Get Behind Me Satan 

Not long after the insipid Larry Krueger was revealed by Cardinal Alou to be a "messenger of Satan" not worthy of a handshake, KNBR has decided to get right with God and exorcise the One Who Carries The Diabolical Word near the stroke of midnight.

The Sports Leader also fired its program director and the producer of its morning show, which parodied Alou's Satan comment yesterday by juxtaposing it with a sound bite from South Park.

Dude. Sweet. Next week, Felipe blames Canada.

Heads were destined to roll once the Giants threw a few high hard ones. Felipe said he wouldn't do his KNBR pregame show; Brian Sabean threatened similar action. It was cold shoulder central, and KNBR probably had no choice.

Now that everyone has contributed a juicy morsel to this potluck of idiocy, the Giants front office has restored at least a modicum of sanity by releasing Alex Sanchez. (Messenger of Satan indeed -- Sanchez's game showed no inkling of intelligent design.)

Krueger will not be missed. His greatest innovation was to tell his listeners to "bang out the number" when calling into his talk show. Nyuk nyuk. Just another bloviating mouth-breather who thought that being an opinionated sports guy was as macho as actually playing sports.

Whether calling the Giants' Caribbean hitters "brain-dead" is a firing offense, I leave for others to decide. I'm still not sure his comments equal racism, per se, but since my previous post, I've come to realize that's splitting hairs. Place doesn't always equal race, but in the baseball world, "Caribbean" means "dark-skinned and Spanish-speaking."

As I mentioned before, Krueger's slur revealed the flip side of an age-old baseball stereotype -- because "you don't walk off the island," Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, etc., will swing at anything. Baseball is rife with stereotypes: kooky southpaws, for example. They're often racially tinged. How often have you heard a small white guy described as "scrappy" and "hard-nosed" and a similar black player as "blessed with ability"?

During last weekend's Hall of Fame festivities, Joe Morgan, a small, scrappy black Hall of Famer who's so blinded by preconceptions he refuses to read Moneyball, said the steroid era has de-emphasized speed and base-stealing so much that African-Americans are no longer as heavily recruited.

Huh? Is he saying black people aren't good home run hitters? Or whites and Latinos aren't fast? Or that fast black players aren't smart enough to develop into home run hitters?

Whatever he's implying, it seems based on racial stereotypes with little grounding in reality. Morgan may not be explicitly insulting, as Krueger's comments were, but he's no more correct.


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