Updated: July 15, 2016


Gary Norris Gray- BASN- Staff Reporter



This series was written years ago and it seems like very little has changed in Bristol, Connecticut, the home of (ESPN) The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, THE RODENT.  The attacks on Black baseball players have been limited because there are not enough of them playing the game to criticize. This week is proof at the All Star Game in San Diego, California.

RESIZEDthe super mets

The Rodent continued its racial agenda with their new 30 for 30 documentary show on Thursday nights. This time it was the 1986 World Champion New York Mets with Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. Two Black All-Stars who fell from grace with drug abuse. ESPN could have written the same documentary on Lenny Dykstra, Doug Sisk, or Jessie Orosco and other New York Mets. That would not have gotten much attention. People wonder why African American young adults do not want to play this game? The Rodent keeps giving you the answer.  


Harold Reynolds, former employee on ESPN Baseball Tonight, earned the respect of the fans because he is a knowledgeable man when it comes to the game of baseball. He is an African American male who played professional baseball for the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and California Angels.

Reynolds was a broadcaster of the College World Series for The Rodent for ten years. During one of the semifinals, Reynolds made a statement that there were not many African American baseball players on college diamonds and that it troubled him.

Within that same year Reynolds was released by The Rodent, citing alleged sexual harassment by a female employee. Reynolds legal team found papers that ESPN had wanted him to stay until 2016. It did not happen. Reynolds rebounded quickly by working for the Major League Baseball Network teaching America the fundamentals of the game.

The Rodent continues to have problems keeping a broadcast crew together as they fired eight year veteran Curt Schilling after he made right wing political statements with racial overtones on the social media web site Facebook.

 ESPN promotes Caucasian Major League Baseball stars like Washington Nationals pitchers Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, second basemen Dan Uggla, and right fielder Bryce Harper, Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and second basemen Chase Utley, California Angels center fielder Mike Trout, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Detroit Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander, Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton, New York Mets pitchers Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard, and San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner. These are all great players but where are the Black players?


In 2016 The African American baseball superstars are very hard to find because many young African Americans do not play the game. Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler, and Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder Andrew McCutchen are two great players on the field. Jackie Robinson would not be pleased. Major League baseball Black enrollment has stayed at eight percent the last ten years.



The sports media continues to wield its mighty sword against African American athletes with brash statements and false innuendo. Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith decided to attack Mr. baseball, Mr. Clean, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. Yes, that’s right, clean cut Derek Jeter, the multiple American League All Star and World Series Champion, the leader of the world known New York Yankees. This is a man that mothers and fathers want their daughters to marry.

Not a single Black athlete is sacred; the good guys are on the list.

Bayless and Smith referred to the Bay Area athletes testing positive for synthetic steroids and being suspended for 50 games. The athletes in question were Bartolo Colon, then of the Oakland A’s, and Melky Cabrara, then of the San Francisco Giants.

Bayless and Smith pointed out that Derek Jeter was having one of the best years of his career, especially at his age, 36. Could Jeter have been aided by synthetic steroids? That was the real hidden agenda these two reporters were driving and striving for.

Derek_Arod.jpgInstead of praising him for his achievements the RODENT reporters blasted number 2. Jeter entered the week leading the American League in batting average (.324) and leads the majors with 168 hits. Through 123 games, the shortstop already has twice as many home runs (12) as he did the year before.

Screaming A. Smith, oh, I’m sorry, I mean Stephen A. Smith and Skip Clueless, oops; I mean Skip Bayless dropped a bomb on baseball with these statements.

Bayless stated :-”You would have to have your head in the sand or your head somewhere else not to at least wonder, ‘How is he doing this?’

“I am not saying he uses a thing,” I have no idea. But within the confines of his sport, it is fair for all of us; in fact you are remiss, if you don’t at least think about this.”

The poison pen went out. The words spoken and maybe just maybe Cleveland’s starter Cory Kluber watched the show.

Mr. Derek Jeter stated “Whenever you have people that anytime you bring something like this to light with guys that are doing things, it’s like, now you have everybody questioning everything,” Jeter said. “That’s the unfortunate thing. Maybe Skip should be tested.”

 Asked if he was bothered by Bayless’ backhanded accusation, Jeter shrugged.

“This is a first for me, man,” Jeter said. “I don’t know what to tell you … What do you want me to say? I ain’t getting involved with this, man. You can say whatever you want to say now, huh?  There’s no repercussions.”

That week the New York Yankees played the Cleveland Indians.  The first game of the series, The Tribe put Cory Kluber on the mound. Kluber had been vocal against players using drugs before the season started. So this was a match made in heaven for Bayless and Smith.

The first pitch to Jeter by Kluber was a 93 MPH fast ball high and tight just grazing Jeter’s helmet, spinning him away from the plate. Jeter had some choice words for the young Cleveland pitcher Kluber. He also had choice words for Smith and Bayless. Was the pitch thrown on purpose? Only Cleveland Indian Corey Kluber can answer that question and he is not talking. An old unwritten baseball rule is that you don’t throw at a batter’s head. This is their livelihood and their career is on the line.

What would happen if Jeter was put in the hospital and/or on the (DL) Disabled List, because of ESPN’s callous words spoken? Fortunately, the athlete’s quick reaction at the plate saved him from serious injury.

This time the Black Athlete (Derek Jeter) stood his ground and challenged the two Bristol, Connecticut broadcasters. More Black Athletes should follow this example. Than this kind of nonsense would stop.

Which leads to the next question, are Bayless and Smith responsible and should they be liable if Jeter went on the D.L. or the hospital? Would they pay the hospital bills? What if Jeter became disabled?

This may be stretching it but these reporters at Bristol, Connecticut need to be careful, diligent, truthful, and research the story before making a public allegation like this. Being controversial may be cute but false accusations can end a player’s professional career, the repercussions are endless.

Just ask Lolo Jones, ask Gabby Douglas, or Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, Donovan McNabb, Cam Newton, Vince Young, and Barry Bonds who have done nothing but play the sport they love. This does not happen to white athletes. African American Sports fan only ask the reporters to be fair and honest, something that is being lost in the art of modern day sports reporting.

It was requested earlier in the article in June, “NBA on ESPN- Are you Listening”, on Black Athletes Sports Network that ESPN reporting clearly and factually at the end of the NBA Championship. It can be done; Report the event and its highlights. THAT’S ALL.

Just thinking out loud, like Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless.

Now the ESPN clones (CBS, NBC, and FOX SPORTS) are following suit hiring Black stooges, Black clowns, and Black Sambos for their networks and the game continues.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Disabled Community Activist. Email

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod



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