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Miguel Batista's view on immigration law and baseball

Among Nationals players, reliever Miguel Batista is the most intimately connected to the players' union's denouncement of the recently passed immigration law in Arizona. Batista is an MLBPA board member who owns property in Arizona, where he once played for the Diamondbacks.

Batista, a 16-year veteran who is a native of the Dominican Republic, said today he could envision a scenario in which at least a partial boycott of the 2011 All-Star Game, scheduled to be held in Phoenix, plays out. He also said, "We know that, as a union, striking is the last resort. We always try to negotiate."

But Batista, a bright man who has written novels about crime and punishment, can see how not moving the 2011 All-Star Game from Arizona could provide complications.

"I'll give you an example," Batista said. "Let's say next year, the All-Star Game is in Arizona. ... You've got a guy like, let's say, Vladimir Guerrero. He can barely speak any English. They say, 'You've been invited to go to the All-Star Game.' He sends a letter to Bud Selig and says, 'I don't want to go to the All-Star Game. I don't want to take a chance to be arrested for walking down the street.' What can Bud Selig say? You can't tell a guy not to be afraid. If people want to see him in the All-Star Game, what's going to happen?"

Batista believes the union has a right to intercede in a political issue because the law could affect large numbers or foreign players.

"The law that has been proposed affects our members," Batista said. "It doesn't matter if it's political or not political. We're going to protect our members. We do it against the owners. We've done it against Congress in the past on labor rights. It's the same thing."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 13, 2010; 7:10 PM ET
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i see history is repeating itself in weird ways...

Posted by: willfacc10 | May 13, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"The law that has been proposed affects our members," Batista said.

Miguel, I know you've been busy with your day job, but the Arizona law hasn't merely been proposed, it's been enacted.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 14, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

To Meridian1, I would stake a fair chunk of change on Batista being smarter than your dumb @##. So lecture him in print if you like numchuck, or try me.

Posted by: Juliasdad | May 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

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