Ok, that’s not exactly what Twins 2B Orlando Hudson told Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, but it was hard not to exaggerate under the circumstances.
œYou see guys like Jermaine Dye (above) without a job, Minnesota Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson said Monday. œGuy with [27 home runs and 81 RBIs] and can™t get a job. Pretty much sums it up right there, no? You™ve got some guys who miss a year who can come back and get $5, $6 million, and a guy like Jermaine Dye can™t get a job. A guy like Gary Sheffield, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, can™t get a job. ¦
œWe both know what it is. You™ll get it right. You™ll figure it out. I™m not gonna say it because then I™ll be in [trouble].
œCall it what you want to, Hudson said. œI ain™t fit to say it. After I retire I™ll say it. I™ve got a whole bunch of stuff to say after I retire.
Hudson™s words spoke enough that Dye and his agent, Bob Bry, declined to comment Monday night. Hudson going public was unique, too, as other players worry it will have a negative effect on the issue. While some will accuse Hudson of race baiting and paranoia, the reality is quite the opposite: He is taking public a concern that promotes discussion and forces MLB to be honest with itself about the precipitous drop in African-American players over the last two decades.
As Passan himself points out, Dye wasn’t without a job offer this past off-season, but he declined to sign with Washington rather than accept a severe pay cut. A new era of austerity for vets doesn’t seem to fully extend to the likes of say, new Cubs addition Xavier Nady, but the X-Man seems content with a part-time role at Wrigley. Considering the Mets are paying $2 million of Gary Matthews Jr.’s salary, Dye would probably represent a bargain at twice as much —- especially if he could play first. And while Hudson might have a point about the relative ease with which white journeymen find gigs compared to their black counterparts, Gary Sheffield has already worn out his welcome with 8 big league teams. Racism in Major League Baseball? Probably. Age discrimination, most assuredly. There’s guys in the Hall Of Fame right now who can’t crack the White Sox 40 man roster (in some cases because they are dead).