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Report: Hispanic family allegedly harassed at Globe Life Field in Arlington

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers are investigating an incident in which a Hispanic family was allegedly harassed at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Saturday. According to Jessica Romero, who made a Facebook post detailing the incident, a man kept complaining about having Hispanic families sitting around him at the ballpark. Romero also took a picture of the angry fan making an obscene gesture towards the camera.

Romero wrote:

He made it perfectly clear during the second inning that he is not a fan of Hispanics. And he just so happened to have a Hispanic family [us] sitting in front of him and another one sitting directly behind him. During the second inning the little boy behind him who looked to be about Nomar’s [her son] age kicked the back of his chair. And for the next three innings I had to hear him complain about all the illegal immigrants that were surrounding him at the game. That he should kick little Speedy Gonzalez all the way back to Mexico for kicking his seat. That Trump needs to hurry and build the wall and send all these illegals back so they won’t be kicking his seat.

Romero added, “Sadly this is not the first or the last time we will ever experience this kind of racism.”

Romero’s family has been loyal to the Rangers, purchasing 10-game mini-plans for the last decade. Romero’s husband Ramon left to get his son a hot dog when the racist fan went on his tirade. He said, “I was just in shock. I would have said something, but she said she was more concerned about me and the safety of our son. She said she didn’t want anything to get out of control. But it does happen. It struck me that he’s at a game being played by so many Latinos that maybe we are good enough to play for him, but not good enough to sit near him.”

In a statement, the Rangers said, “The Rangers are committed to providing all of our guests with a safe and enjoyable experience and we are truly sorry that this family was subjected to this offensive behavior at Saturday’s game. There is no place at Globe Life Park in Arlington for this type of conduct to occur. After learning of this incident on Sunday, we have reached out to the Romero family and pledge to make their next trip to Globe Life Park a memorable and enjoyable experience.”

As Grant notes, the incident at Globe Life Park in Arlington took place just hours after the mass shooting in El Paso. Like the racist fan, the El Paso shooter referenced language used by President Trump and his biggest supporters. The current administration is allowing white supremacists to feel comfortable being outwardly hateful in the public sphere. It would not be surprising if more incidents like this occurred at sporting events, particularly baseball since many of its players are Latino.

This Day in Transaction History: Padres pawn off James Shields

James Shields
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For a few years, starter James Shields was quite dominant. From 2011-14 with the Rays and Royals, the right-hander made a minimum of 33 starts each season with a 3.17 ERA. He peaked in ’11, finishing with a 2.82 ERA and finishing third in American League Cy Young balloting.

Shields leveraged that 2011-14 run into a four-year, $75 million contract with the Padres, inked in February 2015. It wasn’t an outright disaster of a contract for the Padres, but Shields did not live up to expectations. In his first year with the Padres, he posted a 3.91 ERA. Through the first two months of the 2016 season, Shields allowed 32 earned runs over 67 1/3 innings. The Padres, however, scored only 22 runs in his 11 games, so he was 2-7 after 11 starts. Shields also gave up one of the more memorable home runs in recent history on May 7, 2016:

On June 4, the Padres moved Shields and $27 million of the $58 million remaining on his contract to the White Sox. The White Sox gave up pitcher Erik Johnson and an infield prospect named Fernando Tatís Jr.

If the White Sox had a do-over button, they would have pressed it. Shields, 34 at the time of the trade, had a disastrous rest of the 2016 season, posting a 6.77 ERA in 22 starts for the White Sox. He finished out the remainder of his contract in Chicago, registering a 5.23 ERA in 2017 and a 4.53 ERA in ’18. Shields went into free agency but went unsigned and hasn’t pitched since.

Johnson flamed out after the 2016 season, yielding 20 runs in 19 2/3 innings in four starts for the Padres. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and spent the ’18 campaign between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso.

Tatís, as we know now, was the jewel of the trade. The White Sox signed Tatís as a 16-year-old as a free agent. A year later, before he ever appeared in a professional game in the White Sox organization, he was moved in a big trade. While it took him a couple of years to appear on top-100 prospect lists, his talent was readily apparent. In 2017, Tatís spent most of his season with Single-A Fort Wayne. He accrued 26 doubles, 21 homers, 29 stolen bases, 69 RBI, and 78 runs scored in 518 trips to the plate. Going into the 2018 season, Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus each ranked him among the top-10 prospects in the game.

Tatís was off to another great start in 2018. Through 88 games, he had a .286/.355/.507 line with 22 doubles, 16 homers, 16 stolen bases, 43 RBI, and 77 runs scored spanning 394 plate appearances. Sadly, in mid-July, Tatís broke his left thumb and suffered ligament damage while making a head-first slide. He recovered from the injury, playing in the Dominican Winter League and having another strong performance over 23 games. Tatís followed that up with a productive spring training, giving the Padres only one choice. He began the season on the Opening Day roster and jumped out to become one of baseball’s best players.

Over his first 84 games as a major leaguer, Tatís batted .317/.379/.590 with 13 doubles, six triples, 22 home runs, 16 steals, 53 RBI, and 61 runs scored over 372 plate appearances. Baseball Reference put him at 4.1 Wins Above Replacement. Sadly, similar to 2018, Tatís suffered a season-ending injury, a stress reaction in his lower back. At the time, he was neck-and-neck with Pete Alonso and Mike Soroka in the NL Rookie of the Year race. The injury allowed Alonso to win the award in a landslide while Tatís finished third.

While the White Sox would have loved to have Tatís at third base, they did end up finding some quality players in Yoán Moncada at the hot corner and Tim Anderson at shortstop. The White Sox and their young corps are close to being competitive again, but having Tatís in tow certainly would have sped up the process. And the Padres likely never would have gotten Tatís if they hadn’t inked Shields first.