A Phillies Pitcher Destroyed an Obnoxious SABR Blogger on Social Media, and His Message Will Inspire You

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I tried to write a headline that I thought would be the most click-baity offensive to oft-obonxious, blowhard, sheltered, close-minded Phils SABR blogger, Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley. I think that’ll do. Now, onto the story:

Baer, in an open letter to Justin De Fratus, decided to compare the Phillies pitcher to a neo-Natzi over his thoughts on the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag (De Fratus thought it better to use #AllLivesMatter). Behold a sampling of this dreck:

I don’t believe you are a bad person, Justin, but you do share this particular opinion with many bad people. Are you familiar with the Stormfront forums? Using the description from Wikipedia, Stormfront is “a white supremacist, neo-Nazi internet forum that was the internet’s first major racial hate site.” There (I won’t link to the site so as not to reward them with clickthroughs, but you’re welcome to do your own research), you’ll find many responses to the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag that echo your sentiment — that all lives matter, that white people suffer just as black people do. If this isn’t a call to reexamine your opinion, I don’t know what is.

That’s the equivalent of telling a fat kid that serial killers, too, eat McDonald’s, and that if little Dahmer doesn’t stop, he’s going to grow up and count murderous spree as one of his hobbies. Consider your position, tubby!

Baer then ticked off a bunch of stats – some of which illustrate the racial divide in our country, while others just toss aside innumerable variables (kinda ironic for a SABR blogger, no?) – in basically calling De Fratus a racist.

De Fratus fired back, and in a big way, on Facebook. Look at this eloquent, well-reasoned smackdown:

My Open Letter To Bill Baer

Dear Bill Baer,

I would like to first say that I hope this letter finds you, the readers of your blog, and the people of the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ community well. This letter is simply an attempt to explain myself further and defend my case and address any assumptions that you have made about myself, my upbringing, and my character. I hope to do so humbly and with reason and veneration.

First, I would like to dispel any attempts to lump me in with any and all ‘Neo Nazi’ groups as you have done: intentionally or unintentionally. My use of ‪#‎AllLivesMatter‬ literally means ALL LIVES MATTER. I don’t consider myself a racist and I definitely was not raised as such. If you or anyone else feels differently, I invite you to look deeper in to it and find someone that I have treated poorly in anyway due solely to the color of their skin: black, brown, yellow, red, orange, purple, white and so on. I think you get the point. I think it’s safe to say we can throw that argument out the window. If not, then you are no better than the prejudice you are so openly against. Let’s expand. To assume I share the same ideals with a group fueled by hatred because they happen to use the phrase ‘All Lives Matter” as well is no less a prejudice than to assume one African American to be a bad person because another African American is. Our case is less likely, yes but the root of the former issue mirrors the latter. It’s an assumption based off of a preconceived notion. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be fighting against? And finally, ask yourself this question. Would you have written your letter had I been a black man tweeting #AllLivesMatter?

Now, let us examine why I feel #AllLivesMatter is an appropriate response and should be the only response to #BlackLivesMatter. I didn’t take the time to research the facts that you mentioned. One, because I don’t hesitate in anyway to accept their validity and two, because I fail to see the relevance of those facts. I see the facts and #BlackLivesMatter as nothing more than a recognition of a problem in our society. Is it good that it’s being addressed? Most definitely! Productive? Not even close. Where is the solution? #BlackLivesMatter creates a separation in society. Though I believe it was initially a well intentioned campaign, I believe it has brought upon an even bigger divide. It’s an invitation for hatred and stupidity from people on or on either side of the fence. The goal of the campaign has not and will not be fruitful. The fact that I am even taking the time to write this letter in response to yours is proof of it’s failure. Again, I see no solution. However, I do see a solution in #AllLivesMatter. #AllLivesMatter, in my eyes, invites equality. It beckons something greater than just a racial divide. It calls upon love and understanding for all. I think #AllLivesMatter attacks the root of all of our society’s problems. African American suffering in our society is a branch on the tree of ugliness in our world. #BlackLivesMatter is like trimming a branch while I see #AllLivesMatter as uprooting the whole tree. If you trim a tree, it will grow again; however, remove it’s root and the whole tree dies.

Finally, I agree with you when you say we need more positive influences in sports now days. I try with every fiber of my being to be that kind of influence. You’re right, I have quite a big platform through baseball and social media to have a voice and encourage people to do the right thing. Believe me, Bill. I’m POSITIVE I am succeeding in spreading a positive message. I sincerely hope that you will take the time to talk to me personally next time before you decide to hide behind your computer screen and criticize me, my upbringing and my character based on 140 characters. I do not apologize for anything I have said. I have a platform and I WILL use it for the agenda of love. Nothing else.

Justin DeFratus

P.S. Take some time to research the demographics of Oxnard, Ca., El Rio Little League, and Rio Mesa High School while I was growing up. I don’t think our stories are the same. Perhaps a prejudice on your part based on the color of MY skin?

BAER DOWN! BAER DOWN! I can only assume he’ll respond with an equation that only his 12 loyal readers will even attempt to understand.


47 Responses

    1. Yo Kyle what’s your opinion of former Sixer Nick Young(aka Swaggy P) nearly getting drowned by a Dolphin and claiming the Dolphin wanted his girlfriend Iggy Azalea?

  1. I’ve been pretty turned off by the Phillies the last couple years and if you had asked me to name as many guys on the roster as I could, De Fratus wouldn’t have been one of them.

    This stance by De Fratus is refreshing to see. I wish he was a SP because I would actually make a point to go to a Phillies game to see him start.

    This idiot from Crashburn Alley is unfortunately a part of the majority that gets sucked into the mass media’s (both sides too: liberal and conservative) crusade of fear mongering and categorizing. They do that because it’s easy for people to understand and build stereotypes around. The majority doesn’t want to understand, they just want to point fingers and shout.

    1. I’m not even sure if he was still on the roster in September.

      But then again, you had to be pretty drunk to still be watching the Phillies in September last season,

      1. Correction,you had to be pretty drunk to watch the Phillies at any point last season,or the season to come.

      1. You have made the Führer reminisce on his most favorite youth game. Goebbels is out! You are now my Minister of Propaganda.

      1. Correction,Germany my bad for my poor attempt at trying to be funny.

        And did you guys know my real name is Eric Banks aka Ej from West Philly,and I’m a juvenile probation officer who has so much time on my hands that I regularly post on crossing broad.

        But don’t tell my superiors.

  2. Persuasive writing assignment
    GRADE: A +

    “Justin, you should consider quitting that silly baseball team and becoming an english major!”

    – Mrs. Crenshaw

    1. No, but he is one of those liberal guilt white people, like Bitchanelli, who like to make other white feel like they are bad people for being white and not constantly apologizing to blacks for things that happened hundreds of years ago. These people pretend to know black people and other minorities on an intimate basis, yet ironically most grew up in lilley white suburbs where everyone tried to be buddy-buddy with the two blacks in their high school so they can feel “down”.

      1. Its worse than that at this point. White guilt aka african history classes at temple talk about nothing but how white people destroyed africa by pitting different tribes against each other. Isn’t that the same shit that happened here? Except here we are all supposed to live together in peace and harmony no problem. Fucking double standards. Soon it will be illegal to be white in philly.

  3. Slow news day in Philly sports when CB has a post about Justin Defratus and a Little League team from Chicago

  4. I fully embrace sabermetrics, but man Bill Baer is one mug SOB. Good on JDF to lay the smack down. I expect Baer to come back with how relievers are fungible and that Bobby Abreu is the most underrated Phillie of all-time. Man, I miss Beerleaguer. It had the analytical take on baseall without the hipster smugess of Crashburn Alley. Thanks to Comcast for ruining the best Phillies blog on the internet.

    1. I agree complete. I really enjoy the analytic look at the game but Crashburn has become unhinged, even before this. Even the way they’ve looked at Dom Brown and RAJ, has been completely skewed by the smugness.

  5. Actually black lives only seem to matter when they are taken by white people.

    Black lives are taken every single day needlesly by other black people and nobody seems to give a shit about that.

    = Racism

    1. yeah and if you kill a muslim then cnn will spend months trying to tie to racism somehow.

  6. I just felt a spring breeze, I just smelled the scent of a beautiful woman walking by me, who glanced my way with a sly, inviting smile. I’ve just become a Phillies fan again. Thanks for this great piece Kyle.

  7. Please “moderate” any comment that starts with, “I’m not a racist, but”

    Thanks in advance.

  8. Bonus points for not linking to Baer’s piece.

    I’d say that’s a win for integrity, but you did have that post on the USAirways plane about all the media vultures falling over themselves to get permission to use the photo, which you then used. So let’s call this week a wash.

  9. If black people sincerely wish to understand why in 2015 some people still feel such hatred toward them, the hashtag ‘blacklivesmatter’ is as good an example to analyze as any other. The phrase is really saying those who are not black, their lives should matter less. Its also saying that blacks are separate and distinct from whites. Look at the term ‘African American’.. what comes first? ‘African’.. Doesn’t matter that the vast majority of American blacks have been here via their ancestors since before this nation was born. They want to be thought of as part of a different continent First. Blacks are Not exceptional, they are not entitled to special favors and social accommodations, their lives do not carry more meaning or value than anyone else.. ALL human life matters and no one is superior to another

    1. Psst… your white privilege is showing. That hashtag is not suggesting that other lives don’t matter, it’s a reminder that black lives matter, too. That black people even feel required to say that in 2015 means that we still have a long way to go towards equality. White people don’t need to remind us that they matter because you see them in positions of power and influence EVERYWHERE.

      Second of all, your whining about the term “African-American” is stale. Most folks who have any bit of cultural sensitivity will tell you that using that term is making an unwelcome assumption that everyone who is black has African ancestry, which isn’t true. The proper term would be “black” or “brown.” But no one at your local watering hole has had a conversation like that since the 60s, so I can’t blame you for not knowing.

      1. Pssst. Are you sure you’re from Morton and not an actual Swarthmore liberal?

        White privilege is a load of shit buddy. This isn’t 1963. Blacks get preferential treatment for jobs, and have an entire industry devoted to them (See: Diversity departments at universities and corporations around the US).

        #blackLivesMatter has also been hijacked by a group of blacks who are equally as racist as Stormfront but do not take even 10% of the flack stormfront gets. Yes Stormfront is a bunch of idiotic white people who are angry, ignorant, and hateful for no goddamned reason. Black folks, while having it rough, are also not ready to enter into a post-racial world because it causes the diversity/civil rights movement to be dismantled. They act as if pointing out differences brings people together, but in fact it pushes different colored, religion, languaged people further away. #BlackLivesMatter is just an element of that hypocrisy. The original post still stands. 90% of murdered black lives are not ended by racist white cops, they’re ended by blacks. Just as 83% of white murders are ended by other whites.

        The original post is wrong that blacks are not exceptional. Anyone can be exceptional.

        1. Could not have said it any better, Matt sounds like every white-guilt Swarthmore liberal i’ve ever encountered who thinks the black man is held down by white priviliged people in power, yet the town mostly consists of doctors,ceo’s, executives, who would never hire a black person for a job. These people are the racists because they see black people as less than them and in need of their help.

      2. Your stupidity is showing, Matty. If the hashtag meant that black lives matter too, then the hashtag would’ve been #BlackLivesMatterToo

        Mind. Blown.

  10. Dude. Baer has always been a race baiter. I remember when he called fans racist for giving Jimmy crap for not hustling. Never read his rag blog since. I see nothing has changed.

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