Gary Sheffield's recent statements that MLB prefers Latin players over black players because Latinos are easier to "control" strikes me as absurd and downright silly. But it got me thinking about the various recent concern about the decline in the number of black players. I looked up the statistics, and here's what I see:
Basically, there's a big drop in black and white players and a big rise in Latino players. (The number of black players does seem to have declined at a higher rate, though.) What, if anything, should be taken from this? There are certainly plenty of innocent explanations, such as MLB realizing there were many talented and Latino players out there and paying more attention to them; or Latinos now having a stronger interest in basesball than other groups. I'm not sure there is really much reason for concern based solely on these baseball statistics, though. If the decline in black participation were seen across all sports, I might be worried. But that doesn't seem to be the case.