Time will tell on effectiveness of Scorpions deal
There are certain issues in this country that are so controversial, anything that infringes into their general vicinity creates instant debate.
Both sides instantly make up their minds without really knowing the specifics.
As far as I can tell, these issues are: Abortion, taxes, the previous president, the current president and, of course, immigration/foreign affairs.
Like I said, people really don't think so much as react on idealistic lines (which, as an aside, was why it was nice to see the tax issue recently presented to city voters actually thought about, instead of lumped into a "taxes are evil" category, which so often happen.)
Anyway, this column isn't about that, nor is it about randomly pushing hot-button topics. This is about the immigration/foreign affairs issue that has recently affected the Yuma Scorpions.
For the uninitiated, the Scorpions signed a two-year affiliation deal with the Colombian Professional Baseball League. Just like the Diamondbacks have an affiliation deal with Reno, the Colombian league - all four teams - now has one with the Scorpions. The Scorpions save a whole bunch of money by basically not having to worry about player expenses and get, in theory, higher caliber players.
So two days before the season starts, the Scorpions got rid of all their players to make way for the Colombian ones.
This move came as a surprise to the public. League officials Dave Kaval (CEO) and Kevin Outcalt (commissioner) said they were waiting until the hospitality tax was decided - and likewise the fate of Desert Sun Stadium - before finalizing the deal.
Well, that's enough recapping. Four days into the experiment, the Scorpions are struggling - 1-3 after a 17-6 loss Monday, and one big inning Sunday away from being 0-4.
The results on the field through four games can hardly tell how the season is going to go. But really, that's going to decide whether this was a fair deal or not.
Not that I approve of 22 people losing their jobs, but that is how the game of baseball works. I guarantee you that at most 10 of those guys would have been Scorpions at the end of the year.
And as for the whole "they took our jobs!" mentality, it's not like all 22 of those guys were red-blooded Americans. Foreign players are a part of baseball and were a part of the old Scorpions.
So if the Scorpions and the GBL made a move to provide themselves financial security while at the same time improving their product, what is wrong with that? Isn't that the point of the free-market system? I sure hope the people who are vehemently opposed to this aren't the same ones who equate the current president to a socialist. Because wanting to keep lesser quality product and to make less money for the sake of protecting the worker sounds like what they would be (and have been) rallying against.
Of course, being the skilled fence-sitter I am, I think the legitimacy of this deal lies in the on-the-field product. If the Scorpions continue to lose and lose badly as they have been, that's a whole different story.
But this is a team that has been in this country less than a week. Six days ago they were in Bogota. They may not want to admit it, but jetlag may be playing a large role in their struggles. That's not an excuse - it's a reason.
As cruel as it sounds, it's all about putting the best team possible on the field. If the new-look Scorpions continue to struggle, then why did they ax 22 players two days before the season started? That would be all about the Benjamins, indeed.
But if this team competes, and competes well - lest us forget the GBL is split into halves with the records wiped clean after about 40 games - then this deal was about improving the product.
The Scorpions have a tough three days ahead of them with a trip to St. George, the team that just finished clobbering them. They may be looking at 1-6 heading into a "Tijuana weekend," - the empty spot on their schedule vacated when the Tijuana Potros put their season on hold.
During that break, the players will have time to not only practice, but acclimate to Yuma. Only time will tell what kind of effect it will have.
Because four days does not a horrible season make.