Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette was asked why he wasn’t interested in signing Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista, and he gave quite possibly the dumbest answer he could have come up with.
I like our guys. Our guys are good. [Mark] Trumbo is like a working-class-type baseball player. If he was going to work every day on a construction site, you would understand that he brings that kind of work ethic every day. That’s the kind of player that our fans identify with. We try to get gritty players that work hard every day and give their best effort every day. Our fans seem to like that and respond to it.
Just say “white,” man. You’re not hiding anything.
In all seriousness, even giving Duquette the benefit of the doubt, I have absolutely no idea what he’s trying to say here.
First, why would Mark Trumbo ever work at a construction site? He is a millionaire, was always supremely talented—he was a high school All-American—and his job has literally nothing to do with construction work. Nothing about him except for his race (which even that isn’t true) fits the vision of “working-class” that middle-aged white guys love to peddle. Also, Bautista is an outstanding player who, by all accounts, is a “gritty” player who gives his best effort every day. There’s no evidence that Trumbo tries any harder than Bautista. Duquette’s only evidence is his view of Trumbo as the stereotypical, @PFTCommenter-esque “overachieving white guy.”
Also, even if Trumbo was a construction worker, why the hell would fans want him? Fans want to win, and they’ll adopt new players—even former rivals—who will help them win.
The Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projections have projected the Orioles to finish last in the AL East in 2017. Maybe if they signed Bautista they could be better. Or they can go find some guys at a construction site to replace their “less gritty” players. I’m sure the fans will love how gritty and working-class that 50-win season feels.