Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking
madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as
nasty as he wants to be for Miami New
Times. This week, Luke claims Major League Baseball has a plan to phase out
African American players and replace them with black Hispanic players.
April means Major League Baseball's
opening day, which gets me thinking about the media firestorm Los Angeles
Angels center fielder Torii Hunter ignited last month when he called players
from the Dominican Republic "imposters." This reflected his opinion that
dark-skinned Latin American major leaguers should not be counted as blacks. He's
For quite some time, Major League
Baseball has disenfranchised African American kids. The scouts and owners have gone
out and found players who look black, but to whom they can pay less money when
they become professionals.
Major League Baseball adopted this sweatshop
mentality by targeting countries like the Dominican Republic where players don't have a chance of being
drafted or getting a scholarship right out of high school.
Gone are the days
when Major League Baseball would go after the next Dwight Gooden, the next
Darryl Strawberry or the next Andre Dawson.
Teams want the next Albert Pujols
or the next Hanley Ramirez because a baseball club has to pay much more money
to the African American kid coming out of college than a kid from Santo Domingo or Puerto Plata.
A former pro baseball player
who is now a minor league coach told me all about the farm system in Latin
American countries. The Dominicans often accept being shipped to minor league
farm systems where they have to sleep dormitory-style, 100 to a room. In
Mexico, minor league players have to play games all day and all night.
Sometimes a game doesn't start till midnight. And every major league baseball
team has people on the ground scouting for talent.
How do the Florida Marlins
manage to field a competitive team and keep the payroll low? Because the club
has one of the best farm systems in Major League Baseball. They can get the top
of the line Dominican players at a bargain price. And when those players are
ready to make millions of dollars, the Marlins will trade them to a team
contending for the World Series in exchange for more younger farm system
What Major League Baseball
needs to do is reintroduce the sport to African American children. Let's not
forget the Negro Baseball League played a very important part of the African
American people's history. I played it as a kid at Flamingo Park in Miami
I became involved with the Liberty City Optimist Club, the organizer had the kids
playing baseball before we got them playing football. In fact, the club is one
of the oldest African American little league teams in Florida. You would think
the Marlins would do their research and support a program like that, but they
Even at the high school level,
there is no effort to generate interest in baseball among teenage black boys.
The owners need to put the resources in the inner cities because baseball is a
But that is not in the
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plans. The plan is to eliminate black Americans and replace them with
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.