The All Star Game

This past Tuesday night, the American and National League All Star players met in Anaheim in the 81st annual mid-summer classic, won by the National league.

Next year’s All Star game is scheduled to be played in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of the major topics at this years All Star game is whether MLB should move the game from Arizona in protest of SB 1070*. There is already serious talk that Hispanic players may boycott the game if it is played in Phoenix. Nearly thirty percent of the players on major league rosters were born outside the US, primarily in South America and the Dominican Republic.

Sports, politics and race relations are headed for a home plate collision.

In 1993, the National Football League moved a scheduled Super Bowl game from Arizona because the State had failed to recognize Martin Luther Kind Day. The voters later changed direction and so honored Dr. King.

MLB is unlikely to follow a similar path. Whereas the NFL is a more dynamic organization, willing to make changes to improve the game, MLB is quite conservative in it’s approach. The Commissioner of MLB, Bub Selig, is not known for being a particularly decisive leader.

Many of the leading stars in baseball are of Hispanic origin. Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez are just a few All Stars at this year’s game.

Baseball is just now pulling it’s self out of the swamp that was the “steroid era.” For years, MLB turned a blind eye to performance enhancing drug use, and baseball received a black eye when it turned out that some of the game’s biggest stars were “juiced.”

Approximately sixty five percent of Americans support SB 1070. Would MLB risk alienating that much of the potential fan base to make a political statement?  What would be the response of MLB if Hispanic stars were to boycott the All Star Game?

(SB 1070 is the Arizona law that requires Law Enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of an individual if he or she is suspected of being an illegal alien.)

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under American Society, sports

4 responses to “The All Star Game

  1. indypendent

    I think the MLB will do whatever is financially better for them to do – and politics be damned.

    But if they keep the game in Phoenix, I wonder how the Hispanic ball players will respond to the MLB?

    The MLB and the players are two different things.

  2. I think this will all be settled before the next All Stars game.

    Did anyone read this op-ed piece — DON’T FENCE THEM IN, The Arizona of the future won’t suffer from too many immigrants, but from too few?

    The author’s premise is that the immigration issue is fading away by itself due to the fertility rate in Mexico declining faster than any other time in history.

    — snip —

    History, economics, and demographics conspired to create a perfect storm, says Gordon Hanson, an economics professor at the University of California, San Diego, who has studied the issue in depth. In the 1960s, he explains, the baby boom ended in the U.S., but it continued for another two decades in Mexico. So in the 1980s and 1990s, there were fewer new U.S. workers looking for jobs but more Mexicans. On top of that, in 1982 the Mexican economy suffered a debt crisis, followed by nearly two decades of sluggish growth. The American economy, on the other hand, performed far better, especially in the mid to late 1990s, when it was humming at full throttle and hungry for foreign labor. “If you look back at the last two to three decades, it was really an exceptional period,” says Hanson.

    In the coming years, the politics of immigration could be completely scrambled: Mexican migration will taper off further just as baby boomers begin retiring in 2012. USC’s Myers predicts that the American labor force will start shrinking in some parts of the country by 2015, and that as boomers reach old age they’ll create even more demand for workers: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona starts pleading for Mexican workers who can help them in their retirement homes,” he says. “The potential here is to totally reverse our attitudes toward Mexican immigration.” It’s hard to imagine right now, but if the numbers hold up, the crisis on our borders may end up abating on its own.

  3. indypendent

    This issue might just be a memory by the time the next All Starts game is set to be in Phoenix because I suspect this entire illegal immigration scare was simply a Republican well-played scare tactic to get voters in 2010.

    When McCain is safely back into power, this issue will once again be put on the back burner where all Republican hot button wedge issues are kept.

  4. WSClark

    Hee, hee, hee!

    I really should know better than to write columns that are seemingly about sports for this blog!

    “Inflatable Toads?” Big hit!

    “Baseball and SB 1070?” Gong!

    Of course, I thought “Time” was going to be a dud.

    I’ll just keep churning them out – wrote five columns today – and you folks just do what you do best!