posted on July 02, 2010 05:30
One way to mix up a lethargic clubhouse filled with immigrants immediately after a deflating loss to a terrible team is to make inflammatory remarks about controversial legislation happening in a state 2,000 miles away.
Thankfully Tony Hayward wasn’t available for a little post-game batting instruction to make it a tag-team deal.
Unless you’re a farmer or work in a labor intensive field, you probably haven’t been keeping up with the controversial law recently passed in Arizona. In nutshell, the law “orders immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally” according to CNN.
Opponents of the bill say pretty much what you’re thinking right now… that some hill-rod cops are going to be taking advantage of this new found power to racially profile and intimidate races that aren’t lily white. No one seems to generally have a good answer on how this will be controlled, other than ‘trust the cops’.
Now you might think this bill is a good idea. You might think it’s a bad idea. That doesn’t matter. Because what these comments have done have made the STL Cardinals clubhouse worse than it was before Wednesday night.
“This is America right? You're supposed to be able to have opinions and disagree, and a lot of things they do I think are correct. I'm actually a supporter of what Arizona's doing, you know, people don't fix your problem, and the government, national government doesn't fix your problem, and you've got a problem, they've got to take care of it themselves.” - Tony LaRussa
InsideSTL doesn’t pay me to look into the political views of all 25 players on the Cardinals. 99.9% of the time what those politics are happen to be completely irrelevant to on-field performance. For instance, we know that Jeff Suppan is a huge anti-abortion advocate that donates his time to Christian groups promoting that particular agenda. He will also give you 6 innings and let up 3 to 4 runs every single start. But I can say with relative certainty that even though everyone wearing a Cardinals uniform today is an American citizen or properly credentialed to work in America… many of those guys have relatives and friends that are looking for a better life. And those people see the opportunity in America.
They don’t comment on it publically. And they’ll all say they support LaRussa’s right to say what he wants. But LaRussa lost respect from several players… at least a little… when he came out in support of AZ’s immigration law.
By the time this piece is published, I fully will have expected LaRussa to be on damage control. He will most likely step back from his earlier comments and tell the press that he generally respects border protection but also isn’t familiar enough with the new AZ law to support or denounce it. He will sound apologetic, but vaguely pissed that it came up in the first place this week. He’s going to be on guard for the rest of the season when reporters are around.
That’s the media in 2010.
But as one of the aforementioned people that don’t really have a vested interest in what the law does or doesn’t do, I start to wonder how this will affect the Cardinals. One of the biggest issues with this team has been the toppling of TLR’s pillars of coaching: a hard 9 innings (not happening) disciplined AB’s (again, not happening) and a dogged focus on putting every other NL Central team in a deeper hole than they were when the day started (the other guys are taking care of that for the Cards). This doesn’t feel like a typical TLR team.
Only the guys playing will tell.
This won’t be the biggest make or break moment in TLR’s STL tenure, simply because winning cures pretty much all animosity in sport. But I do think that it’s also a situation that doesn’t deserve to be dismissed outright either.
If nothing else, we know that Sean Hannity has become a big Cards fan overnight.
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