Catfish Have That International Look

The first part of the week saw thousand, maybe millions - some illegal, some legal- take to the streets to protest the proposed changes in the immigration laws. In may cases, businesses shut down, either because they had no workers or because they were sympathetic to the cause.

Baseball players showed up for work as usual, regardless of their personal feelings in the matter. That was a particularly good thing for Columbus for a check of their 25-man roster shows that 12 of them are from other countries. So, if they had decided to join the protest and declined to play, the Catfish probably would have had to forfeit.

There are currently five citizens of the Dominican Republic, two Mexicans, four Venezuelans and one Australian playing for Columbus at the present time. It should be noted that all are in this country on work visas and are therefore quite legal.

The Dominicans are pitchers Mario Alvarez, Marlon Arias, Arismendy Castillo and Miguel Sanfler plus shortstop Juan Rivera. Pitcher Alberto Bastardo, catcher Juan Apodaca and infielders Eduardo Perez and Mario Soto come from Venezuela while pitchers Jesus Rodriguez and Francisco Felix are from Mexico. First baseman David Sutherland is the Australian.

While major league players enter the country on special artist visas, the same as, say, actors or singers, that's not the case for the minor leaguers. They have to get on a list which encompasses every other type of occupation. So, in effect they're competing with, say, the guy who's now working in your garden for a legal pass into this country. And that number is limited. When the list is filled, no one else need apply.

It should also be noted that infielder Ivan DeJesus, Jr, is also with the Fish but he's a Puerto Rican which makes him a U.S. citizen and not subject to immigration laws. And outfielder Sergio Pedroza and pitcher Matthew Gomez de Segura were both born in the USA.

Dodger fans didn't need the World Baseball Classic to show them that it's very much an international game. But, even in this sport, there are those limitations.