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January 13, 2013

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Ozzie and Cuba

April 12, 2012

As a baseball fan I could not avoid following the “controversy” regarding Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and his alleged comments expressing love and admiration towards Fidel Castro.

As is generally the case with any political figure that is considered hostile or an enemy by the US government, the US corporate media falls right in line.

The remarks made by Guillen were taken out of context by the TIME magazine reporter that interviewed him and the rest of the media, of course, ran with it.

Guillen did not make a political statement in support of Fidel Castro.

The mistake Guillen made, a senseless and avoidable one, was not saying what he actually said, but rather choosing to say what he said knowing what the political climate in Miami is regarding Castro and the Cuban Revolution and knowing that his comments would result in a vicious backlash against him. Guillen knows the Cuban community in Miami very well and he is aware of their hatred towards and vilification of Fidel Castro.

It was foolish on Guillen’s part to even mention Fidel Castro in any manner that is not negative. Guillen knows, that is completely unacceptable to the media and Cuban community in Miami but he still chose to do so.

There’s another aspect to the story.

I’m always fascinated or actually amused by the selective outrage of the media.

Ozzie Guillen is the latest example.

On the one hand, the media strongly condemns Guillen for making, in their misrepresentation of the facts, an admiring comment about Fidel Castro but yet Guillen’s homophobic and sexist remarks, which he’s made over the years, have not resulted in the same level of outrage and moral indignation from the media, let alone any calls for his firing.

Sadly, those type of bigoted statements are still socially and politically acceptable in the US and allowed under the concept of free speech.

However, the topic of Fidel Castro and Cuba, remain in a different free speech category all of its own that apparently, is not so free after all.


The Greatest

September 20, 2011

Mariano Rivera is the Greatest Relief Pitcher in the history of Baseball.

It’s been that way for years but, with baseball being a game that’s consumed and defined by statistics and records, it became official today.

602 saves.

Add 5 World Series rings.

Add 42 postseason saves with a 0.71 ERA.

Add countless clutch performances in the playoffs.

Add the class and grace that personifies Mariano on and off the field.

Untouchable.

The Greatest.


Immigrant rights groups call for boycott of MLB All-Star game

July 6, 2011

I really wish that some of the high profile Latino ballplayers had taken a stand against this year’s all star game in light of the racist & reactionary law, in the guise of immigration reform, that Arizona passed.

But I suppose in this day and age of multi-million dollar contracts and star ballplayers tightly protecting their own interests it is not reasonable to expect an act of solidarity or a display of integrity or courage from these athletes.

I wonder what Roberto Clemente and Curt Flood would have said about Arizona creating a law that enforces racial profiling and about MLB’s decision to allow Arizona to host the all star game.

My guess would be that they would probably not be silent about it.

Ballplayers and men of political/social consciousness like Clemente & Flood left a great torch that today’s ballplayers, sadly, have decided not to touch let alone carry.

washingtonindependent.com

Immigrant rights groups call for boycott of MLB All-Star game
By Nicolas Mendoza

Multiple groups are calling for a boycott of the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Phoenix, Ariz., on July 12 in protest of the immigration law SB 1070. The groups include the Arizona-based human rights groups Puente and Somos America. The Phoenix New Times reports:

Raul Cordero, a member of Puente, says that hurting Arizona’s economy sends a message of dissatisfaction about Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration statute. “This boycott is to avoid money getting to racist governments who promote hatred,” Cordero proclaimed. “The revenue put into the system is what gives force to this racist state.”

An indirect response to the groups protesting the game, Maricopa, Ariz. sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man who has come to symbolize the aggressive immigration enforcement tactics championed by Arizona Republicans, announced he would be using his chain gang of female prisoners to clean up trash at the All-Star game. Arpaio told the New Times¸ “If [protesters] can be there, why can’t my female chain gang be there as a public service.”

According to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, 27 percent of MLB players are Latino, compared to 16 percent of the general population. Since its passage, SB 1070 has been condemned by civil right groups because they say it would lead to racial discrimination against Hispanics by police, who under the law are required to request identification from anyone that they have a “reasonable suspicion” is an undocumented immigrant. A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking this part of the law from going into effect.

In addition to a general boycott, the groups are also calling on prominent Latino and foreign-born players in particular to not attend the game if they are chosen to play, including the Boston Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez, who is Mexican-American. Gonzalez had previously said that he would “probably” not attend the game, but now says he will follow the lead of the Major League Baseball Players Association. The MLBPA has said that they oppose the law, but Nation columnist Dave Zirin says it appears that they “have no plans to call for any kind of a boycott.”

MLB commissioner Bud Selig was also chastised by AP sports columnist Jim Litke earlier this week for not “taking a stand” on SB 1070 and the All-Star game’s location.