August 5, 2005


Station won't fire host after apology (Associated Press, 8/05/05)

A talk show host for the San Francisco Giants' longtime flagship radio station was suspended for a week without pay Friday for racial remarks he made about the team's Latino players -- though a high-ranking station executive said he would not be fired.

On the air late Wednesday after the Giants lost 3-2 to the Colorado Rockies, Larry Krueger of KNBR went off about the struggling club and its "brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly."

Later, he said, "You have a manager in Felipe [Alou] whose mind has turned to Cream of Wheat."

Krueger apologized, but that meant little to the Giants.

"I haven't heard anything like that since John Rocker," Venezuelan shortstop Omar Vizquel said Friday, referring to the former Atlanta Braves pitcher's remarks in a 1999 interview with Sports Illustrated in which he bashed gays, minorities and foreigners. "I think an apology is not going to be enough for that type of comment." [...]

"It really made me sad to know that 40, almost 50 years later I could hear comments like that," said Alou, who faced racism as a black Dominican minor-leaguer in the South nearly five decades ago. "Especially in San Francisco ... I never heard anything like that here. I heard it in the South and in some other cities, but not here. A man like me and the Latin guys out there, we have to be aware now that it's not over yet. It is coming back.

Of course he'll be fired.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 5, 2005 10:06 PM

Agreed. He's toast.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 5, 2005 10:33 PM

I haven't heard anything like that since Dusty Baker.

Posted by: pat at August 6, 2005 12:02 AM

Since this is the Bay Area, Krueger's only hope is if it's revealed within the next week that Felipe Alou is a Republican. Then there won't be any problem with the Cream of Wheat brain reference.

Posted by: John at August 6, 2005 12:38 AM

Is Caribbean a slur now? Will Disney have to change the name of it's ride?

Posted by: Brandon at August 6, 2005 1:17 AM

Trivia alert

In 1963 Felipe, Matty, and Jesus Alou batted in the same inning for the Giants.

Felipe best year was 1966, when he hit .327. Unfortunately Matty had his best year in 1966 (.342) and thus beat out his brother for the batting title.

"Dizzy" Dean (announcer for CBS) was uncomfortable saying "Jesus" Alou because he thought it was sacriligous, so he would always say "J" Alou instead. "Jay" was Dizzy's real first name.

Now you can go back to discussing the racism of various food products, "Uncle Ben", "Aunt Jemima" and now "Rastus".

Posted by: h-man at August 6, 2005 6:51 AM

Brandon: It's a slur in the same way calling someone a black b*****d is a slur.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at August 6, 2005 10:49 AM

Re: "brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly"

If facts are to enter the discussion, then one must examine the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the Caribbeans on the Giants ARE brain dead, and ARE hacking at slop nightly. Believe it or don't, but you don't have to be white to be a dumb ballplayer. See Sammy Sosa (exhibit A).

And besides all that, whether they are, or are not, dumb ballplayers, saying that they are doesn't make Krueger's comment racist. Latin American players have been characterized as free-swinging for a long time; as a long-time baseball fan, this seems pretty close to empirical fact to my eyes. Not all of them, of course, but most.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at August 6, 2005 12:14 PM


It's a racist caricature spoken in a racist way. Whether he's a racist in fact doesn't matter.

Posted by: oj at August 6, 2005 6:30 PM