Yovani Gallardo is firm.
Even if he’s fortunate enough to make the All-Star team again next summer, he’ll skip it.
“If the game is in Arizona, I will totally boycott,” the Milwaukee pitcher said Monday.
A year before Phoenix is set to host baseball’s big event, the state’s new immigration law kept drawing the attention of major leaguers.
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Kansas City reliever Joakim Soria, who leads the majors with 25 saves, said he would support a Latino protest and stay away. Detroit closer Jose Valverde can see himself steering clear, too.
“It’s a really delicate issue,” said Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista, who leads the majors with 24 home runs. “Hopefully, there are some changes in the law before then. We have to back up our Latin communities.”
“If I do get chosen, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said.
Arizona’s much-debated measure takes effect July 29. The statute requires police, while enforcing other laws, to ask about a person’s immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.
“They could stop me and ask to see my papers,” Soria said. “I have to stand with my Latin community on this.”
The Mexican-born Gallardo said he has talked with Soria and San Diego’s All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez about the Arizona law.
“We don’t agree with it,” Gallardo said. St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols said he opposed the law, and Valverde called it “dumb.”
Several All-Stars avoided the topic.
“That’s a political thing,” New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said. “I don’t have anything to say about it. They already made a decision. If I say anything it’s not going to make any difference.”
“Wrong guy,” teammate Alex Rodriguez said, pointing to other players in the interview room.
A.L. WINNING OFF FIELD, TOO
The American League’s dominance of baseball’s annual showcase extends to their paychecks: The A.L. team makes 45 percent more than the National League.
The 33 A.L. players originally picked for tonight’s make an average of $2.77 million more than their N.L. counterparts, according to the annual data compiled by USA Today. The New York Yankees boost the A.L. figure, with six players from the defending World Series champions making a combined $104.3 million, or 35.2 percent of the league’s total.
The A.L. has been dominant since interleague play started in 1997, with more wins 10 of the 14 seasons. The A.L. has won eight of 13 World Series and 12 of 13 All-Star Games, with the one exception a tie in 2002.
WOULD-BE BUYERS SUE RANGERS
The group backed by Major League Baseball to buy the Texas Rangers sued the team Monday, hoping to force the long-delayed sale and put a halt to the fresh round of bidding that was opened up unexpectedly in the team’s bankruptcy case.
The lawsuit filed by Hall of Fame pitcher and team president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg accuses the Rangers of breaching their purchase agreement with the group. It is the latest twist in a complicated and occasionally ugly fight over the Rangers.