Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12: Baseball Needs To Remove All Star Game From Phoenix

By Sylvia Gurinsky

What is currently a case of heartburn for Bud Selig, who presides over Major League Baseball, may turn into something far worse if the Arizona law allowing police to stop whomever they wish to ask for papers isn't reversed before July, 2011.

That's when baseball's All Star Game is scheduled to be played in Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark) in Phoenix. It's the showcase for many of the game's biggest stars. These days, many of those stars come from Latin America.

Meanwhile, team executives are growing nervous about their first test with the new law: The Fall Instructional League, which attracts many of the game's future stars - young men who are busy with too many things to constantly have their visas available. Then there's spring training next February.

More than any other sport, baseball will be affected by this law. More than anything else, baseball can turn the tide of this law.

More than 15 years ago, the National Football League's decision to yank the Super Bowl from Arizona led to the state adopting Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Baseball is successful today in large part because of immigrants. Selig and the sport can make a loud statement about that - and Arizona's ill-crafted laws, including one signed today that puts a wrench in the teaching of ethnic history in the state. Major League Baseball needs to remove the 2011 All Star Game from Phoenix.

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