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Latino Sox fans lost in lineup shuffle

By Keith O'Brien

Globe Staff / September 23, 2008

Felipe Gomez, a Jamaica Plain barber, still wears his Red Sox cap, the bill crisp across his brow. He still roots for his adopted hometown team, and he always looks forward to visits from such players as David Ortiz when they are in need of a haircut.

But Gomez, a 37-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, feels that the current team isn't the same as it was just a few years ago - or even a few months ago. With no Pedro Martínez and no Manny Ramírez, with Julio Lugo on the disabled list and possibly headed for the bench whenever he does return, Gomez and other Latino fans see a team that looks a lot less like them.

"We feel like we've lost something personal in our team," Gomez said recently, cutting hair at the Fernandez Barbershop in Jamaica Plain, where many Latino Sox players come to get haircuts. "It's a big community, the Latinos. It makes us feel proud to at least have representation."

That representation had come in what now seems a flash of Red Sox history, when some of baseball's biggest stars - Martínez, Ramírez, and Ortiz - and starting shortstop Orlando Cabrera were all on the club, and all Latino. A team whose stars typically looked like Ted Williams or Carl Yastrzemski,and were celebrated by fans who looked the same, suddenly tapped into a whole new baseball culture in Boston, one that spoke Spanish and exuberantly embraced its own.

Full article:

Seriously? Great, political correctness hits baseball. I fully recognize baseball went through it's own racial issues - at the same time the whole country was dealing with segregation and such - but are we really going to get to the point where teams are mandated to have certain demographic percentages? Last time I checked, "my people" were American, with ancestry spanning the globe. My maternal grandfather came to the States from Sweden. I'm not going to be any less a Red Sox fan because there's no Swede on the team. As I've stated before, if people truly want to live in a "color blind" society, we need to get rid of the labels.

I appreciated this quote of Mike Lowell from the article:
When asked recently whether he had noticed fewer Latinos in the clubhouse, Lowell, the team's third baseman, replied, "I would say yes, because we have less Latinos." But that doesn't bother him. What matters, Lowell said, is if the team is built to win.
Wow, imagine that - building a team based upon the skills of the players. :rolleyes:
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