Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1 -- a day of celebration, or a week if you are in China

Worldwide, May 1, is a day to celebrate.

In China, the people now celebrate a seven day holiday. The factory workers get seven days off. Schools are closed. The break comes with encouragements to travel within China. Those in the city go to the country. Those in the country go to the city. Flags and banners are hung. Tourist places buzz.
A week of family time often means park time, water time and togetherness.

In the US, we don't celebrate May 1st, not so much. Protests are planned this year.

The Great American Boycott, “A Day Without Immigrants,” or “A Day Without Latinos,” is being pushed by some. It is a day where immigrant workers, and their allies, will remove their labor, purchasing power, and presence from the economic workings of the United States.

"Without Latinos baseball would be about as interesting as being trapped in an elevator with George Will."

Source: Dave Zirin, He writes a great article and the bulk of facts and comments flowed from him. I subscribe to his email blasts, and you're encouraged to do so as well.

Six of the top ten hitters in the National League are from Latin America including MVP Albert Pujols. The AL has 5 out of 10 including batting leader and 2003 MVP Miguel Tejada. Latinos dominate baseball. Eight of the last 10 AL MVPs have been won by immigrants, seven by Latinos.

In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Team USA got crushed. Currently 36% of Major League players were born in Latin America. Almost one third of all minor leaguers are from the Dominican Republic alone.

Pittsburgh Pirates : News : Pittsburgh Pirates News PITTSBURGH -- With the July 11 Midsummer Classic just 77 days away, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Major League Baseball and local officials are gearing up for what will be an exciting week of baseball in the Steel City.

Major League owners searching for talent on the cheap, setting up baseball academies south of the border where players can be signed in their early teens for pennies, and then discarded if they don’t make the cut. As one player said to me, “The options in the DR are jail, the army, the factory, or baseball.”

Many prospects make it to the United States for minor league ball and then stay, illegally, to chase the dream of never working to death in a factory. The outer boroughs of New York City are filled with semi-pro teams of men on the other side of
thirty still thirsting for that contract, hoping it comes before the INS comes knocking on their door.

Pittsburgh is gearing up for the All-Star Game in July. Humm.... We've also got some "No Sweatshop Bucco Protests" set to unfold too. No Major League player has come out publicly (yet) and said they are joining the national boycott on May 1.

Today I hope to go to a high school baseball game. Heck, we can't even have Rookie Ball any longer in our local park -- yet alone a Major League Academy to train young hopefulls. The Pirates and others of MLB would rather invest in talent south of the border and ignore those at home. So much for pulling for the home team. And, that's also where they'll get their baseballs and uniforms produced as well. Often in sweatshops.

And to tailgate for football games is soon going to be a thing of the past in Pittsburgh as they try to curtail the extra parking spaces to only those who have 'season passes.'

There isn't any baseball in the Olympics after 2008, when the Olympic Flame is put out in China. There is more talk about the "NEW China" in our newspapers.

We've got a lot of work to do. Better to NOT have a week long vacation. With the spike in gas prices, it makes one wonder.

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