Sports On My Mind’s D.K. Walker aka DWil has surveyed the outraged reactions to Pedro Martinez’ cameo at cockfight in the Dominican and reminds us “in his hometown Pedro Martinez is known as ‘an angel’…but here, he sees only the land of greed and the home of the slaves.” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
Only in America can a man like ESPN’s Howard Bryant (above), on national television, tell viewers that because Pedro Martinez is employed in the United States, he should honor the feelings of the people of America”and his employer, the New York Mets”instead of the people in the land of his birth, the Dominican Republic. Martinez, according to Bryant the paternalist, should feel some sort of contrived angst at those who participate in cockfighting in the Dominican. Bryant can certainly express his feelings and his opinions about cockfighting”in America. But to subtly ascribe the tag of barbarism to Martinez, Marichal, and the people of the Dominican, is the stuff of jingoistic lore. That sort of speech is, along with a co-sign from a Christian god, the verbal gate that flings open the doors of ideological perception and continue to be the root of the yen to conquer under the guise of Manifest Destiny.
Ironically, it is speech that is hung around the neck of Howard Bryant, a black man, like a slip knot noose.
Just days ago Major League Baseball Hall of fame voter and journalist Tim Kurkjian was asked about Martinez and cockfighting by Jay Crawford on ESPN’s First Take, “What is legal and what is moral?” Kurkjian replied by letting us know that the “moral of the story” is that everything ends up on YouTube and today’s well-known athlete is watched wherever he or she goes. Therefore they must be more mindful of what events they attend and careful with the people with whom they surround themselves.
Kurkjian’s reply is as American as WWE wrestling. It has absolutely nothing to do with legality or morality. But it has everything to do with that good ol’ USofA credo: “Watch your back and cover your ass because everybody’s looking to take you down.”
In Kurkjian’s accidentally savant answer is our heartbeat. It is a rhythm that Pedro Martinez listens to only when it is time for pitchers and catchers to report to training camp. And even then he is doing his level best to put off that charter jet ride to the States for as long as possible.
You see, Pedro Martinez knows he is nothing more than a freakishly talented import brought here to entertain the masses. And if he forgets this fact, if only for a second, he needs only to check his wallet and peer at the card that says he can work here but not permanently reside here.