Arizona's SB 1070 act, a repudiation of all things immigrant by Arizona's state government in 2010, should have dragged the MLB All-Star week-long corporate carnival to a halt. Adrian Gonzalez threatened to stay home if the law ever went into effect. "If they leave it up to the players and the law is still there," Gonzalez said, " I'll probably not play in the All-Star Game. Because it's a discriminating law."
Ozzie Guillen pushed for immigration reform while suggesting he wouldn't attend. Arizona Diamondbacks principal owner Ken Kendrick displayed nearly as much concern over the law as his wife did over Glendale, AZ, city spending. The MLB Players Association demanded repeal. And so on.
Here we are on the blessed day of the MLB All-Star Game and, despite the injunction against most provisions of the law instituted by Judge Susan Bolton and upheld by the Ninth Circuit, it appears a significant portion of the players invited to the game tonight have chosen to pass, from reasons like turf toe to the exhaustion that only those with 3,000 hits can understand. There are now 83 All-Stars this season in a sport that only has 750 jobs on any given day. For the love of Pete, Kevin Correia can now list himself as an All-Star on his real estate business card in three years.
This can only be a sickout in protest of Arizona's callous disregard for immigrants, one so devious and secret that word has not leaked yet from any source on the planet. One could even see how Carlos Zambrano, Adam Dunn, and Gordon Beckham have tanked their seasons just to avoid bringing their wares to Phoenix tonight.
To see baseball players, usually indicted as the least engaging and least educated athletes in American sport, both find their moral compass en masse and then show the intelligence to keep the labor action so secret as to be practically non-existent displays honor and deviousness previously unexpected of them.
Otherwise, the only explanation could be that the All-Star Game belongs to the previous century, much like the attitudes of Arizona's state government, due to the near-constant inter-league play that gives us these pitcher-v.-batter match-ups on a regular basis. If this wild explanation were true, no amount of boycotting would matter anyway. In that case, all the posturing last year by major leaguers added up to less than Jared Dudley sporting a Los in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. jersey
If this were really true, we all should have concentrated our efforts on getting Kate Upton to threaten to skip the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game. "Both me and my shorts that stop somewhere around my elbows are staying home," she could have proclaimed, "until Arizona starts treating immigrants as fellow passengers on this craggy ball we all call home and not like a collective bogeyman."
But, of course, the sickout is real. After all, we all know more people care about Adrian Gonzalez in a novelty jersey more than Kate Upton barely in one. Right?