Saturday, April 15, 2006



Not two minutes ago I saw Carl Everett, the new Mariners designated hitter, interviewed prior to the upcoming game between the Mariners and the Red Sox. I am not Everett's biggest fan to begin with; he crowds the plate by illegally stepping over the line for the batter's box and complains when umpires call him out or pitchers throw inside. He riles people, too.

Today is an example.

He was asked about Jackie Robinson (today being the 59th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut; don't make me have to tell you why that's important, or it guts what I'm about to say). Everett said that he never learned about Jackie Robinson until he started playing baseball professionally, and then blamed racism for that. He alluded to Black History Month, restating the old complaint that the shortest month has been reserved to celebrate it, except missing the point and saying that somehow that the point of black history month was to ignore the contribution of African Americans the other eleven months. He then seemed to say that he doesn't even believe in Black History Month because the history of African Americans should be part of all history -- he's right, but the way he stated it made history sound like a conspiracy against African Americans.

More to the point, where was Carl Everett as a kid? Growing up, I knew who Jackie Robinson was. I knew his role in both baseball and society. And I grew up twenty years earlier than Carl Everett did, when society was just coming to grips with desegregation. Did he not read a book as a child? Did he not watch television? Did he at least read the sports pages? Did the adults around him not tell him about Jackie Robinson, or did they not read or engage in popular culture, either?

Sorry, Carl, your complaint lacks a grounding in reality, and you lack substance. You are also hitting .103. You are the weakest link. Good-bye.

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