Monday, May 07, 2018

Baseball Uniforms and U.S.-Mexican Relations

Regular readers know I am a big baseball fan and particularly a fan of the San Diego Padres, which I've followed since I was tiny. This past weekend they played a series in Monterrey, Mexico. I was listening to the radio broadcast of the game yesterday and heard a quick but interesting exchange between announcers Jesse Agler and Ted Leitner about the Padres uniforms. On home Sundays the Padres normally wear camouflage-style jerseys as a way to honor the large military presence in San Diego. I am not a fan of this practice, because while I am happy to honor that presence in some manner, the militaristic tone mixed with baseball bothers me. But we can set that aside for now.

Jesse Agler had gotten a question about why the Padres didn't have on those uniforms since it was a Sunday and they were considered the home team (even though they were in Mexico). The answer, which he also posted on Twitter, was smart and true--it is a bad idea to have such a militaristic uniform in a foreign country. Kudos to both announcers for emphasizing that it's even worse right now because U.S.-Mexican relations are strained, and kudos to Ted for taking that a step further and lamenting how we've alienated our close ally. He let that one drop and then said he should stop with the politics.

These were smart answers and I would've loved it had they just quickly added that the United States has invaded Mexico multiple times and even taken a large chunk of it, which makes the military emphasis exponentially more problematic.

Lastly, MLB is consciously trying to market the game globally. The U.S. use of force abroad is not popular and the militaristic uniforms do MLB no favors as it tries to encourage more foreign interest.


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