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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is Calling A Japanese Player's Baseball Bat A Chopstick Racist?

On Tuesday, October 2, 2012 TV baseball analyst David Cone referred to New York Yankee outfielder Ichiro Suzuki's bat as a 'chopstick'.

Apparently people via social media took offense.

Really? Why?

Ichiro is Japanese.

So what?

What if people call a white baseball player's white ash bat a twig or a chopstick? So what? What if that player was Black? So what?

Is it offensive? To whom? Ichiro? If he had a sense of humor, he might laugh at that comment by Cone. Ichiro is Mr. Chuckls, but then again, he's not an angry man.

Is Ichiro offended... and if he is, why? It was a comment about a bat.

Are people upset because the American bat was referred to by an Asian term?

Whatever. It's not racist.

Ichiro Suzuki is Japanese. He speaks Japanese. He probably uses chopsticks when he eats. Perhaps not all the time, but sometimes. So what if his baseball bat caused someone to refer to it as a chopstick?

Ichiro uses a black Mizuno (Japanese company) bat made from tamo wood grown on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

And yet people are holding David Cone, 49 - a nice enough pitcher who played between 1986 and 2003 winning World Series championships in 1992 with the Toronto Blue Jays and four with the New York Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000.

If anyone thinks there is a problem with what Cone said - fine - let's ask Ichiro Suzuki what he thinks.If he says it' a big deal, Cone should apologize. If not, drop the issue.

Hell... I'm using baseball bats right now to eat my udon yakisoba at lunch. They way I use them, my chopsticks are like baseball bats. Perhaps the way Ichiro Suzuki - arguably one of baseballs best EVER hitters - uses his baseball bat, it's as lightweight and deft as the way he eats chopsticks.

Chopsticks? People are worried about the racist undertone of that? Geez, how about a bunch overweight White or Black Atlanta Braves fans doing a tomahawk chop? The caricature that is Chief Wahoo the mascot of the Cleveland Indians? The Canadian Football League Edmonton Eskimos calling themselves Eskimos rather than the correct term Inuit? What about people still questioning US President Obama's birthplace? The Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot? It's a drunk leprechaun wantin' ta fight, boyo! Remember the movie Blazing Saddles? "We'll take the niggers and the chinks, but we won't take the Irish."

What about some idiot calling me a 'paki' the otherday after he cut me off on the highway?

A baseball bat as a chopstick?

Good grief. That's not even insulting. 

Now... it is true that Ichiro treats his bats very well. With respect even. I read that once while he was still a young player for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan, he broke his bat after striking out... he wrote a letter to Mizuno and apologized for his treatment of the bat.

So... maybe Ichiro might find Cone's comments regarding his honorable bat offensive.

I still say 'no'... but... 

Let's ask Ichiro.

Andrew Joseph

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Andrew Joseph !This is really an Awesome post!
    Maybe buy yourself a couple baseballs and a batting tee so you could practice hitting and play lots of catch so that your throws become accurate and your arm will start getting stronger. For more informations my blog. Thanks!