Deadspin has obtained an alleged 15-minute audio recording of Clippers owner Donald Sterling spouting racist opinions about minorities during an April 9 conversation with then-mistress V. Stiviano. Deadspin’s version contains something that the original nine-minute tape from TMZ did not — a mention of a Major League Baseball player.
So let’s join all the other media outlets in the country and dive into this cesspool of bigotry. Here’s the relevant excerpt from Deadspin’s story:
Poor Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is also dragged into the conversation, having appeared in an Instagram photo with V. Stiviano. It was her photo with Magic Johnson that had apparently started the fight.
V: Honey, if it makes you happy, I will remove all of the black people from my Instagram.
DS: You said that before, you said, “I understand.”
V: I DID remove the people that were independently on my Instagram that are black.
DS: Then why did you start saying that you didn’t? You just said that you didn’t remove them. You didn’t remove every—
V: I didn’t remove Matt Kemp and Magic Johnson, but I thought—
V: I thought Matt Kemp is mixed, and he was OK, just like me.
V: He’s lighter and whiter than me.
V: I met his mother.
DS: You think I’m a racist, and wouldn’t—
V: I don’t think you’re a racist.
DS: Yes you do. Yes you do.
V: I think you, you—
DS: Evil heart.
The NBA is conducting an investigation into the veracity of the recording. LeBron James told reporters Saturday that if the audio is found to be legit, there is “no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”
Check out ProBasketballTalk for extensive coverage of this story. We’re hopefully done with it.
UPDATE, 3:40 p.m. ET: Kemp responded on Sunday: “Racism is kind of old.”
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.
Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.
The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.
Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.
The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.
He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.