Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal's decided to join the ranks of sensationalist soap-box-standers and slogan screaming carnival hawkers who disguise themselves as journalists. He opened his column yesterday with the hook:

"The Red Sox look very white."

The rest of his piece says essentially nothing beyond stating that the Red Sox are whiter than the Dodgers and Rays. He argues for nothing, against nothing. He lists statistics about minorities on the Red Sox and in Major League Baseball. He goes out of his way to clarify that he's not accusing the Red Sox of being racist, simply suggesting that an apparent lack of diversity might hurt them in the free agent market.

His views on race-relations in sports are laughably simple and come close to segregationist rhetoric - the idea that different races are only comfortable with "their own kind." Here's an excerpt of this subtle idea expressed by Rosenthal:

"Then again, Sabathia might prefer to join a team with a greater number of black players or live in a different city. He became good friends with veteran outfielder Mike Cameron in Milwaukee. The Brewers, who feature a sizable contingent of African-Americans, were an unusually close team."

I guess black players only feel comfortable around other black players? That's probably why Cameron and Sabathia became buddies. I guess the friendship between Kevin Millar and Manny Ramirez was some sort of fluke? Whites and non-whites don't get along very well, at least that's what Rosenthal seems to suggest.

Ken Rosenthal wanted attention for himself, and he got it. His column is devoid of any point, idea, argument, or opinion. It's a smattering of bullshit disguised in soft language, intended to incite people like me to talk about him in their blogs, on sports radio, on TV pundit shows, and so forth. It's air, it's ether, it's nothing. It's a "conversation starter," with the conversation inevitably spending at least a moment or two on Mister Rosenthal himself.

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