Being Latino Deportes
Happy Friday, everyone! As we draw down another week, let’s take a quick glimpse into what’s been happening in the world of Latino sports.
Raffi Torres lets loose; suspended indefinitely
Phoenix Coyotes forward Raphael ‘Raffi’ Torres was suspended indefinitely this week following a brutal illegal hit against Chicago Blackhawk wing Marian Hossa. The hit came during a playoff game between the two rivals this past Wednesday night as Torres charged Hossa, both feet leaving the ice and knocking Hossa to the ground. He was immediately taken out of the game on a stretcher and Torres found himself indefinitely suspended, pending a league review. Officials for the Blackhawks maintain that Hossa should be okay to return to play in the near future, but Phoenix now holds a 2-1 lead advantage in this round.
This kind of behavior is unfortunately not uncharacteristic of Torres, an embattled player of Mexican and Peruvian descent. Last year while playing for the Vancouver Canucks, he issued a similar injury to Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle – what appears to be a deliberate attack to the head. He was suspended for four games following this incident. Torres also found himself under scrutiny last Halloween, as he and his wife donned blackface makeup in order to dress like rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyonce. The costumes were immediately deemed racist, but Torres maintained that he is simply a fan who wanted to pay tribute.
Ivan Rodriguez retires; does Cooperstown await?
This week the Texas Rangers announced that longtime catcher and Latino icon Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez signed a one-day deal with the team, with the intent to retire from Major League Baseball this coming Monday. This news was preceded by an offseason where Rodriguez attempted to find a new team after being let go by the Washington Nationals last November. At the age of 40, Rodriguez’s offensive skills and speed were on the decline, but still ranked as one of the top defensive catchers in the game. He hoped to catch on with a team in a reserve role, but his efforts at free agency were fruitless.
Pudge ends his career with a very respectable stat line of .296/.344/.464 – a record of great hitting collected over a 21 year career. During his major league tenure, Rodriguez collected 2844 hits, 311 homers, 10 Gold Gloves, six Silver Sluggers, 10 All-Star appearances, and was the AL MVP in 1999. With such a productive and illustrious career, one would think that he would be a lock for the Baseball Hall of Fame. There has been some doubt cast on this notion, as Rodriguez did his most prodigious work during the infamous ‘Steroids Era’ of baseball. He was never named directly during his career, but it has been implicated that he did use performance enhancing drugs, perhaps even during his time with the Texas Rangers. Such allegations might throw his Hall entrance into question, as now that the steroid era players are reaching eligibility, they have generally voted against or not included players who reportedly used PEDs.