Ubaldo Jimenez becomes a U.S. citizen

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Over the years we’ve made frequent note of major leaguers from other countries becoming U.S. citizens. Jose Fernandez did a year ago last April. Back in November 2012 Robinson Cano was naturalized. Orlando Cabrera did in May 2011. I’m sure we’ve missed many, but if we see the news of it, we like to do a quick blurb about it. It’s fun and cool. And, for the players becoming U.S. citizens, it represents a huge life event. Happy day!

Yesterday  Ubaldo Jimenez of the Baltimore Orioles became a citizen. Congratulations Ubaldo!

Of course, it’s an election year and one of the candidates in the election has placed immigration at the top of his agenda. As such, the relatively common occurrence of a baseball player becoming a citizen became the focus of both ignorance and ugliness. Check out the replies to the Orioles’ seemingly non-controversial tweet:

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Jimenez has played professional baseball in the United States since 2002. He’s made at least six figures a year doing it since 2006 and a million dollars or more a year doing it since 2010. I suspect Jimenez has paid more in taxes in the last few months than this person has or will in their lifetime. But hey, don’t let a common slur against immigrants — that they’re freeloaders — go unspoken!

Then there’s this stuff:

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The anti-immigrant sentiment which litters that whole thread is not something new, of course. Such ugliness comes and goes throughout history. Immigrants have been subject to it for a couple of centuries now. It’s as inevitable as tomorrow’s sunrise.

As is the dehumanization involved in all of this. To these jackwagons, Jimenez is not a human being with dreams and desires. He’s some monster politicians have convinced so many people to see when considering an immigrant, especially these days. At least if they aren’t being useful to them by taking some job thought to be beneath them. Or, say, winning a bunch of baseball games.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.