Through The Static

March 8, 2008

Can’t Knock the Hassle: Chávez Challenges Baseball

Filed under: Labor,Sports,World News — disciplepete @ 11:29 am

Even a casual baseball fan recognizes the explosion in the amount of Latin American players in Major League Baseball over the last couple of decades. This article by David Zirin discusses MLB’s aggressive drive to recruit kids from Latin America while avoiding taking responsibility for the people or societies whose labor they exploit. One Latin American leader is trying to hold MLB accountable: Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.

After the DR, the country that supplies the most talent in Latin America is Venezuela. There are now more than fifty players from Venezuela in Major League Baseball, including superstars like Johan Santana, Magglio Ordoñez and Miguel Cabrera. In the last twenty years, 200 Venezuelans have played in the Major Leagues with more than 1,000 in the minors. And yet despite this bounty of talent, the idiots are starting to scamper from Venezuela because Hugo Chávez is demanding that owners pay for the privilege of their pillage.

Lou Meléndez, MLB’s vice president for international operations, was more than miffed to receive documents that called for instituting employee and player protections and requiring teams to pay out 10 percent of players’ signing bonuses to the government. Chávez wants to tax MLB for what they take from the country. (article)



  1. Dave’s articles are 1st Class, and should be mandatory reading for all socially aware sports fanatics.

    He consistently brings relevant ‘non-sports’ topics to the forefront of the sports page … where they belong, as well.

    Comment by khandor — March 8, 2008 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  2. btw … kudos to Senor Chavez.

    Comment by khandor — March 8, 2008 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  3. I concur…Zirin is a great sportswriter. Socially conscious sports writing rocks. One book that comes to mind that I read is called “Darwin’s Athletes: How Sport Has Damaged Black America and Preserved the Myth of Race.” I’d love to read more socially conscious sports shit…altho “Moneyball” kept me entertained too =)

    Comment by disciplepete — March 8, 2008 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

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