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The Guy Who Wrote That Headline Molests Donkeys

This is messed up. Check out the headline for this article:

“Van Slyke on Ozzie: ‘Latinos are hot-headed’”

Now, three paragraphs down, here’s the actual quote from Tigers first base coach, Andy Van Slyke, who was asked about Ozzie Guillen’s recent outburst at the pitcher who refused to bean a guy:

“(Guillen’s) a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve,” Van Slyke told the radio network. “He is, if you want to call it, an atypical Latin baseball player.

“I don’t believe that it’s true for all Latinos, but a lot of people’s perception is that Latinos are hot-headed. He has certainly shown that he gets a little upset and a little excited about the littlest, silliest things.”

I dunno who wrote that headline (and chances are, it’s not the same person who wrote the article), but man, whoever it was did a serious hack job on Andy Van Slyke. Just completely hung him out to dry. That’s like a guy saying, “I know that the stereotype isn’t true for everyone, but I did once see a black man eating fried chicken,” and the headline the next day reading, “GUY SAYS THAT DARKIES LOVE THE KFC.” The headline is just a complete misrepresentation of what he said.

Van Slyke was, in fact, careful not to make any blanket statements about people of Latin descent… lets give him credit for that, instead of blindsiding him in the headline. How many people just glance at the headline and don’t read the article, and think Andy Van Slyke is a prick right now? That’s not cool. I’d say something about Van Slyke if he did say something offensive, so by the same token, I should probably also defend retired centerfielders who get unfairly railroaded by headline writers.

I went ahead and took a screen capture of it, just in case MSNBC decides to change it, as they damn well should.

And the headline to this little blog item is my own little personal act of vengeance on behalf of Andy Van Slyke. I hope it’s taken in the spirit as it was intended: completely factual.

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Matthew J. Darnell

13 Comments

  1. So I’m up late anyway, might as well make it four straight in the “recent comments” department…

    The thing is, reading the headline first “tricks” you into thinking that’s what he really said. Read the headline last and he really does come off fairly blanket-statement-free. But I can almost guarantee something very similar will show up in the sidebar of ESPN.com sometime soon.

    Writers are idiots.

  2. Andy Van Slyke was the last Pittsburgh Pirate who was worth anything. I think this headline writer is some bitter schmuck from Seattle who thinks Ben Roethlisberger became too easy a target.

    Good catch, MJD. Don’t ever let the bastards get you down.

  3. They’ve included a “[sic]” after “atypical.” Andy meant to say “typical.” Face it, it was a comment in extremely poor taste.

  4. Another headline that would’ve been equally as accurate:

    Van Slyke on Ozzie: ‘[He's] the littlest, silliest thing’

  5. You can make anyone say anything with the right amount of ellipses. Take this post for example.

    “I … did a serious hack job … on this little blog.”

  6. As much as someone might want to throw Van Slyke under the bus for this, the “atypical” part goes with what he said next.

    He said it was “atypical for Latin players to wear their emotions on their sleeves”. He then said while it’s people’s perception that they are emotional and hotheaded, they are for the most part not.

    Why would he say he’s a “typical” Latin ballplayer, and then give reasons why Ozzie’s actions, while fitting the stereotype mentioned, not typical of his own experience?

    If Andy did mean to say “typical” instead of “atypical”, then he would have promptly contradicted himself in the next statement. I think Van Slyke said what he meant, and he meant “atypical”.

  7. How could his statement be anything but offensive to Latinos? Here it is again: “I don’t believe that it’s true for all Latinos, but a lot of people’s perception is that Latinos are hot-headed.”

    Yeah, he says that “it’s not true for all,” but he still says that people think that. Face it (again): he was wrong.

  8. Well….I dunno….I know a lot of hot-headed latinos/latinas(myself included!).Should I take offense or excuse it by saying…”well….’it’s oz’ we’re talkin’ ’bout….”:

    & I’ve heard talk of a lot of hot-headed-okie-red-necked/headed-irish-english descendants that live in the white-trash part of town. Rumor has it that there’s multiple trailors on properties enhanced by set-in-chain-link-fences & junkyard-dog protection.

    (I’m more curious about what made me click on this topic…..said alleged molesting of the donkeys…)

    Did you see that MJD?Have you contacted PETA? Do you have witnesses? Inquiring minds wish to know.

  9. Matt, I don’t know why you think that’s offensive. Van Slyke saying that a lot of people have a stereotype about Latinos is not the same thing as saying that the stereotype is true; he’s just acknowledging that the stereotype exists. And he’s right, it does. I think there are a lot of people out there that think all black men can play basketball. But I watch The Office, so I know it’s not true.

  10. That headline definitely didn’t capture the essence of what Van Slyke was saying. I didn’t find his comment offensive at all, and I think we can pretty much figure out what he was trying to say. Then again, I’m not Latino, so what do I know?

  11. MSNBC is only doing what other headline-makers do at sites such as Comcast.net, Yahoo.com, and cnn.com to get people to read the story: make the headline sensational so that people want to read, even if it’s bending the context of what actually went on in the story.

    Example recently: the Floyd Landis “scandal.” He says that his testosterone rose naturally, and more tests need to be done to find the truth (Not saying he’s innocent or guilty). But websites say he’s, “Battling for his innocence.”

    I guess what I’m saying, in a roundabout way, is that you’re absolutely right and MSNBC was wrong. But what is anyone going to do about it? It’s a competitive newsworld in the Information Age, and ordinary, controversy-hungry American consumers keep the drive for more info going, without regard for factual basis. Should anyone be surprised at the Van Slyke headline?

    For my part, I’ve stopped watching the news. If anyone wants to come up with a better solution for holding the media accountable, I welcome it.

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