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A Latino Field Of Dreams
By Joseph Rassel, Sentinel Staff Writer
January 19, 2005
Omar Minaya, Major League Baseballs first Latino general manager, is making the Mets an exciting team for Latinos and for other ballplayers, not to mention the fans.
Minaya has been pursuing Latino ballplayers for his team with great strategy and determination, and without apology. Great strategy because landing pitcher Pedro Martínez first, fresh from his World Series victory with the Boston Red Sox, enables Minaya to lure other star players to a team that has been losing for years.
The fast and powerful Carlos Beltran signed with the team last week. Beltran said he took the Mets seriously because they had Martínez.
Now the team is trying to lure first baseman Carlos Delgado, a friend of Beltran. And so it goes. Minaya and Martínez are Dominican, and Delgado and Beltran are Puerto Rican, to the delight of this citys large Latino population. With the No. 7 train traveling through the Latino neighborhoods along Roosevelt Avenue on its way to Shea Stadium, the Mets are likely to pick up fans from the rest of Latin America, too.
Its good for the game. Minayas moves have helped distract us from the sad issue of steroid abuse among baseball players.
Its good for business. The Mets are starting their own cable network next year, and they need to give the fans at home and in the ballpark something to watch.
There are many talented Latino ballplayers in the Major Leagues today, and many others have gone before them. The late, great Roberto Clemente is widely recognized, but there have been so many others Juan Marichal, Luis Tiant, and Orlando Cepeda, to name just a few. We pray that the prominence of Latino players in the Major Leagues, and the presence of a Latino manager at last, will pique interest in those who came before, and paved the way for todays players, so that they too receive the recognition they so deserve.