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The Astros are looking to conquer Mexico

Aug 9, 2012, 11:01 AM EDT

Mexico Flag

What did Mexico ever do to us? We took half their land under the banner of Manifest Destiny, our insatiable appetite for drugs has ripped that country apart with violence and for decades we have sent our most vapid and annoying college students to Cancun on spring break. Now we go even lower:

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow returned from Mexico on Wednesday after meeting with United States ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne about growing baseball in the nation and in particular the Astros brand … Luhnow said there have been early conversations about the Astros playing a game or games in either Mexico City or Monterrey.

I kid, of course. The Astros are bad, but I’m pretty sure taking California, Texas and stuff from them was way worse.

OK, now total seriousness: I like this a lot. It always seemed to me that Major League Baseball should do more to promote the game in Mexico. Yes, that’s tough given that Mexico has its own major leagues and likely doesn’t want us crowding that stuff out, but why there isn’t more going on down there has always been a mystery to me.

  1. redguy12588 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Let the Astros have Mexico, the Pirates have cornered India!!!!!!!

  2. cggarb - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    I remember the Padres playing a series down in Monterrey in ’96, and Ken Caminiti getting food poisoning. He supposedly recovered with the help of an IV and a Snickers, and hit a game-winning HR. Big part of his MVP case.

  3. cggarb - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Found this article from Verducci. So typical of the type of stuff written in the mid-90s. I’m sure Verducci would be embarrassed by it today.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1008712/1/index.htm

    • Detroit Michael - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Why should Verducci be embarrassed by the article today?

      Caminiti stops drinking, lifts weights, drinks protein shakes etc. The result was he adds 20 pounds and lowers his body fat from 16% to 9%. Obviously now we know because Caminiti admitted it that it was due at least partially to steroid use, but should Verducci in 1996 have speculated in writing that Caminiti used steroids without any real proof?

    • pw38 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      Hindsight is twenty twenty, come on you know this. If that wasn’t the case the 70s wouldn’t have ever happened. Who would think brown and yellow makes for a good color combination?

  4. 18thstreet - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    If I were running the Marlins, I’d try make them the unofficial team of the Caribbean. I’d hold exhibitions in PR and the DR, if not regular season game. Create a regional team. I applaud what the Astros are doing here.

  5. antlerclaws - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Mexico’s “major leagues” are already affiliated with MLB through Minor League Baseball. They’re considered on par with Triple A. They have their own pages on http://www.milb.com and everything.

  6. bigleagues - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Just curious . . . if I claimed Manifest Destiny in taking Alyssa Milano away from that goofy looking agent she got hitched up with, what are the chances I would prevail without going to jail?

    dang, forgot Alyssa’s with baby . . .hmmm . . . Hilary Duff? Nope same problem. Natalie Portman? nah. same. Got it! Maria Menounous is my Manifest Destiny. Now . . . can I get away with it? Ah! I know just the guy to help me . . . William Jefferson Clinton! My boy! Let’s get to work!

    OK, stream of conscience – OFF.

    • cur68 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      this

  7. gloccamorra - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    The Padres played in Monterrey in 1996 because they had the ballpark that’s closest to the American MLB standard, and it still didn’t quite measure up. The best Mexican ballparks are in the south. The Padres also had a Mexican national hero, Fernando Valenzuela as their pitcher in that game.

    It’s hard to promote baseball in a country where it’s already so well established that it gives soccer a run for its money. The point is to build a fan base of Mexican baseball fans to follow the American team. The Padres appearance was part of that, but the game was a sellout because of Valenzuela, whose fame came from his work with the Dodgers, the gold standard for franchises building a fan base in Mexico.

    Like the Dodgers, the Padres have Spanish language radio broadcasts, and they’ve even promoted building little league style lots in San Diego’s “sister city” of Tijuana. But the northwest corner of Mexico is still Dodgers territory – they got there first. The Astros have a chance to build a fan base in the northEAST corner of Mexico, since Dodger influence doesn’t extend that far, and Mexican Dodger fans have relatives north of the border only in the northwest. The Astros can succeed, if they follow the Dodgers’ blueprint and market to fans in northeast Mexico AND their relatives in south Texas.

    • pw38 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      I’d think the Rangers probably have a better shot at that than the Astros but maybe that’s just me.

      • stex52 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM

        Very unlikely. Houston is a natural point of entry from Mexico. Tradewise, immigration-wise, everything. Dallas, not so much, nor do they particularly want to be. The Astros have been working Corpus Christi and south for quite a while. This is just a very logical extension.

      • Old Gator - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:18 PM

        The Astros are going to wind up like Captain White’s fillibusters in Blood Meridian.

        Oh my god said the general manager….

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