A familiar theme in the baseball world since the days of Dusty Baker is that Chicago Cubs fans are racist. As absurd as it seems to most of us, LaTroy Hawkins said it, Milton Bradley said it, Dusty Baker all but said it, and then there was Jacque Jones who really said it.

And he’s still really saying it.

But perhaps as much as anything, Jones needs a positive experience in baseball again. Even his past two full seasons, with an underachieving Cubs team, weren’t good ones. A free-agent signing after the 2005 season, Jones was deemed a disappointment despite batting .285 and matching his career high of 27 home runs in his first season at Wrigley Field.

When he received racist hate mail, Jones called out Chicago fans and compared them, unfavorably, with Twins fans. That didn’t exactly make him a fan favorite.

“I said what I said in the beginning, and everyone was upset, you know, ‘Twins fans are different than Cubs fans.’ And it’s still true,” he said. “After that, I didn’t say a word.”

As for the racism, Jones said, “I got some letters and words and stuff like that. It was a learning experience. You would think that stuff would be dead and gone, but it’s not. But I kind of took everything in stride and still went out and did my job.

“Looking back on that situation, I was proud of myself for doing what I did, being able to still go out and play good baseball.” TwinCities.com.

Most thinking Cubs fans were greatly embarrassed when Jones was booed in that first season. The fans weren’t so much booing Jones’ performance; they were booing his presence – he was not the right guy for the job that year, and fans were very disappointed with the signing. That doesn’t excuse the booing, but it partially explains it.

As for the racial items, it continues to perplex me.

  • juniorbors

    I personally booed Jacques Jones because he sucked. That 285 and 27 had no content. He repeatedly missed cut offs. His base running was horrendous. I saw him get doubled off twice and picked off once in a single game it was crazy cause it meant he reached base 3 times. He was one of the most non fundamentally sound guys I have ever seen come out of Minnesota.

  • http://www.twitter.com/baseballjen baseballjen

    There’s morons in every walk of life, and I cannot believe that racist letters, comments, etc. haven’t occurred with other teams. You shouldn’t paint an entire group with the same group based on the actions of an extreme minority. There will always be morons in this world, but how we allow them to affect us is a choice.

  • braaain

    This situation always embarrassed me. You would think in this era people would have less ignorance. I’m all for calling a guy out for being a bad player, juniorbors is right I think, but I don’t think Jones is the only player to have received hate mail simply because he is black. Some people around Wrigley are blatantly racist, and it makes everyone look bad.

    Just focus on what they do on the field, not what they look like. And I’d also like to add that a lot of writers focus on offensive stats, but defense is just as important (more important in some cases) than offense.

    • CubsFaninVa

      Not all Cubs fans are racist. I know I am not. If Cubs fans were racist, how has DLee, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano managed to stay around so long? I get tired of folks who think at the first sign of criticism, they instead scream racism. There is a fine line.

  • http://424tales.blogspot.com Aisle 424

    People who are going to take the time to write a letter to someone to tell them how much they hate them are going to use colorful language and not be too deep in their ability to insult someone. The easiest way to convey one’s hatred of a person of a certain ethnicity is to use the common stereotypical epithets.

    I’m sure the venom against Todd Hundley was no less hurtful, but instead of throwing the n-word around, the louts who wrote to Hundley probably drew on his alcoholism as a source for exhibiting their hate. How attacking one player’s ethnicity is somehow viewed worse than the expressions of hatred heaped on the white players that get attacked is beyond me.

    It is all hate and it is all stupid. Boo their performances on the field, but attacking these players personally is ridiculous and needs to stop no matter what color they are.

    • Ace

      Yup. Jose Macias sucked whether he was black, white, brown, or vegetable.

  • http://bleachernation roger

    i see the cubs finally signed a cuban pitcher serrano for 250k not bad if he pans out…just getting a feeling on what other cubs fan feel about this?? hes no ardolis chapman but i heard he does have a great sinker

  • http://bleachernation roger

    jocque jones was horrible as a cub…and to come saying cubs fan ar raciest and he played years in minnesota..this guy is a joke..no wonder we let his stupid ass go…hendry needs to think more before signing stupid guys like this…iam biracial menaing iam hispanic and white….i followed one of the best second baseman in all of baseball in ryne sandberg and guess what?? hes white… so tis bull sh*t of hollering racisim everytime something goes wrong is dumb…

  • M.

    I love how people “can’t believe” that these black players were subjected to racist mail and taunts. As a black man I have always said that the dirtiest looks I got were when I was wearing a suit and tie. There are just people in the world who do not want to see a black man do well. If I am man enough to take the racism, be man enough to admit you are racist.

    • Bric

      I am white. I was teacher in an almost all black school. I was subjected to rascism on an hourly basis. It happens everywhere and with every color. The difference between you and me is that you (for some reason) still feel the need to get preachy with everybody. If you want to be a successful business man, then put on your suit and do it. I ignored the racism because I was just happy to teach math to students, regardless of their color. Instead of calling everyone out you should look in the mirror and ask yourself what really is important to you.

    • Ace

      I think to the extent there are folks screaming epithets from the bleachers, M, they’re pretty much admitting to the entire world that they are racist.

      • jstraw

        True this. But I think it’s a secondary admission to that of being a dipshit with no imagination. Seriously, if you had wanted to get on Bradley’s back…aren’t there a half a dozen things related to his comportment as a baseball player one could focus on? I would tend to think “hey, you’re a shitty ballplayer” would be way more insulting than “hey, you’re not white.”

        • Bric

          I’m not even sure why we’re bothering to answer M. He’s clearly not a fan of the Bleacher Nation or it wouldn’t have taken him two months to respond to this article. He’s probably not even a fan of the Cubs. My guess is he’s one of those blogger assasins who randomly responds to his google search of the 4 million articles with the word “rascist” in it and then moves on without bothering to read the responses. Godspeed to you, M, and your neverending quest to bring “the man” down, one posting at a time.

          And now, back to baseball talk…