August 05, 2005

Where's Uncle Ben when you need him?: San Francisco Giants broadcaster complains about "brain-dead Caribbean hitters." Coming on the heels of the Forty Niners' recent public relations nightmare, one has to ask, what ever happened to the spirit of Haight-Asbury? Can't we all just love each other and stuff?

posted by The_Black_Hand to baseball at 09:12 PM - 20 comments

I got fired for making tongue-in-cheek racial comments at work. Fuck oversensitivity, I hate living in SF (I take that back, but there's a reason stand-up comedy is a dead scene here in the city).

posted by charlatan at 10:24 PM on August 05, 2005

Maybe you should go work for KNBR then, charlatan. Looks like you could say anything you wanted to there and get away with it. Kreuger still has his job, after all. Seriously, let's not be disingenuous or play the oversensitivity card too quickly here. If someone says "brain-dead Caribbean hitters", he may not have meant for it to slip out that way, but do you really think he thinks there's no connection between those two adjectives?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:47 PM on August 05, 2005

First off he was calling the hitters brain dead, not caribbean people. Secondly, this man is an incredible moron to even let something like this slip out of his mouth in public, let alone on the air. Especially in the position that he is in. He is lucky he still has a job at this point. Finally, lets see what happens once the players have had their say about it.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:26 AM on August 06, 2005

I repeat, jojo: if the guy didn't feel that "brain-dead" and "Caribbean" had anything to do with each other, if there was no connection in his mind between those two things, then why would he say them together?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:48 AM on August 06, 2005

Krueger just lost any credibility he had with the Giants. So did KNBR. The players and Felipe Alou are going to think twice before saying anything to that station again. No matter who they send to interview players. Krueger's words may not have been as extensive as Rocker's, but the feeling and emotions are still there. If KNBR wants to live with it, and Krueger, that's their decision, but the Giants will make sure they pay the price.

posted by roberts at 06:57 AM on August 06, 2005

One word sums this up ... Unprofessionalism . As a reporter it is uncalled for . Send your resume' to a morning radio show where you will fit right in with the other inbreds .

posted by evil empire at 07:36 AM on August 06, 2005

My first thought was to defend this guy. I've heard and read plenty of times that Latin American players tend to be wild, free swingers that strike out too much and don't walk enough. So I did what Krueger very easily could have done -- I clicked on and did some OBP comparisons. Here are the top 20 in the majors as of 8/6: 1 Jason Giambi NYY .451 2 Nick Johnson Was .437 3 Derrek Lee ChC .436 4 Albert Pujols StL .432 5 Brian Giles SD .421 6 Moises Alou SF .418 7 Travis Hafner Cle .417 8 Alex Rodriguez NYY .416 9 Todd Helton Col .414 10 Miguel Cabrera Fla .411 11 Bobby Abreu Phi .408 12 Luis Castillo Fla .408 13 Brian Roberts Bal .401 14 David Dellucci Tex .398 15 Jim Edmonds StL .394 16 David Ortiz Bos .393 17 Gary Sheffield NYY .393 18 Carlos Delgado Fla .392 19 Adam Dunn Cin .391 20 Jason Bay .387 That would be 8:20, or a resounding 40 percent, of the top 20 in OBP are of Latin descent. That doesn't seem very brain dead to me. Maybe it's just San Fran, right? Maybe Krueger is just seeing free-swinging Latin players every night and it's warping his perception. So here are the OBPs of the Giants: Moises Alou .418 Ray Durham .369 Omar Vizquel .349 Edgardo Alfonzo .348 J.T. Snow .337 Michael Tucker .336 Jason Ellison .327 Lance Niekro .315 Pedro Ortiz .313 Mike Matheny .306 Deivi Cruz .289 So we have three Latin players well above the league average (which is right around .330) in OBP, and two well below. To blow the theory out of the water a little more cleanly, three of the top four Giants are Latin. Is Krueger only watching Feliz (who admittedly is completely horrible -- 26BB vs. 65K)? To sum up: tried to give the man the benefit of the doubt through research; failed miserably; now of a mind that Krueger should be given his walking papers.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:55 PM on August 06, 2005

If you have three people who are all from a given region and, as individuals, exhibit in your opinion some common characteristic or quality then why is referring to them as a group--without using a common epithet--so wrong? Neither Caribbean or braindead is an ethnic/racial slur. Now Krueger could be wrong, which wfrazer points out is likely the case, but that's not the same as playing on a stereotype. Calling those guys lazy spics, for instance, would be a firing offense. This situation is a good contrast, IMO, to the other thread on the NCAA's post-seasson ban of mascots because of the difference I've highlighted. He grouped similar players together by their common origin using a non-offensive regional name and criticized their (in his mind, right or wrong) common shortcoming.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:19 PM on August 06, 2005

If you have three people who are all from a given region and, as individuals, exhibit in your opinion some common characteristic or quality then why is referring to them as a group--without using a common epithet--so wrong? He didn't refer to them as a group. He referred to them as members of, and by implication representative of, a larger group.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:33 PM on August 06, 2005

I never thought I'd say this ... but lbb and I concur. :) I understand what you are getting at, Bill, and I might even agree in certain instances. However, I think the difference here is the way Krueger chose to express himself. If he had said: "You know, several of the players on our team make really lousy decisions at the plate. Is it just me, or are they all Latin-bred guys? Is that some sort of characteristic in the way they are taught to play the game?" I think he would have been in the clear. He's putting the theory out there without being demeaning. And you know what? As I said before, I've heard this from some pretty knowledgeable baseball people, but from looking at some current numbers, it sounds like horseshit. But the numbers could have borne Krueger out, and then, hell, you'd have a pretty damn good talking point for your show. But by saying "brain-dead Caribbean hitters", I think Krueger's pretty much given away his already determined bias against that group, one he apparently didn't spend very much time working on propping up with facts and numbers. In fact, lbb's point about using them to be representative in a terrific one. What if he had said, "These three brain-dead idiots ...?" You would have been forced to make the inference yourself, if you were so inclined. Instead, Krueger went ahead and did it for you. Maybe it was just a slip of the tongue, or maybe it was frustration, but I don't think I could keep this guy around and not expect the Latin players, and most likely ALL the Giants, to have a problem with him.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:32 PM on August 06, 2005

I never thought I'd say this ... but lbb and I concur. :) I concur with you alotsa times. You just don't often concur with me. ;-)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:23 PM on August 06, 2005

This just in: Alou says he won't accept Krueger's apology.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:38 PM on August 06, 2005

I never thought I'd say this ... but lbb and I concur. :) And I never thought I'd say this ... but evil empire and I concur. :) This thread is chock full of stunning revelations.

posted by grum@work at 07:19 PM on August 06, 2005

I just wonder what the feedback would have been if the quote if question "Brain dead White Americans hacking at slop!" It was an insensitive remark. However, like most insensative remarks in sports, this one has gotten blown out of proportion!

posted by daddisamm at 04:17 PM on August 07, 2005

How's it out of proportion, daddisamm? What is being said about Kreuger that's disproportionate?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:04 PM on August 07, 2005

The amount of coverage given to it, is whats out of proportion... The comments he made were offensive. However. We dont need repeated and extensive reporting on the subject. That is, of course, my humble opinion.

posted by daddisamm at 06:57 PM on August 07, 2005

Yeah, maybe, daddisamm. OTOH the guy is gonna go back to his job covering the Giants, so arguably the matter's not closed.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:35 PM on August 07, 2005

lbb-you are right-we havent heard the last of this!

posted by daddisamm at 10:25 PM on August 07, 2005

Should the guy loose his job? Didnt he get suspended w/o pay? Isn't that enough? I am just asking

posted by daddisamm at 10:30 PM on August 07, 2005

You're just asking a different question than the one that was just under discussion, i.e., the matter of proportionality. I can only answer one at a time.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:35 PM on August 07, 2005

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