The Filibuster

The Phoenix Suns gave us the “Los Suns” jerseys. What are the chances we
see “Los Tigres” or “Los D’backs”?

Charles L.


roberto_clemente.jpgExcellent question, Charles.  And very a propos considering all that has been going on down there on the border.  It’s also an interesting question because baseball is a sport dominated by Latin players.  If you’ll forgive me for making a very broad generalization, Hispanic-Americans love baseball and also seem to be unfairly targeted by what has been going on.  So, what do we do?

Well, it’s nice that the Suns made this display of solidarity especially since it’s their state.  And baseball has already been in the business of reaching out to the Latino community since the days of Roberto Clemente.  But it takes more than some slogans on a t-shirt.  Yes, it’s an important gesture but sports are such an integral part of the fabric of America that there’s much more they can do to educate people. 

And when it comes to education, no sport is quite out front of the curve like baseball.  Roberto Clemente paved the way for Latinos in baseball but he also made them more visible in society.  It goes without saying that Jackie Robinson’s impact rippled far beyond the confines of the stadiums in which he played.

In fact, even now baseball has an unprecedented ability to make a huge impact in this situation.  No, they can’t overturn the law.  But they could encourage all the teams that use Arizona as a spring training base to move out and even offer financial incentives to teams who choose to do so.  If they wanted to do something really drastic, why not say that the Diamondbacks will have to play their home games in a neighboring state until the situation is addressed.  No, MLB can’t overturn the law but they can make it mighty painful for those who enacted it.

Baseball is sport but it’s also business. And one of the touchstones for businesses recently is the idea of corporate social responsibility.  Companies give back to the communities in which they operate and attempt to show that they are good citizens.  Well, considering the make up of the league and its most rabid fan base, baseball’s corporate social responsibility would seem to extend directly to this situation.

Sports and particularly baseball have the ability to change society.  Cute translations of teams’ names makes for good press and nice t-shirts but if they really want to take up the mantle once again and make a real difference, more drastic action is needed.  So let’s see it Bud.  Have the D’backs play their home games in Vegas or Albuquerque and let’s see how long this law stays on the books.  Jim Crow didn’t last long after Jackie.  I bet SB1070 wouldn’t either.




  1. bklyntrolleyblogger

    It’s incumbent upon ARZ to alter that law. Just incorporate something closer to the original American ideal before they go around in a great big round up. All kinds of unintended fish get caught up in fishing nets when they tell you all they’re fishing is “XFish”. Just sayin.. but I’m certainly not opposed to stagnating illegal immigration. Just saying we should be smarter. The NFL refused to give ARZ a Super Bowl until they observed MLK Day. As the National Pastime, that has played it’s own prominent parts during times of war, recession, race, riots, and healing, Baseball should play it’s part with regard to ARZ’s dilemma.
    Every so often the Mets throw on their “Los Mets” jerseys anyway. It wouldn’t be a stretch for us.

  2. devilabrit

    I spent a lot of money and a lot of time becoming a legal citizen of this country, I spent a lot of time and money for my sons to be legal residents and be well on their way to citizens, when my eldest son married an English girl in Las Vegas, they were told she would have to go back to England for 4 years before she could live here, however if he went with her he would loose his rights of residency here and have to start over, which since he has done one already would not be favorable to him, however they also told him had he married a Spanish speaking/Latino/Mexican girl things would be different she could stay and they would have no problems getting her residency, needless to say my son said F*ck you very much and went back to England to live, my youngest whilst contemplating marriage to an English girl chose to go back before he had to have that problem. I am sorry my views on this are strong, read all the law and what it actually means before you hype up the same sh*t the government friendly media has told you it stands for, isn’t being able to take a driving test in 38 different languages enough, or do we have to write mailing addresses on envelopes in different languages just in case the mail carrier can’t read the language of this country

  3. raysrenegade

    I think the closest we might get to that again is if the Florida Marlins wear a “throwback” jersey from a Cuban team or maybe a Los Marlins” jersey.
    But if the MLB ever ventures down into Mexico or Puerto Rico for a game, maybe a great marketing ploy might be to use the involved team’s Spanish names to produce increases in jersey sales and promotional items.
    But then again, maybe the Rays will someday wear the jerseys from that television movie “Long Gone”.
    I know I might buy a Tampico Stogies that had “Stud” Cantrell’s number on the back of it….

    Rays Renegade

  4. Michael David

    I would certainly take 30 seconds out of my life to show an ID if it meant making it more difficult on illegal aliens. It’s not just the aliens themselves, but the human trafficing and the drug smiggling. It all goes hand-in-hand, and has to be detered somehow. I had a friend from high school murdered by an illegal alien in Arizona. His dad has been on TV for some time trying to get things changed.
    There seems to be a no-win situation for law enforcement in this country, especially CBP and Border Patrol. When they do their job people complain about be hassled, yet when something bad happens, they’re blamed for not being vigilant enough. Immigrating to this country is a long and expensive process. I thank the citizens who did things the right way.
    ‘Minoring In Baseball’

  5. mattpeas

    with the pressure of pulling the ASG from Arizona and talk of the NCAA pulling the national title game from the state as well, maybe Arizona will feel the heat and amend the law or revoke it completely. While doing this does not hurt the state as much as it hurts the fans, I would feel bad for the fans who have been saving up to see the all star game and other events for years.


    I, like a majority of Americans, support Arizona’s effort to take back control of the border from the vicious cartels. There is not an easy solution to the problem, but I admire Arizona for at least attempting to do something about it instead of playing armchair QB.
    Regardless of how you feel about this issue, MLB and the NCAA should stay OUT of politics just as politicians shouldn’t hassle former MLB players about steroid use.

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