Red Sox

Beyond the Jones incident, it’s time to confront racism in Boston

Beyond the Jones incident, it’s time to confront racism in Boston

“Boston is a racist city.”

That statement is often met with contempt by natives of “the Hub” and understandably so.

Why would one accept the fact that their home city was synonymous with racism in the Northeast? This would mean they’d also accept their own underlying prejudices rooted not only in their personal upbringing but based on a history that continues to promote the separation of the races and cultures it claims to embrace.

Better yet, maybe they’d have to face their former classmates who were bused miles away from home to “fix” this infamous segregation problem.

We get it.

What’s in the past should stay there, right?

It’s 2017, so racism in any form no longer exists.

Wrong.

For years this uncomfortable topic has been pushed to the back burner, slowly simmering, unattended, until another incident boils over. reminding everyone of the scalding-hot truth.

Monday night was one of those cases. Orioles center fielder Adam Jones told USA Today that he was the subject of racially charged language during a game at Fenway Park.

“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me.” He explained. "I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.'' 

Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy issued a public apology Tuesday morning, saying, in part: “No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior, and our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few.” 

"This is unacceptable and not who we are as a city." Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told WBUR. "These words and actions have no place in Fenway, Boston or anywhere. We are better than this."

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker tweeted similar sentiments

Somewhere in Boston, when the weather gets nice, and there isn’t must to talk about on Boston sports radio (or a certain basketball team is trying to recruit a certain free agent) the question reemerges. The problem then becomes, of all the media members to speak on the subject, how many of them are actually people of color and have experienced this “said racism”? 

The reality is, one will not recognize, understand, acknowledge or even address racism, or even the everyday microaggressions people of color experience, if you are not willing to accept its existence. What happened to Adam Jones was disgusting but the bigger issue at hand were the fans who observed it happening and sat mute.

Our worldview is based on the people we grew up with and took the time to try and understand. There’s nothing wrong with embracing where you come from, but when David Ortiz, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts are the only black people you “know”, then comes the time to reevaluate the bubble you live in.

To be ‘racist’ in 2017 does not necessarily equate with white pointed hoodies and lynchings.

Conversations on race are fleeting. Everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya at their local town hall meeting on “race relations” and by next week everyone forgets what happened.

Until the Bostonians are able to take an objective look back and understand the root of their problems, outsiders will continue to proclaim, “Boston is a racist city” and they won’t be far from the truth.  


 

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

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File Photo

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale turned 31 on Monday. He also had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow on that same day. The procedure will sideline him for at least the rest of the 2020 season and beyond. 

But when exactly can we expect Sale back? Boston Red Sox chief of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, wouldn't confirm to an exact date, but he did provide some insight into how long Sale might be sidelined.

"We don't know exactly," Bloom said, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. "Typically you see around that 14-15 month range."

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Okay, so maybe that's not the most specific answer, but it at least gives us a ballpark idea of when Sale could return.

A 14-15 month recovery period would have Sale return sometime between early June and early July in 2021, if his recovery goes well. Of course, there are so many variables to take into account about how Sale may be progressing but also about how the Sox may be faring. If they aren't doing well, the team could take an extremely cautious approach with Sale in hopes of having him fully healthy for the 2022 season.

But Bloom's estimate at least gives Sox fans an initial target for Sale's potential return. The target date will certainly be fluid especially considering that some pitchers take 18 months to return from the surgery.

But no matter what, Sale won't be suiting up for the Red Sox until mid-2021 at the earliest. And that's bad news for the squad considering their lack of starting pitching depth.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

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File Photo

Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale's long road to recovery from a pesky elbow injury began on Monday.

The Boston Red Sox officially announced that Sale underwent Tommy John surgery on Monday to reconstruct the UCL in his throwing arm. Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery.

The Red Sox and Sale decided that he would need to have the surgery about a week and a half ago. The coronavirus crisis made it a bit uncertain as to when Sale would be able to have the procedure done, but now, it is in the books.

Sale won't pitch at all in 2020 and it's likely that he will miss time in 2021 as well. In fact, he could miss that whole season given that a typical recovery from Tommy John surgery takes about 18 months.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Either way, the Red Sox will be without Sale long-term and as a result, their starting rotation looks very thin. Eduardo Rodgriguez will slot in as the team's ace while Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez are the Nos. 2 and 3 starters respectively.

The other two rotation spots are up for grabs but before the league was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was assumed that Ryan Weber had the inside track for the fourth starter position. The fifth starter role was much less settled and the team may have used an opener strategy given their lack of starting pitching depth.

Without Sale, the Red Sox will likely have to rely a lot on their offense to carry them to victory moving forward. But we won't get a chance to see how they look until the MLB returns. And at this point in time, it's unclear when that may be.