Immigrant Baseball—The Bubble Bursts
During the last two years, I`ve reviewed a substantial body
of evidence that proves that overstocking major league
baseball teams with players of multiple cultures and
does not produce winning teams. In fact, the immigrant
more headaches than wins.
Given the hard facts, it`s possible that the brouhaha about
wonderfulness of diversity in baseball may abate, if only
If you were to ask—off the record—the recently-fired managers
of the New York Mets and the Seattle Mariners,
Willie Randolph and
John McLaren, to say something good about their
diverse squads, especially the contingent commonly referred
“Caribbean players,” they would be hard pressed to
In baseball terminology, “Caribbean players” include
Dominicans, Cubans, and
Puerto Ricans, even though they are
American citizens; Mexicans, even though Mexico is not in
the Caribbean; and Venezuelans, even though
Venezuela is on the South American continent. “Caribbean
players” refers more to a style of baseball—sometimes good
but often bad—than a physical location.
Before I begin: note carefully that I do not suggest that
there are not and have not always been
outstanding “Caribbean players”. There`s a ton of
them. Some are in the Hall of Fame and other active players are
on their way to Cooperstown.
Two of baseball`s most diverse teams—each with a heavy
representation of “Caribbean players”—are also two of
worst teams. The Mariners have the major leagues lowest
winning percentage while the Mets struggle to reach .500.
Pre-season prognosticators picked the Mets and the Mariners
as strong World Series contenders.
Instead, both are chronic under-performers. They get more
attention for their bickering, sniping and general inability to
play head`s up baseball than for their skills which remain, even
as the All-Star Game approaches, only occasionally on display.
Normally, the fact that analysts miscalculated a team`s
ability would not be much of a story.
VDARE.COM, we pay attention—because the
MainStream Media equated baseball diversity with success
without, as Steve Sailer
once said in reference to the
significance of the Hispanic vote, going "through the
formality" of actually playing the games.
For example, the June 2007, Sports Illustrated lead
story, written by Gary Smith and titled "Mix Master: The
Unlikely Story of How Omar Minaya Created the
Melting-Pot Mets“ was fantasy from start to finish.
cover featured smiling photos of Cuban-born
Orlando Hernandez, Mexican-born
Oliver Perez, U.S.-born
John Maine, Venezuelan-born
Endy Chavez, Dominican-born
GM Omar Minaya and New York`s first African-American manager
Smith`s article today is a comical read.
Even funnier is the July 31, 2005 New York Times Magazine
feature piece by Jonathan Mahler,
Building the Béisbol Brand, which extolled the
virtues of “Latin-inflected style of play—fast, aggressive,
With the dismal results of diversity-driven baseball now
obvious to even the most casual fan, we may be approaching that
glorious moment when sports writers and talk show hosts can be
openly critical without fear of losing their jobs.
This has not always been the case.
Infamously, in 2005
radio host Larry Krueger of the San Francisco Giants`
flagship station KNBR, referred to some Giants as “brain-dead
Caribbean players hacking at slop every night” and to the
team`s manager, Dominican-born
Felipe Alou as having a brain that had turned into
“Cream of Wheat.”
Krueger`s completely accurate evaluation of the players—the
Pedro Feliz and two others no longer playing in the major
Deivi Cruz and
Edgardo Alfonzo—and of the manager reflected the feelings of
his audience and of most Giants fans. But it nevertheless
resulted in his immediate suspension without pay.
(Krueger`s "hacking at slop" comment refers to the
phenomenon Steve Sailer described in his 2003 article
Baseball`s Hidden Ethnic Bias: in Favor of Freeswinging Latins
—the fact that Latin players have statistical tendency
to try to hit pitches they really should let go by, because they
don`t want to get on base by walking.)
One week later, KNBR canned Krueger. Also fired were two
others, KNBR`s program director and the morning show`s producer.
Alou, a beloved figure in the
politically correct Bay Area as a player—one of the
three Alou brothers (Matty and Felipe being the other two)
of major league fame—and father of current star Moises—sealed
Krueger`s fate when he called him “the messenger of Satan”
and said: “I`m going to make sure that it is known worldwide.
I have the means now to identify people like that. They`re going
to know in my country tonight. [Even] the president of my
And shortly after Krueger`s on-the-air condemnation of lousy
Caribbean brand baseball, the Giants released Cruz. Alfonzo
kicked around for one more season with Los Angeles Angels and
the Toronto Blue Jays before getting his walking papers. Only
Feliz lingers with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In what must have been Krueger`s sweetest moment, the Giants
let Alou go after the 2006 season. Technically, Alou`s contract
expired. But Giants` management, although calling its decision
not to renew it “painful,”
had seen enough of Alou`s listless leadership and was
unofficially happy to be rid of him.
The Mets-Mariners multicultural madness and its failure, in
addition to shutting up diversity-adoring baseball mouthpieces
Peter Gammons, may produce other good news for baseball
- The architect of the
disaster known as the New York Mets
is unlikely to survive into 2009.
For Omar Minaya, who put the Mets together, there`s no place
to hide now that Randolph is gone. And ominously for the uneasy
Minaya, the Mets
hired former Cincinnati Reds` general manager Wayne Krivsky
to become the team`s assistant general manager. Adding Krivsky
to the front office can only mean one thing for Minaya—the boot!
Minaya`s departure would be welcome by most Mets fans, who
are still seething over the way he treated Randolph on the way
- The wave of Caribbean
players coming to the major leagues may slow, thus opening
more opportunities for
Time was, poor players from the islands could be acquired for
shoeshine money, thus providing owners will an incentive to sign
as many of them as possible while shunning the financially
savvier and less desperate American college kids.
Today however agents, commonly referred to as buscantes,
comb the Caribbean in search of the next big star—and their
next big commission.
Last year, the 30 big league teams signed 511 Dominicans for
an average bonus of $65,821 – double the average paid only three
years ago and nearly 30 times more than what the Oakland
Athletics paid to sign Tejada fifteen years ago. [Dominican
Shift, by Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, April
- With the attention shifting away from the
Caribbean, the emphasis for finding baseball talent may
return to its proper place—the United States.
Anyone who watched the thrilling 2008 college World Series
between the University of Georgia and Fresno State saw baseball
played as well as it can be. The major leagues may have more
skilled individual players. But when it comes to team baseball,
Georgia and Fresno State have no equals.
And how`s this for a refreshing concept?
Georgia, the CWS runner-up, has
players only from Georgia, Alabama, Virginia and Nevada.
And the champion Fresno State
roster is made up of an all-California contingent.
That`s baseball as it
should be—the all-American sport played by all-American
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail
him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor.
In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has
a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive