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October 04, 2006

The question of age


People, can we all get along? Can we please play baseball without looking for "unintentional" racism, as if one could unintentionally intentionally discriminate against people?

Apparently, we can't, if you've read an op-ed in today's New York Times, written by Roberto González Echevarría, a professor at Yale, who argues that it's racist when people talk about how old the Mets' pitcher Orlando Hernández, a/k/a "El Duque," really is. How old he is. And Prof. González Echevarría claims to have been the source of the information about El Duque's age in the first place.

Ccontrary to the professor's jaundiced view of the world, no one really cares if El Duque's 36 or 40 years old or, for that matter, 102 -- if he can pitch, which I admit is a pretty big "if" right about now.

Then again, what can we expect from a professor who says it's racist to fire a manager whose team stank up the league? Here are his golden thoughts: "All of this has fortunately changed now — although I do find it curious that the first three managers fired after this regular season were Frank Robinson, Dusty Baker and Felipe Alou, two American blacks and a black Latino."

But their teams were no good at all. The Nationals (71-91) and Cubs (66-96) were awful, and the Giants (76-85) were barely mediocre. And besides, these were three men who had been hired in the first place. Some racism.

To close, I just want to say, "Shut up and play ball!" And GO METS!