I make an argument for "Raceball" as a strategy for attracting free agents, creating team chemistry, and changing your team's "culture."
How fitting that on the day after Super Tuesday Mets fans will finally get to meet the man who will likely be their president for the next seven years, Johan Santana. Finally Mets fans get to see their new star in the flesh. They get to hear the new voice in the clubhouse. And they get to taste the dulce de leche icing on the latin cake GM Omar Minaya has cooked up in Queens.
Of course if we had a crumb for every article explaining how this moment came to fruition we'd be able to cure famine across the universe. But really all you need to know is this: Johan Santana wanted to be a Met. After all, this was a man with a no trade clause to control his destiny. He didn't have to go anywhere he didn't want to go, and he could wait a year to sign wherever his heart desired.
But his heart desired to play in the Latin Disneyworld in Flushing. And why not? There's money, opportunity to win, and a lot more players speaking his language. On Minnesota last year there was one Spanish speaking regular, Luis Castillo (who incidentally was traded to the Mets, much to Santana's discontent), and a couple players total. On the Mets there are five regulars, including Luis Castillo, and more than half the roster can roll their "r's" with ease.
In March of '05 NY Magazine profiled Minaya's building of a "Latin Dream Team" and positioned him as a contrarian to the popular Moneyball, a book with the tagline: "The art of winning an unfair game." Three years later the Johan Santana signing may be the final crowning chapter for the would-be manual on Raceball: The art of using racism to create a winning culture...
How Racism Landed Santana [AOL Fanhouse]