Tag Archives: baseball

SPORTS: Baseball’s suspensions — all Latinos

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The 13 baseball suspensions connected to Florida-based Biogenesis just announced today are notable, apart from the numbers of guys involved, for the fact that all are Latino — though Ryan Braun was also part of the case and was suspended last month.

Interesting. Not sure why. One possibility is that a group of Latino customers formed around this company, perhaps with Alex Rodriguez as the main guy. One of his nicknames in company files is “cacique,” I read. In Mexico, cacique means political boss.

Another possibility has to do with the “system” of churning out baseball players from places like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, which sounds quite a bit like the old Hollywood studio system, namely pretty brutal and soul-crushing and surrounded by slimy agents, scouts and lawyers all filling boys’ heads with bad advice — one of which is that doping is just what you have to do.

I’ll be interested to see what further reporting reveals.

Of course, I mention this well aware that, in earlier cases, most of the players involved were not Latino.

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Filed under Culture, Drugs

TELL YOUR TRUE TALE: An Act of God in Baseball

Tell Your True Tale

A new story is up this week on my storytelling website, TELL YOUR TRUE TALE.

Milovan Pompa recounts “An Act of God in Baseball,” a story of his days as a college pitcher, encountering trash-talking opponents who insisted on insulting his grandmother. Not a good idea.

Anyway, check it out. And remember, I’m always interested in stories that you have to tell. So send em in.

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Filed under Storytelling, Tell Your True Tale, Writing

LOS ANGELES: Cal Tech baseball wins!!!!!

Cal Tech’s baseball team won a game on Saturday, after losing 228 in a row.images

I love that school’s sports program, man! It’s all about competition, even when they’re not competitive.

As a kid, I remember going to see my father’s college — Claremont McKenna — play Cal Tech in basketball. They would crush them every year, sometimes with the JV team. Didn’t matter. CT kept on putting up teams with players who often really hadn’t ever played their respective sports in high school.

Btw, you should NOT miss Quantum Hoops (2007), a documentary about the Cal Tech basketball team. Really great filmmaking — about a team that had lost a similar number of games.

It talks about the losing, yet proud ways of the team. About the coach who would try to recruit A++ students, kids who could also play, only to find that even they couldn’t quite make the academic grade the school requires.

In the doc, they bring back players who were on the team that last won a game — that moment coming in 1985.images-2

I’m happy that Cal Tech keeps on with sports — seems to be the right focus on sports, if you ask me.

One dismaying aspect of the Quantum Hoops doc is that it quotes Cal Tech grads, an alarming number of whom ended up on Wall Street using their brains to devise complicated financial gimmicks for making a lot of money without really creating anything of value — unlike the rest of that great school.

Unlike, in fact, the Cal Tech sports programs, those Wall Street CT grads seem the embodiment of the “Win at any cost” philosophy that characterized our late, unlamented Age of Excess from which our country is now suffering junkie withdrawals.

A quick personal note: The coach of the school that lost that 1985 game to Cal Tech — the University of La Verne — was my high school coach at Claremont High School several years before. Won’t mention names. Never got along with the guy and he never did know how to pronounce my last name.

Now for something a lot less inspiring than great students at a great school….here’s one about the Mexican Mafia. Keep scrolling down…. ­čÖé

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Filed under California, Los Angeles, Southern California