one of the sidebars to the protracted Carlos Delgado negotiations was whether he would continue his slient protest of refusing to stand during or otherwise acknowledge the playing of "God Bless America" that many stadiums have taken to ad nauseum during the 7th-inning stretch. it's amazing how much energy has been expended discussing this which just goes to show the effect that one small gesture can have. gladly, his new address in South Florida (and the $$$ thrown at him) will not change his tune, so to speak:
Delgado answered questions in English and Spanish on subjects ranging from championship rings and the courtship for his services to the Marlins' playoff chances now that he's their cleanup hitter.
Then he was asked about the war in Iraq. Delgado reaffirmed he's a Puerto Rican and U.S. citizen willing to stand up for his beliefs -- or, in his case, not stand up.
An opponent of the war, Delgado refused to stand when ``God Bless America'' was played last season at games involving his Toronto Blue Jays. Instead, he would stay on the bench or go into the dugout tunnel.
He said he'll continue his protest this season with the Marlins.
``I wouldn't call it politics, because I hate politics,'' he said. ``The reason I didn't stand for `God Bless America' was because I didn't like the way they tied `God Bless America' and 9-11 to the war in Iraq in baseball.
``I say God bless America, God bless Miami, God bless Puerto Rico and all countries until there is peace in the world.''
Marlins officials made no objection to his war protest.
``The Marlins don't support it, and we don't not support it,'' Samson said. ``He's an adult. The club's position is that what he does is up to him.''
i think the Marlins stance is the proper one. whether you agree with Delgado or not, he has a right to his opinion and a right to act in accordance with those opinions. those on talk radio and elsewhere who claimed that they didn't want Delgado playing for the Mets (or whoever) as a result of his views are the people who sicken me and are the reason we're all now subjected to the neo-fascism of the Patriot Act, et. al. to me, the overplaying of "God Bless America" is symptomatic of a larger ill that is conformity of opinion and action.
"The Star Spangled Banner" is already played before every game, giving everyone a chance to display their love of country and their inability to hit the high notes. remember a number of years ago when there was actually some momentum building behind the movement to stop playing the Anthem before games? i'd like to see anyone try to make that case now. meanwhile what could be more American than singing "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" during the 7th-inning stretch? and the Mets' playing of "Lazy Mary" (in Italian) during that time is always a highlight for me (the Yankees' abhorrent "Cotton Eye Joe" is another matter and should immediately be jettisoned for something less offensive like Toby Keith). let's get back to having each team create its own 7th-inning stretch traditions and stop having each game become a paean to the "War on Terror". i go to games to get away from all of that, not to endure constant reminders of failed foreign policy and a government where inveterate liars become Secretary of State.Posted by jamie at January 28, 2005 12:04 PM