UPDATE, August 22, 2012, 5:46 PM EST: ESPN sent us the following in an email about Sutcliffe's remarks: "It is a sensitive topic that should’ve been handled more carefully. We have discussed that with Rick."
Yes, we know that San Francisco OF and All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera screwed up and cheated. Yes, we know that he admitted to using testosterone, that his advisers tried to hide this truth by creating a fake website, and that as a result, Cabrera is now serving a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball. We also know that Cabrera has lost the support of many baseball players and fans, just like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramírez, Miguel Tejada, and so many other players who lost support when their names were connected to performance-enhancing drugs.
However, there is outrage against Cabrera's acts and then there is ESPN's Rick Sutcliffe, who went on New York radio today to say that Cabrera's visa should be revoked immediately and that he should be deported. Cabrera was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Here is the audio clip of what Sutcliffe said on ESPN's 98.7 FM. (H/T for @wolfman_13 for letting us know)
Never mind, for example, that when Ramírez was suspended in 2009 for using a banned substance, no one was calling for his arrest. (Ramírez was an American citizen at the time). It was just "Manny being Manny." And what about Tejada, who was actually convicted for lying to Congress in 2009? Did Sutcliffe want him deported, too? Oh yeah, and we don't recall people calling ICE on Sammy Sosa when he was linked to steroids.
According to Sutcliffe, what Cabrera did was so reprehensible (hiding behind a fake website too), he should no longer be allowed in this country. Rick, did you really have to go there? You had to make this an issue about how a foreign-born player now needs to be kicked out of this country because he cheated, just like many other American players (and that means you too, Ryan Braun)? It was strange comment by Sutcliffe. Instead of just sticking to baseball, Sutcliffe felt the need to go all nativist on us. Granted, everyone was celebrating Cabrera when he was having an MVP-like season for the Giants, but now that he screwed up and he admitted that he screwed up, ship him back to the DR! He has stained the good name of baseball! Damn foreigner!
Memo to Sutcliffe: baseball has been stained way before Cabrera got caught last week. MLB policy is clear: you get caught and you get suspended for 50 games. No arrests and no deportations required. Thank you, Rick, for going there, for feeding into the paranoia that Cabrera's foreignness stained the game. Forget the fact that without a steady flow of Dominican, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, and other Latino players, baseball today would be an irrelevant sport.
Yes, Cabrera cheated. He is also paying the price. But we guess that isn't enough for Sutcliffe because according to him, now that Cabrera can't play baseball and serves no purpose, he needs to get his ass back to the DR and stay there. America's pastime is not a place for cheaters. At least not a place for foreign cheaters. Americans like Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bonds, and others who have been caught are still cool. Just ship the Latino cheaters home. Because in the world of Rick Sutcliffe, you are guilty until you are proven guilty. Last time we checked, that is just so un-American.
PS For those of you who say we took Sutcliffe's comments out of context, here is the whole interview.