A Tale of Two Centerfielders

Adding to our Scorekeeping thread.

Last week, BJ Upton was criticized for not getting to a ball hit to the gap fast enough, allowing the batter Rusty Ryal the opportunity to turn a standard double into a triple.

Yesterday, Drew Stubbs fielded a ball poorly and then didn’t get to the ball fast enough, allowing a the batter Ryan Howard to turn a standard double into a triple.

BJ Upton was criticized by his teammates, coaches and fans. NESN published an article this morning saying Upton may have had some sense knocked into him because of the criticism.

Stubbs, as far as I can tell, was not criticized. No teammate fought with him in the dugout, no manager came out publicly to say what he did was wrong. A search of “Drew Stubbs hustle” doesn’t even turn anything up.

These were days apart. Upton’s received national attention and Stubbs’ didn’t receive any local attention, as far as I can tell. The biggest difference between Upton and Stubbs is that Upton is black and Stubbs is white.

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8 Comments

Filed under MLB, Scorekeeping

8 responses to “A Tale of Two Centerfielders

  1. You are looking at both as isolated incidents when in fact, they’re not. Upton has a history of dogging it and this was probably the straw that broke the camels back. I don’t follow either team that closely, but I think you need to look a little deeper as Upton’s history before you start making these kinds of claims, IMHO.

    • That’s a common misconception of what I’m doing. I’m not making any claims, I’m collecting data on claims of “hustle” or lack thereof, regardless of skin color. If/when Stubbs is criticized by players, coaches, fans or columnists, I’ll post it. In my year-end report, I’ll basically be qualifying any and all info with what you posted. But it’s still a very similar play and for Stubbs to receive no criticism whatsoever is a little confusing.

    • This also isn’t a one- or two-year plan, I plan on doing this for at least 6 or 7 years to have as broad a sample as possible.

  2. McCheap

    Upton made the headlines because Longoria called him out & an argument ensued in the dugout. And as Grich pointed out, Upton has a history of dogging it. I don’t think it has anything to do with race.

    • Don’t want to get too into this, because like I said, I’m just collecting the information, but here’s an earnest response from my POV.

      That’s a good point, but why weren’t Stubbs’ teammates upset? Does Upton’s history of dogging it, regardless of whether or not that’s true, deserve to be criticized (and in a very public way) any more than Stubbs’?

      The thing I’ve been noticing so far isn’t that black players get called out for it, it’s that white players almost NEVER get called out for it. But like I said, I’m keeping in tune with this as best as I can and if/when a white player gets busted for not hustling, I’ll post it alongside the rest.

  3. Pingback: Scorekeeping: Subtle Racism Year in Review pt. I | Dingers

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