March 10, 2013

I don't know why MLB would have World Baseball Classic games with Mexico being hosted by Arizona after such an immigration disaster was fought there by so many. SF Giants star Sergio Romo probably feels the same way.

"I actually got pulled over today on the way to the field," said Marco Estrada, a Milwaukee Brewers pitcher who has lived in the United States for 24 years, whose wife and children are American citizens and who is representing Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. At a stop sign, he said he looked both ways and thought he stopped. A police officer disagreed. At least Estrada was spared the indignity of being asked for documentation.Estrada was lucky.

"I've been pulled over numerous times, driving a nice car," said Sergio Romo, the closer for the San Francisco Giants as well as the Mexican WBC outfit. "The first question is: What's your citizenship? The second question: Is this your car? And then: What do you do for a living? And it's like, 'Bro, you're Mexican just like me.' 'Ah, but I was born here.' And I say, 'So was I.' "

Welcome to Arizona, where the only thing worse than the fear and propaganda perpetuated by a government gone wild is what people with the temerity to have been born with dark skin must endure accordingly.

Isn't that just wonderful? I fought like hell in 2010 to get Bud Selig to move the All Star game out of Arizona and formed a huge group of activists and bloggers and wrote a letter demanding immediate action. Activists letter to Bud Selig and Major League Baseball over Arizona's immigration law: "Why the Silence?" If you need a refresher, here's a link to a few more articles on our fight with the state of Arizona and Selig.

There was also a huge fight between Canada and Mexico players Saturday night that I'm sure helped mobilize Sheriff Arpaio into action.

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The fans were fired up during this melee. I wonder if Sheriff Joe Arpaio is getting very excited about the possibility of loading up another one of his immigration camps right outside the ballpark. Would it shock you?


Baseball finds its way into the debate because of its significant proportion of Latin players, almost 30 percent in the major leagues and closer to 40 in the minor leagues. Half of organized baseball spends its springs in the Phoenix area, and because of that, both Romo and Estrada have settled their families here in the offseasons.

The dichotomy isn't lost on them: In the state where the dislike of Mexicans may be greater than any, a group of them will try to upend Team USA on Friday night at Chase Field.

And a great irony will shroud it all: Sergio Romo is the American Dream. He is 5-foot-9. He doesn't throw hard. Guys like him don't make the major leagues. Except Romo did, and he thrived, and in October last year, the game's best hitter, Miguel Cabrera, told Romo he was going to hit his slider, so Romo threw him five straight sliders, none of which he got, and then threw the ballsiest pitch possible, an 89-mph fastball over the heart of the plate, which left Cabrera looking like a fly in amber and won the Giants the World on.

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