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Guillen: Asian players treated much better than Latinos

Aug 1, 2010, 4:01 PM EDT

Most of Ozzie Guillen’s rants can be ignored.  They’re usually plenty insightful, but he spouts off so often that it almost becomes repetitive.  And then he’ll surprise you, and really say something that makes you think.  That’s what he did Sunday while talking to reporters before Chicago’s series finale with the Oakland A’s at U.S. Cellular Field.

Guillen noted that Asian players are assigned translators by the clubs that sign them and Spanish-speaking Latino players are not.  Guillen also noted that few young Latino players are educated about the effects and consequences of performance-enhancing drugs and that those same players are cast aside if they don’t sign with major league clubs before the age of 16 or 17.  All the while American college kids can hold off until 22 or 23 to develop their skills and build a resume that includes experiences beyond the game of baseball.  Like college degrees.  You know, backup plans.

“Very bad. I say, why do we have Japanese interpreters and we don’t have a
Spanish one. I always say that. Why do they have that privilege and we
don’t?” Guillen said Sunday.
“Don’t take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. 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. Good luck. And it’s always going to be like that.
It’s never going to change. But that’s the way it is.”

Everything Guillen said is correct, and while it’s not a fun topic to think or talk about, young prospects from the Dominican and other Latin countries are often treated like cattle — ridden hard and fed well until there’s an inkling of regression.  Then it’s time for the slaughter house.  Or zoo exhibits — dressed up in the club’s garb and paraded through the farm system until there’s a slight fading of skill.

Sure, the Latino players that do it the right way or have infallible talent will reach the end of the rainbow in the form of multi-million dollar contracts.  But if Guillen’s comments at least raise awareness for the treatment of lesser Latino prospects, then mission accomplished.

  1. nps6724 - Aug 2, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    It would be beneficial, but very costly for teams. They would have to pay for some type of schooling for hundreds of players every year. I think that would lead to more teams only going after the very top Latin players instead of taking fliers on guys who may not be as good at 16-18. The more Latin prospects they have, the more schooling they have to pay for.

    And how do you do it? One teacher for a group? One teacher per player? How long do you spend on each player? Or do they “graduate” from the program? Do they do this before they start playing or at the same time? Would it be like child actors who have to have tutors?

    Obviously it’s a lot easier to say than to implement. And in the end, it all comes down to dollars. The owners don’t stand to make more money if their Latin players can speak English, so they won’t be happy to be pay to teach these kids English or anything else.

    Another problem you run into is, by educating these players, they actually give the player an “out” from baseball. These players could decide they don’t want to toil in the minors for $10K and would rather get day job that pays more, giving them more to send home. Which is a great thing for the kid, but what owner is going to want to not only pay a signing bonus, but then pay for an education that may lead the player away from the organization? That means not only did he waste money on THIS player, he now has to get another player to fill his void. One player for the price of two.

    “It would be great if MLB treated all players at comparable levels equally.”
    How do they not? Are all white minor leaguers paid more than Latin ones? Do they ride a better bus or eat better food or stay in better housing? The disadvantages Latin players have, come from the fact they’re in a foreign country.

  2. Joker34 - Aug 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    except for the fact that those American players get to play against the top college competition in the nation, which in all reality, is as good, if not better than some A or AA minor league teams. Get over it. You lose.

  3. nps6724 - Aug 3, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    If these college teams were better than A and AA teams, why aren’t all the players from the college teams drafted? Or at least the starters?

  4. BobDawg - Aug 13, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    How about this; DRAFT AMERICAN PLAYERS FOR THIS AMERICAN GAME, and let the rest of the world sort out their own crap.
    Problem solved, now NO ONE has to worry about being used or abused by the American sports system.

  5. Jerzguy - Aug 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    There is a point to his logic that Latinos aren’t treated as well as Asians in sports or for that fact, anywhere. Asians, as a group, tend to learn the English language and communicate with American citizens on our level. As a rule, Latinos rarely do. Asians attempt to follow our customs while in the USA. Latinos still think that it is OK to have cock fights in their basements, make a small percentage of an attempt to become legal citizens, steal from our educational and health system with their illegal status, and expect a strained US government to give them hand-outs.
    Guillen is right, there is a racial profiling against Latinos. And with good reason.

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