What it really means when white sportswriters talk about lack of hustle


This is SO not on Gleyber Torres.

That is SO not on Gleyber Torres.
Picture: Getty Photographs

The Yankees fell to 6-11 on Wednesday evening with a 4-1 residence loss to Atlanta. They received a grand complete of 5 hits, and if not for Atlanta’s generosity in throwing away Tuesday evening’s sport, New York can be on a seven-game dropping streak proper now.

As it’s, the Yankees have misplaced six of seven, are tied with the Twins for the worst document within the American League, and sit solely half a sport forward of the Rockies for the worst document in baseball.

And it’s all Gleyber Torres’ fault, apparently.

Torres didn’t run exhausting on a check-swing tapper again to the mound, it’s true. You may perceive his frustration, being 11-for-59 on the season with no homers and 15 strikeouts, whereas additionally struggling defensively at shortstop.

On the identical time, it’s 17 video games into the season. Torres is a two-time All-Star — and he’s solely 24. He’ll get away of it in time, as will the Yankees from their teamwide malaise. It’s powerful to observe within the meantime, but it’s nearly endurance.

Or, for Andy Martino of SNY, Torres might be made the scapegoat. The concept right here is that “It’s not a birthright to begin video games for the New York Yankees, even should you’re one of the crucial proficient gamers on the staff. It may be price a shot for the entrance workplace to remind all the group that these jobs should be earned every day.”

That’s proper, the Yankees ought to ship Torres to the minor league alternate website, and set up Tyler Wade, an objectively worse participant, at shortstop, as a way to remedy their gradual begin.

“The Yankees’ issues should not practically all Torres’ fault,” Martino wrote. “However he’s optionable, struggling, and exhibiting an absence of hustle.”

The language of “not a birthright” borders on a canine whistle. “Lack of hustle,” effectively, that’s giving up the sport on how baseball works when it’s time to seek out somebody to shoulder the blame for a complete staff’s woes.

For the reason that begin of the 2019 season, listed here are gamers whose names have appeared in newspaper articles in affiliation with the phrase “lack of hustle”:

  • Brett Gardner
  • Yasiel Puig
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • José Ramírez
  • Jean Segura
  • César Hernández
  • Cleon Jones
  • Maikel Franco
  • Robinson Canó
  • Ronald Acuña Jr.
  • Amed Rosario
  • Steven Souza Jr.
  • Bryce Harper
  • Buster Posey
  • Manny Machado
  • George Springer
  • B.J. Upton
  • Gary Sánchez
  • Keith Hernandez

For Acuña, Canó, Hernández, Sánchez, and Segura, there have been a number of references, generally not even to particular incidents, however to reputations.

A few these names additionally might stick out as not becoming a clearly recognizable sample. Gardner’s “lack of hustle” in April of 2019 was described as “uncharacteristic” by the New York Every day Information. In the meantime, the San Francisco Chronicle’s reference to Posey was a caption, noting that Posey was “not booed … for his lack of hustle,” related to a Sept. 15, 2019 column by Ann Killion headlined, “Why Giants’ Buster Posey nonetheless will get advantage of doubt in irritating 12 months.”

The opposite white gamers who’ve gotten tagged this manner are Harper and Souza, each of whom had been benched by managers explicitly for incidents the place they didn’t go as exhausting as they may.

Jones’ inclusion, in a retrospective in regards to the 1969 Mets, reveals that the lens of “hustle” has been tinted for a very long time, whereas the opposite long-retired participant cited for “lack of hustle,” Hernandez, was particularly referencing the interval of his profession when he had a cocaine downside.

Is it actually the case, then, the place not hustling is an virtually universally Latino problem, and when it isn’t, it’s extremely more likely to be a Black participant not giving his all? Or is that this a problem of notion from the closely white media corps, to not point out the closely white baseball govt and managerial contingent?

The Yankees have misplaced 11 of 17 video games to begin the season. There’s plenty of issues going fallacious with the Bronx Bombers. But the main target goes to Torres over his effort degree on a nothing play in yet one more dismal all-around sport for New York on a freezing evening.

That is what institutional racism does. It’s not that individuals are going out of their approach to criticize Torres as a result of he’s Venezuelan. It’s that the trope of lazy Latino gamers is so pervasive, an incident that received brushed apart for a white participant two years in the past as “uncharacteristic” turns into justification now for the thought of demoting Torres. If something is lazy, it’s this fashion of protection.


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