I'm sorry, but anyone that thinks race is not an issue in professional baseball or a key component that plays a major role in how players are perceived is kidding themselves.
of course it is an issue... and as an indians fan, i expected juan gonzalez to invoke the clause because i know how he thinks. in almost every interview he gave while he was with cleveland, he stressed how it was extremely important to him to be "happy and comfortable" which he wasn't in detroit. and in texas, he feels that way. what about the larry walker thing earlier this year.... he had a chance to go to d-backs, obviously contenders, and leave the lowly rockies who were once again projected to finish at the bottom of the nl west..... and what happened, he invoked the clause and everyone said, yeah we expected that... and moved on.
no one cared, because walker is a beloved hero in denver... as he should be, he's had a lot of success there. but juan gone has had equal, if not greater success in texas... but his inability to communicate with the fans and the media hasn't helped his public image.
so when juan gone invokes the clause, he is attacked... because he is foreign, because he lacks the means of communication, because he is latin and not white.... no one questioned walker's motives, but gonzalez' were immediately questioned. and that, my friend, is called a double standard.
one more thing to think about.... how many non cubs fans were pulling for sammy sosa over mark mcgwire in the home run race of 98? not many, i imagine.
so don't tell me it isn't an issue.... there is no other issue.
if you want to call me a racist... fine, but i'm not white in case you were wondering... so you can't possibly conceive my perspective... you can only judge it from your point of view, which is absurd... just how juan gone's point of view is judged.