As the baseball playoffs rapidly approach, I’d like to take this time to issue a blanket warning. The next comedian, broadcaster, or dancing monkey who tries to wittily point out that the World Series should be renamed since only American teams play in it will be punched in the crotch. Repeatedly. By me.
6 Puerto Ricans
That’s the combination of foreign born players on the World Series rosters last year for the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. Neither of these teams have an especially large contingent of foreign players either. In fact, some teams in this year’s playoffs have significantly more.
In fact, MLB’s public relations department not only keeps tabs on all the foreign born players, but routinely lets us know how global the game has become. Case in point:
Of the 855 players on rosters at the start of the season, 239 were born outside the 50 states, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday. The percentage dropped to 28.0 from 29.0 last year, when it was just off the record of 29.2 set in 2005.
There were 3,356 of 7,021 minor leaguers born outside the 50 states, with the percentage rising to 47.8 percent, up from 46.2 last year and 45.1 in 2005.
Not only is it 30% for the pros, but almost every other player in the minors calls some other county home!
It’s called the World Series because the world’s best players usually end up playing here in America. Teams are scouting in Asia, Latin America, and the rest of the world almost as much as they are in Florida and Texas. For every Oklahoman farm boy and California surfer dude on a team’s roster, there’s a good chance the guy sitting next to them in the locker room speaks a first language other than English.
So if you’re uneducated about baseball and enjoy being punched in the crotch, please go ahead and keep repeating that same stupid line this autumn. Otherwise, please shut the hell up and go enjoy some baseball.