Baseball season is winding down, and my hometown team continues to flounder (no, I don’t want to talk about it, thank you).
But one bright spot in this dismal year is the perpetually colorful Ozzie Guillen. The manager of the Chicago White Sox often makes comments that range from bizarre to offensive, and one never knows if he’s going to let loose with a maniacal observation, incoherent insight, or slanderous attack. Not many people can go from egotistical rant to self-loathing diatribe in the same interview, but Guillen manages it.
Recently, Guillen made news by claiming that Major League Baseball treats Asian players better than it does Latin American players. He pointed out that, among other things, Asian players are assigned translators, while Latin American players are left to fend for themselves.
Guillen added that “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.”
OK, his syntax is garbled (it’s part of his charm). But Guillen’s point — that Latin American players are treated as less important and more disposable — is a valid one.
One could argue that it’s simple economics. MLB probably assumes that the many players from the Dominican Republic and Cuba and so on will look out for each other. Maybe they feel that they have to coddle a kid from Taiwan. I don’t know.
But I appreciate that Guillen, in his own undeniably idiosyncratic way, has once again gotten people to think about an issue bigger than baseball.
The other outrageous comment that caught my attention recently came from an unlikely source.
Yes, Rupert Murdoch, Mr. Fox News himself, recently called for immigration reform that would create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents. This is the infamous “amnesty” provision.
Murdoch said that we’re missing a chance for reform because we’re bashing illegal immigrants too much. He added that Americans need to deal with the fact that more residents are speaking Spanish, saying that such changes have “been going on in this country for hundreds of years. You’ve got to adjust.”
Coming from a guy who signs Bill O’Reilly’s paychecks, his comments are clearly more shocking than anything Ozzie Guillen could say.