Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Day Without A Schizo

Some say there are no such things as coincidences, everything happens for a reason.

No doubt that explains why the Pittsburgh Pierogis presented an all-Mexican battery today, only the sixth time in American baseball history that has happened. It’s an everyday occurrence in Mexico, of course. Not that the players prefer to stay there – there is mas dinero to be made in El Norte – but it’s uncanny how team owners currently prefer to employ the most talented players.

They are exempt from affirmative action – at least on the playing field – and had an exemption on federal antitrust laws decades before the aforementioned leftist policy was conceived. And why shouldn’t owners be permitted to employ the best players they can find? Wouldn’t it be ridiculous to be compelled by law to have a third baseman in a wheelchair ostensibly to correct discriminatory hiring practices decades past by other businesses against the disabled? Baseball owners learned their lesson back in the 50s, when they stopped ignoring supremely talented Black athletes because they were a collective bunch of jackasses who were afraid to offend some irrational sensibilities rather than field the best product.

In the 21st Century, if the 25 best players in the world were Easter Island aborigines, George Steinbrenner would sign ‘em up.

Baseball has overcome.

That’s why I don’t understand editorialists who suggest that maybe all "Latinos," or, as they define it, all baseball players from Latin America, join tomorrow’s “Great American Boycott” a.k.a. “A Day Without Latinos” to protest the current American policy of enforcing federal law, or at least as it applies to people here who illegally work under the table for pauper’s wages – the vast majority of which come from Mexico, and not from the Domican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and even Cuba, where most of the Latino major leaguers derive, and who invariably have the paperwork to be employed here legally. The hassle to do it right is worth it.

See, ballplayers are different. They do not earn pauper’s wages. They make a king’s ransom to play a game, and to play it in a place that is not run by billionaire oligarchs (see Forbes list of wealthy Mexican industrialists) who don’t even pretend to give a rat’s ass about their Latino brothers and sisters.

At least here in the U.S.A., rich fuckers speak in all the expected phony platitudes that they are good corporate citizens and, at least on the face of it, do not provide the populace with a mountainous supply of cocaine, which an alliance of Mexican government and business was found guilty of having done.

That’s why peckerwoods like Dave Zirin show they don’t have a clue when it comes to understanding the reality of today’s global slave economy, known affectionately by its purveyors as the New World Order. In today’s Los Angeles Times, he writes:

“The growing Latino presence in Major League Baseball is a story of exploitation and opportunity. Club owners set up baseball academies in countries where future prospects can be signed in their early teens for pennies, then fired with little cost if they aren't good enough to play in the big leagues. As one player said to me, ‘The options in the Dominican Republic are jail, the army, the factory or baseball.’"

So how is that different from the way they treat the American-born players – White, Black, Brown and Yellow - and have for decades? The quoted player seems to think that if you invest a buck on a lottery ticket and fail to win a million back, the people who run the numbers owe you a living because it would be unfair working for money.

Go ask the Mafia what kind of sense that makes.

So as I settled in for an afternoon with Team Psycho and saw the stat about Mexican batteries, it dawned on me that maybe it might be self-actualizing for Gavin Floyd if he countered tomorrow’s protest by asserting that today would be “A Day Without a Schizo,” and beg to be left alone by Big Brother to eek out a living as a ballplayer no longer scared shitless by The Show.

Or, as Larry Anderson said as he started the game, “His command has been a problem for all the time he’s been in the big leagues.” Not to mention his 8.50 ERA was nearly the worst in the league after five starts.

Well, all that was about to end today, and as sure as Edward James Olmos and his lunar landscape of a countenance will be on hand tomorrow with all his deprived Chicano friends for a day of shit-disturbance, Floyd went out and finally earned his pay like a Beverly Hills landscaper, handily trimming the Pierogis down to size for 6 2/3 innings until he gave up a meaningless homer and sat down to contemplate his honest day of play. The Phils won, 5-1, despite stranding seven runners in the first five innings.

Anderson had prepared the audience for more futility today after pronouncing that Pittsburgh starter Oliver Perez, from Culiacan, Sinaloa, a violent, notorious headquarters for Mexican narcotrafficantes, entered the game with a 7.20 ERA.

“I don’t know if that bodes too well for the Phils’ offense,” he said, and he meant it. Team Psycho has had one of the weakest schedules in baseball this month, and finished with a 10-14 record, same as last season.

Chollie wrote another bizarre lineup, slotting in Abraham Nunez in the two hole and “AGonz” in the seventh spot behind Ryan Howard. Nunez responded, going 3-for-5 and raising his average above the Mendoza Line to .226. Gonzalez was another story. He went hitless, dipping his average to an incomprehensible .056.

Do we call that the “Gonzalez Gully?” Do the owners owe him a living for that?


Anonymous ChuckM said...

Great post, Lou... I had snapped after the fourth inning of Saturday evenings game when the curious insertion of Rowand into the 3rd batter position resulted in the insertion of a GIDP that crippled a potential big inning. I needed a break and thankfully I didnt get to see that ninth inning.

I went down to visit pals in Baltimore yesterday. Great time. Crabcakes, Natty Boh and Camden Yards. After we had finished hanging out in the Inner Harbor area after the game, I came across the most odd scene when I walked past Camden Yards on my way back to the Greyhound station. There was a group of around 50 or so people of either Mexican and/or Central American heritage that were milling around outside the building that houses the Orioles offices. This was around an hour and a half after the game finished and it looked to me like they were waiting for a bus to transport them back to wherever they lived. Now, I know that the Birds franchise has taken a large plunge from back in the 90's when an Orioles home game was the most difficult ticket to obtain in baseball, but is Peter Angelos and Co that bad off that they have to resort to busing in "undocumenteds" to work at the park?

As far as our local nine goes, I was happy to see the results on the scoreboard. 10-14 for the month, and it was uglier than that record would imply. So, back to the Phils grind. What do we have in store this coming week?...D-Train, John Smoltz and Jason Schmidt. Hopefully Bonds can jack a few HRs this week and set up for the poetic justice of hitting #715 to a howling crescendo of boos and a torrent of verbal abuse from the city that is the most famous for such. I should be at one of the games and whenever Bonds comes to the plate, I will make sure I have a hot dog and a beer in hand so if/when Bonds passes Babe Ruth, after I finish booing, I will gobble down my dog and wash it down with my beer in honor of The Bambino

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