Illinois legislator wants the White Sox out of Arizona

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Arizona outline.jpgAn Illinois legislator is calling for the Chicago White Sox to move
their spring training camp out of Arizona because he objects to Arizona’s new immigration law. The lawmaker — Martin Sandoval — says that it encourages racial profiling and that he doesn’t want to keep spending taxpayers’ money on a team that continues
doing business in Arizona.

Politicians grandstanding on such issues is pretty par for the course, so I’ll no more criticize an out-of-state legislator from taking this position than I would criticize the cat for eating my potted lillies. It’s annoying but inevitable and ultimately unstoppable so it’s best to just ignore it.

But the White Sox’ response is interesting:

“We feel it would be inappropriate for the Chicago White Sox to comment
independently on a national, major league-wide issue, one which would
impact more than just the White Sox,” team spokesman Scott Reifert said.
“Obviously, we enjoy a wonderful partnership with the city of
Glendale.”

And it is a major league-wide issue. Which Bud Selig and Major League Baseball seems not to want acknowledge whatsoever. Which is fine in the abstract, but not fine given that its most important constituencies — the players’ union and the individual teams — are (a) taking positions on it; and (b) getting beat up about it.

And the longer major league baseball waits to make some official statement
on the Arizona immigration law, the more we’ll see of this sort of
thing.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

Jon Durr/Getty Images
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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.