Results tagged ‘ Venezuela ’

Why Can’t I have a Souvenir Cup?

Since I never seem to find myself in a place that my hometown (from across the state) Tigers like to visit, I’m usually limited to one or two live games in a year. This year, I only had one chance and that day was last Saturday as Detroit visited Baltimore for what promised to be an easy four-game series. Well, let’s just say that neither the game nor the series went the way they were supposed to go. The Tigers hammered Daniel Cabrera in the first inning but then managed to not only let the Orioles back into the game but even found a way to lose it. And they dropped 2 of the four games. So, I’m not writing about the game or the series. I’m writing about what I saw at the game instead.

OriolePark.jpgFirst off, If you’ve never been to Camden Yards, go. The tickets are cheap, the views are great and chances are that if you came to watch another team play the Orioles, you’re going to go home happy. However, I have a bone to pick with the management. Why can’t I buy a beer in a souvenir cup? I don’t want a Pepsi. I don’t want a Diet Pepsi. I want a beer and I want it in a plastic cup that has the Oriole’s season schedule and whatever happens to be the catch-phrase of the year on it. I do this everywhere I go and up til now it hasn’t been a problem. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the cup I got from Yankee Stadium because I can spit sunflower seed husks into it and it feels like I’m somehow spitting on the Yankees. That’s a good feeling. But how can I spit on the Orioles if they won’t give me a cup? Yes, I finally broke down and bought a lemonade because it was really freakin’ hot but a part of me is still outraged. It’s un-American.

And speaking of un-American, the Orioles tossed out a special welcome to the Venezuelan Embassy, employees of which happened to be in attendance at Saturday’s game. I suppose this shouldn’t have come as a surprise since half the players on the field had some sort of Venezuelan connection and we were only an hour’s drive from Washington D.C. And it was nice to see some of the Venezuelan players come through during the game; for instance, Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run shot in the first inning. But there’s just something a little strange about a group of people enjoying the classic American pastime while their president says things like: I hereby accuse the North American empire of being the biggest menace to our planet.I’m just saying…

But, despite the unfortunate ending to the game, the crowd’s even more unfortunate adoration of “the wave” and the disproportionately large and drunk meat-head a few rows in front of me, it was good to see my team play. It gives you a similar kind of feeling to the one you get when you find out that the blog you (kind of) help write has now moved up from fifth to fourth place in the standings. At this rate, we might even make the playoffs! There are playoffs, right?


A wall by any other name….

John McCain’s campaign almost died last year because of one word: Immigration. Being from a border state, Sen. McCain understands that building a fence or becoming more bellicose does not stop illegal immigration, it just forces it even further underground. And he understands that the US economy will not continue to grow without inexpensive labor from overseas. Or at least he understood it up until he got the nomination.

However, we baseball fans are in a particularly excellent position to understand immigration and its positive effects. Without immigration (illegal or otherwise), we would not see the game the way that it is played today.

Seriously, can you imagine basbeball without Johan Santana, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Carlos Zambrano? Well, with current immigration policy towards Venezuela, you might have to. We’re lucky that these players made it in to the US before the clampdown but who knows what future A-Rod or K-Rod is being held up because they don’t have their papers together in exactly the order required or because they can’t get an interview due to new regulations.

Now, you’d have to be daft to say that immigration is not a very real issue that demands tough solutions. But you’d have to be just as daft to say that shutting down the border and scaling back immigration even further will improve the situation or help the US in general.

This is an idea still in its infancy but if the US can use baseball to help with its diplomatic relations, sending big league baseball stars to other countries to talk about the US, why can’t it use baseball in the other direction, to help the American people understand the positive effects of immigration?