Gustavo is back, talking about the “Doyers” and the Politics of Baseball.

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If you were missing Gustavo Arellano’s unique style, making some people uncomfortable with references to our diversity, he is back. He recently wrote about the Dodgers becoming a club that in its core now represents Latinos (see here) .

“I’m sure the folks watching across the country—especially those who don’t speak Spanish—must be wondering why Dodgers fans can’t spell. That’s not the case; “Los Doyers” is a play on how “Dodgers” is pronounced in Spanish, a language that doesn’t have a “j” sound. In other words, it’s how our parents and uncles and aunts and immigrant cousins and even ourselves call the Los Angeles franchise—nothing but #respect, you know?

But “Los Doyers” also represents two of the greatest reappropriation stories in American sports: how Latinos learned to love a team that literally built their foundation on the bulldozed homes and dreams of Mexican-American families, and took a term originally used to deride Latinos and made it their own.”

While Gustavo describes the evolution of this baseball team, another journalist writes about the economics at play with baseball , and sports in general. He writes on the success of the team that beat the Dodgers (see here):

“They endured being the worst team in baseball so that they could collect high draft picks. They then selected well in those drafts, choosing the nucleus of a club that came to dominate the American League this past season. It’s a formula loosely used by last season’s World Champions the Chicago Cubs and 2015’s winners the Kansas City Royals. Even the team that nearly won this year’s World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers – who have baseball’s highest payroll – constructed a winner on homegrown players and bargain acquisitions they turned into stars.

A few years ago this was not the case. A few years ago the thinking in baseball was you had to load your team with the best players you could find, regardless of cost: spend big to win big. But the Astros have proven you can create a winner on your own. The old New York Yankees’ model of rounding up the best free agents and rolling them out for a trophy chase is over. Grabbing everyone else’s superstars might still work in European football (although Real Madrid aren’t having it all their own way) but it doesn’t anymore in baseball.”

That is one aspect of the business of sports. A fairly recent local experience of baseball and politics involved the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. You may remember that team owner Arte Moreno wanted to lease the stadium parking lots for $1 a year for 66 years. His lobbyists would then have the land developed under the pretext of helping pay for the stadium renovation.

One of the promoters of this sweet deal was a so-called baseball expert, who is the current county’s communications chair of a political party. As there seems to be new rules of discussion here, I won’t mention the person’s name;  besides I don’t want to be called names again by this fellow. So I will be a good sport, and I won’t call it quits or take my pitcher gloves off. There is a lot of ins to be played.

Go Doyers…and Angelitos!

About Ricardo Toro

Anaheim resident for several decades. In addition to political blogging, another area of interest is providing habitats for the Monarch butterfly.