Speaking to the New York Daily News’ Andy Martino, a former Phillies beat writer and underwear wearer, Jimmy Rollins had plenty of candid, and sure to be controversial, thoughts about race and baseball… thoughts that were printed on the same day that the new Jackie Robinson movie, 42, is being released.
Can’t say I disagree with much, if any, of what J-Roll™ said. Among those things:
AM: Also, it’s a conservative game, isn’t it?
JR: That’s all part of it. You go see any kid of color, they want to look showtime. Very seldom do you see a white kid out there getting a little showtime. Just culturally, we’re different, and that’s the way it is. Music videos. Listen to the type of cars, and what we do to cars. That goes across every race, of course, but a guy gets a Buick Skylark and puts 24-inch rims on it. And that’s his way of expressing his style.In baseball, your style is actually suppressed a lot. So there are a number of factors.
AM: What could a committee like this accomplish?
JR: You know what has to be done? It’s not the committee, it’s the marketing. You have to market the black players. You have to market those aspects of the game — the glam, things of that nature. Other than that, it is not going to matter. It really is not going to matter.I mean, for example I won MVP in 2007, and I wasn’t on anybody’s cover. No one’s. I’m not sure if CC was on a cover, and he was Cy Young. But I’ll tell you what. Prior and post MVPs or Cy Youngs are always on someone’s cover. Or a commercial.
This isn’t the first time Rollins has said that MLB doesn’t market its black stars well. In 2011, Rollins told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports something similar (and I had many agreeing thoughts on that matter). But this time, he also said that MLB’s inner-city program, RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), is kind of useless, and gave some thoughts on Derek Jeter being more Derek Jeter than black to most fans. Read the full interview here.