“Impostors”?

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Torii Hunter found himself in a little bit of hot water regarding his comments about Latino baseball players.

Hunter, who is black, went on the record of saying that black Latino players are ‘impostors’ about two weeks ago in a series of roundtables by USA Today. The comments were posted on Wednesday’s edition of the paper. He would go on to say that he meant no harm with the comments and that they were not racially charged.

The subject originally came about from the low number of African Americans that are represented and the decline of the representation of African Americans in baseball in recent years, although the number in 2008 (10.2%) signified the highest percentage since 1995, a sign that things are changing.

But back to Hunter, he has been known for many years as one of the good guys, and is always engaging to the media, and during his reaction, he was agitated over the fact that the media did spin it to make it seem like it was racially charged. Here’s what was said:

“People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they’re African-American. They’re not us. They’re impostors. Even people I know come up and say: ‘Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?’ I say, ‘Come on, he’s Dominican. He’s not black.’ …

“As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us. It’s like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It’s like, ‘Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?’ … I’m telling you, it’s sad.”

Hunter did kind of stir the pot with those comments, but it seems as if that was his thoughts, but when you are in the spotlight, you always have to choose your words carefully. Just like with Derek Anderson and the Cleveland Browns release, what a player says can be spun into something that it is not. At first Hunter was not going to back away from his word, but when the reaction was too negative, he had to say something for damage control. This issue will not be serious, and by the time Opening Day comes around, it will be forgotten.

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