Before Thursday’s second World Series game between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies, Gammons was waxing poetic about the ever-increasing numbers of Latino baseball players.
He said that Dominicans play baseball ”more intuitively” I have no idea what that means and if I could press Gammons on it, I’m sure he couldn’t explain it either.
Gammons also said, in a reference to his prediction that more foreign-born players wait in the wings, ”everyone comes from somewhere.” This inane remark is obviously true. But what Gammons meant to convey is that he’s fine with baseball’s demographic shift…and we should be too.
As to Gammons’ ”everyone comes from somewhere” statement, let’s take a look: at ”who” comes from ”where” on the Red Sox and the Rockies.
Boston Red Sox position players Jason Varitek, catcher and captain, Missouri; Kevin Youkilis, first base, Ohio; Dustin Pedroia, second base, California; Julio Lugo, shortstop, Dominican Republic, Mike Lowell, third base, Puerto Rico, Manny Ramirez, left field, Dominican Republic; center field, Coco Crisp, California and Jacoby Ellsbury, Oregon; right field, J.D. Drew, designated hitter, Georgia, David Ortiz, Dominican Republic.
Red Sox pitchers: top three starters, Josh Beckett, Texas; Curt Shilling, Alaska; Daisuke Matsuzaka, the $50 million bust , Japan. The bullpen closer: Jonathon Papelbon, Louisiana.
Whether you count Lowell as Latino or not, the Red Sox are overwhelmingly U.S, born.
As for the Colorado Rockies, the break down is much the same.
Position players: Yorvit Torrealba, catcher, Venezuela; Todd Helton, first base, Tennessee; Kazuo Matsui, second base, Japan; Troy Tulowitski, short stop, California; Garrett Atkins, third base, California; Matt Holliday, left field, Oklahoma; Willie Taveras, center field, Dominican Republic, Brad Hawpe, right field, Texas, designated hitter, Ryan Spilborghs, California.
Starting Colorado pitchers: Jeff Francis, Canada, Ubaldo Jimenez, Dominican Republic and Josh Fogg, Massachusetts. Bullpen closer: Manny Corpas, Panama.
Again, like the Red Sox, the Rockies are mostly American born, outnumbering Latin players nearly 2-1.
No one disputes that major league baseball has more Latino players than ever before. And given that those players are signed on the cheap, there are certain, as Gammons predicts, to be more.
But to suggest, as Gammons did, that Latin players are somehow genetically superior players is wrong, offensive and racist.
The probable American League Cy Young Award winner is Beckett; the National League Most Valuable Player is likely Holliday. And Tulowitski is the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year. All are born in the U.S.
As for Gammons, he comes ”from somewhere,” too—Boston, MA.