Bleacher Report Does It Again: Quasi-Racist Clubhouse Cancers Post

In late 2010, during the unofficial Scorekeeping, a lot of “clubhouse cancer” stuff came up.  It wasn’t a lot, it was a couple mentions here and there, mostly tedious stuff, but it was weird because it was ONLY players of color.  From that post:

Times a player of color was called a clubhouse cancer: 5
Times a white player was called a clubhouse cancer: 0

So that’s odd.  I do remember some white players being called clubhouse cancers back in the day–my go-to is Shea Hillenbrand–but how many can you name?

Anyway, without further ado, Bleacher Report came out with this article written by Robert Knapel.  It’s title?

30 Worst Clubhouse Cancers in Baseball History

Hm.  I’m sure this is gonna be an objective account.  

The players listed: 

  • Carlos Zambrano (latino)
  • Oliver Perez (latino)
  • Manny Ramirez (latino)
  • Vicente Padilla (latino)
  • Milton Bradley (black)
  • Gary Sheffield (black)
  • Marty Bergen (white)
  • Charles Comiskey (white)
  • Jocko Halligan (white)
  • Hal Chase (white)
  • Ty Cobb (white)
  • Rogers Hornsby (white)
  • Carl Everett (black)
  • John Rocker (white)
  • Julian Tavarez (latino)
  • Jose Guillen (latino)
  • Kevin Brown (white)
  • Shea Hillenbrand (white)
  • Albert Belle (black)
  • Barry Bonds (black)
  • Sammy Sosa (latino)
  • Carlos Silva (latino)
  • Vince Coleman (black)
  • Reggie Jackson (black)
  • Ed Whitson (white)
  • Rickey Henderson (black)
  • Dick Allen (black)
  • Jeff Kent (white)
  • Bobby Bonilla (black)
  • Luis Castillo (latino)


Nine latino players, 10 black players, 10 white players.  I have 29 listed here, so maybe I missed one, but I counted it again and didn’t find one.  

Either way, this list is … slanted, shall we say. Six players haven’t played in over a century and they’re all white.  That screams “editor” to me.  

A good chunk of these players played for the Mets at one point or another.  Of the players who played for the Mets, Jeff Kent is the only white one.  Some of them are even questionable: Coleman, while eccentric at times, was never known (to my knowledge) as a clubhouse cancer.  Carlos Silva may have had an anger streak, but clubhouse cancer is a long way.  Bobby Bonilla as well.  

Bonilla is the most curious because as far as I know he was a pretty likeable guy, even if he didn’t play that well for the Mets.


This is my greatest hope for Scorekeeping, which’ll be published in the next month (seamless transition!): we as humans like to find patterns.  However, a couple of isolated incidents is not a pattern and doesn’t deserve a label.  Let’s not get too deep into philosophy, but if you label me, you negate me.  Labels are lazy, just as comps are, and we need to be aware of that.

We also need to spread that awareness because social justice without awareness leads to contempt.  


1 Comment

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One response to “Bleacher Report Does It Again: Quasi-Racist Clubhouse Cancers Post

  1. Ny Blue

    Did anyone actually read this garbage besides me?

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