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Chavez Should Walk In Mexican Shoes First

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Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen hates American ballplayers of distant Latin descent jockeying for spots in next month's World Baseball Classic, especially the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

I hate hypocrites: He's full of shit, said Guillen in Sports Illustrated. The Dominican team doesn't need his ass. It's the same with [Nomar] Garciaparra playing for Mexico. Garciaparra only knows Cancun because he went to visit.

If Rodriguez and Garciaparra's foreign credential are suspect, then what about Oakland's Eric Chavez and his quest to play for Mexico after being left off the United States' 30-man roster Tuesday.

It could be said that Chavez's knowledge of his Mexican heritage consists of knowing the intrinsic differences between a chalupa and a gordita at the local Taco Bell.

Born into a middle-class Southern California upbringing and sheepishly aware of his inability to speak Spanish despite his Latin surname, decisions like Chavez's threaten to undermine the spirit and future of this tournament.

The main idea, despite creating a cash cow, was to merge baseball and patriotism in the same way that the FIFA World Cup energizes the soccer world every four years.

This competition is devoid of any patriotism thus far. Guys like Rodriguez, Garciaparra and Chavez are Americans and should, if given the opportunity, feel obliged to put on that uniform.

What Chavez is doing is akin to a teenager looking for a new high school after being cut from the varsity team. In this case, Chavez is attempting to look for another country and that act is unpatriotic.

If he desires to play for Mexico he should pull up stakes in his cushy East Bay home, learn how to speak Spanish and move to Mexico City. While there, he should walk those streets and witness the poverty and empty eyes of its inhabitants. If he did that, then maybe becoming Mexican for two weeks just to get some quality at-bats in mid-March will seem quite hallow.

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