a reason for the rest of us to loathe him. He’s quite possibly a homophobic jackass.
Caught by Jays fan @james_in_to and featured over at the Drunk Jays Fan blog, pictures taken of Yunel Escobar on Saturday clearly show that he’s wearing eye black stickers on which he — or someone else, which is why I used the “quite possibly” above — wrote the words “TU ERE MARICON,” which translates to “you are a fa**ot.” As @james_in_to explains, in some cases it can mean “you are a p***y,” but the former is more widely accepted as the meaning.
The pic at the link is a closeup, but you can see it in this Getty Images photo as well:
Whether it was Escobar who did it or someone else, it’s evidence of a severe and odious lack of maturity. And I hope someone in Major League Baseball HQ takes notice and then takes action.
UPDATE: MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that they are looking into the situation.
*Fine, you’re right that was a cheap shot. He’s bad this year, but he’s generally been a good player. Normally I’d delete that, but enough people have commented on it that to do so now would be unfair of me. I’ll own up to my displeasure with him in this instance making me say something inaccurate about the guy.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.