Unless you went into a mini-baseball hiatus since the trade deadline, you probably heard that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen made some waves Sunday with his belief that Asian players are treated better than Latinos. Here’s a sampling:
“Very bad. I say, why do we have Japanese interpreters and we don’t have a
Spanish one. I always say that. Why do they have that privilege and we
don’t?” Guillen said Sunday.
“Don’t take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. We bring a
Japanese player and they are very good and they bring all these
privileges to them. We bring a Dominican kid … go to the minor
leagues, good luck. Good luck. And it’s always going to be like that.
It’s never going to change. But that’s the way it is.”
I trust that most of us are smart enough to separate Guillen the individual (that’s an understatement) from Guillen the White Sox manager, but the team left little doubt of that fact by releasing a statement of their own Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune. It reads, in part:
“The White Sox do not agree with the assumptions Ozzie made in his
comments yesterday. Major League Baseball and the White Sox provide a
number of programs to help our foreign players with acculturation,
including English language classes and Spanish language presentations
related to the risks of and testing for performance-enhancing drugs.
The team also has Spanish-speaking staff assigned to serve as liaisons
for our Latin American players.
“Ozzie may not have been fully aware of all of the industry-wide efforts
made by Major League Baseball and its clubs to help our players succeed
in the transition to professional baseball, no matter the level of play
or their country of origin.”
Before I set you guys loose in the comments section, just remember that the White Sox are trying to run a business here. What else did you expect them to say?
We can debate whether a statement was even necessary, but if there was even a chance that their silence would have signified acceptance, it was probably worth it. Guillen’s larger point resonates with many of us, but his actual quote is clouded with generalizations and exaggerations.
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.