You would think that a career .282 hitter would be causing an online stir only because of his break-through performance on the field. For 29-year-old Cuban defect shortstop Yunel Escobar, that's not the case.
Escobar has been suspended 3 games by Major League Baseball for publicly displaying Spanish phrase "Tu Ere Maricon" on his eyeblack during last Saturday's game against the Red Sox. The phrase translates as "You Are A Faggot."
"I'm sorry for the actions of the other day," Escobar stated through a translator at a conference at Yankee Stadium. "It was not something I intended to be offensive. It was something I just put on the sticker on my face as a joke. There was nothing intentional directed at anyone in particular…I don't have anything against homosexuals. I have friends who are gay. In reality I'd like to ask for the apologies of all those who have been offended by this."
I wonder what his gay friends would have to say to him after such a public display of affection. I'm sure they're not as hurt as Escobar's pocket book. He'll lose $92 grand during his suspension. Good news is that the forfeited salary will be going towards the Blue Jays to You Can Play, an organization that promotes conflict-resolving lifestyles and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. As reported by ESPN, Escobar is also expected to "participate in an outreach initiative to help educate society about insensitivity and tolerance to others."
Before MLB announced the suspension, Escobar was benched for Sunday's game for 'flue-like symptoms' — a move everyone assumes was actually in response to Saturday's shenanigans.
"I can guarantee this will not happen again in my career," Escobar stated. "And it's a lesson I've learned and will never commit again in my career. I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to be misinterpreted by the gay community. I apologize.
"It's just something that's been said around amongst Latinos. It's not something that's meant to be offensive. For us, it didn't have the significance to the way it's being interpreted right now. It's a word used often within teams. … I agree with the suspension and don't have any problem with it."
Some assume Escobar lost a bet. I'm thinking he's just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. According to Deadspin.com, Outsports.com found a photo from an August 29 game in which Escobar had another Spanish phrase written in his eye black that translates to "No Penis."
T.MI., Yunel. T.M.I.