Mexican And American Fans Came Together For A Weekend Of Baseball And Celebration In Mexico

On Cinco de Mayo weekend, the San Diego Padres hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Estadio de Beisbol in Monterrey. The three-game matchup, dubbed the “Mexico Series,” marked the third time a regular season series was played in Monterrey, Mexico.

There was a buzz in the city, from the Macroplaza, where the MLB Fan Fest was being held…

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… To the stadium, where Dodgers fan favorite Kiké Hernandez showed off a few moves during batting practice.

Mexican star Christian Villanueva, who plays third base for the Padres, was all business:

Fans at the stadium got hyped when Dodgers third baseman came out to sign autographs.

They had a reason to by hyped: it was the first time in 19 years that Major League Baseball was played in Monterrey.

A large contingent of U.S. fans also made the trip to Monterrey, and we caught up with several fans who couldn’t pass up a chance to see their favorite team play in Mexico.

Hilda Valencia and friends – Los Angeles, California.

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Hilda Valencia, who grew up playing softball says she thought “the set-up was perfect.”

“Being Mexican-American and coming from a first generation family with traditional parents, it’s just something that you wanted to come and experience.”

Valencia says she was intrigued to see how Mexican fans react: “We walked in and there was an older guy and his dad and he asked us to take a photo of them. It warms your heart. You know that baseball is a worldwide sport and when you see that, it warms your heart.”

Christopher Rodriguez and family – San Diego, California.

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Christopher Rodriguez, whose family is from San Diego, made the trip to support his childhood team: “We wanted to come out here and make some noise.”

Rodriguez says he became a fan during his teenage years in San Diego. “We started going to Qualcomm Stadium first, before Petco Park was built, and that’s how it all started. In right field, with Tony Gwynn, who used to play out there. Now, my son’s here with me and he’s following my footsteps.”

Vicente Reyes and friends – Los Angeles, California.

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As a child, Vicente Reyes bonded with his father over baseball: “My dad used to play in a Sunday league back in L.A. and growing up, we didn’t have cable TV, so what I would do is wait for him to get home from work and we would listen to [Los Angeles Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster] Jaime Jarrin on the radio. That’s how my love with baseball started.”

Reyes is no stranger to following the Dodgers on the road: he says he attended 104 MLB games last year. “I’m already into the 20s starting May, so I’m planning and hoping to attend more than 120 games this season,” says Reyes.

Edgar Soto and friends – San Diego, California.

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Edgar Soto says baseball runs in his family: “It was a rite of passage to become a baseball fan, even most of my family members are Dodgers fans. Since I’m from San Diego — born and raised — I’m a Padres fan.”

Soto says he and his friends couldn’t pass up a chance to see their favorite team play in Mexico. “A city like Monterrey, obviously you want to come and visit, so we wanted to kill two birds with one stone.”

Soto and friends, who have followed the Padres for games in Los Angeles and Phoenix, says they’ve already got another city in sight: “San Francisco is our next trip.”

Randy Barragan and family – Downey, California.

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Randy Barragan said the Mexico Series was a bit of a no-brainer: “I have family here in Monterrey and we’re big Dodger fans so we put two and two together and made it a trip.”

Barragan, a big fan of the Tommy Lasorda-era Dodgers, says his father was a big influence on his love of baseball. “My dad, he would buy the mini plans — five or six games — and then he got me into the Jr. Dodgers Kids Club, where you paid a fee, mailed it in and you would get stickers and little pens and stuff like that. So my dad got me into it.”

Rafael Millán & Eric Gonzalez – San Diego, California.

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Rafael Millán says he wanted to experience a Major League game outside of the United States. “You know, I wanted to be out with my fellow Mexicans and just enjoy a good baseball series.”

He says the vibe has been positive: “We flew in yesterday, and people have been great — open arms, very warm.”

Eric Gonzalez, who used to visit Monterrey frequently as a child, says his roots drew him to the series. “My dad is from Monterrey so I definitely wanted to see my home team play in my dad’s home land. So it was definitely a must for me.”

Daisy Arce and Marco Sedano – Paramount, California

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Like others who made the trip, Marco Sedano says the timing of the series was perfect. “We’re big baseball and Dodger fans — she also has family here in Monterrey — so it’s perfect for a vacation.

Daisy Arce says her family grew up on baseball. “My family members are big baseball fans. My brother has played baseball since he was little and I played softball myself, so baseball was kinda instilled in us.”

Both Sedano and Arce said the trip was just as much about family as it was about baseball. “It’s pretty big, that’s why we came with like, 12 of us all that traveled from the U.S.”

William Hernandez and Adriana Hernandez – Whittier, California.

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William Hernandez says the Mexico Series provided an opportunity to visit Mexico, something he hadn’t done in a while. “I’ve always wanted to come out here. My parents are from Mexico. I don’t really come to Mexico too much and I just wanted to come out here — I knew the environment was going to be pretty sweet so I wanted to check it out.”

“So far, the environment here is crazy, it’s nothing you see anywhere else. It’s almost like a playoff environment for just a regular series.”

Mayra Salas and friends – San Fernando Valley, California.

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Mayra Salas says family was definitely a reason to make the trip, but she also wanted to experience the baseball culture in Mexico. “Seeing everything baseball has to offer, seeing different people come together for one thing, it’s pretty awesome.”

Salas, whose family rooted for Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela says she comes from a baseball family. “My grandpa played, my dad played, my great grandpa played, my son plays — it’s just in our blood.”

READ: The San Diego Padres Will Battle It Out With “Los Doyers” In Mexico

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Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

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Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

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President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the historic role of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico after a former Mexican army chief was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on drug charges at the request of the DEA.

The former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested by the DEA on drug charges.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedas was the secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. President Lopez Obrador claims that the arrest is proof of corruption from past governments.

President Lopez Obrador used the arrest to criticize the U.S. government and the DEA.

President Lopez Obrador, speaking at a press conference in Oaxaca, claimed that there is a double standard. While Cienfuegos Zepedas has been arrested by the DEA, the president claims U.S. officials have not been held accountable for trafficking arms into Mexico to track them to the cartels. According to the president, Mexican officials are being held at a higher and harsher standard than U.S. officials.

“Why is it that it’s just the people in Mexico who took part in these acts being accused or implicated, and (the DEA) aren’t criticizing themselves, reflecting on the meddling by all these agencies in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “They came into the country with complete freedom, they did whatever they wanted.”

The former defense minister’s arrest sent shockwaves through Mexico.

Cienfuegos Zepedas was the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be arrested in the U.S. with drug-related corruption. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport and will be facing drug and money-laundering charges. It’s been less than a year since Genaro Garcia Luna was charged with taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

President Lopez Obrador wants to protect the military’s reputation.

Lopez Obrador also said he hopes that the armed forces aren’t blamed for this scandal and that Mexico must take care of institutions as important as the Secretary of National Defense. Mexico does not currently have an ongoing investigation of the retired general and will await the result of the U.S. investigation, according to the president of Mexico. 

Cienfuegos Zepedas is due to make a court appearance related to four charges in California on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

READ: This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

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Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team


Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

tecolotes_2_laredos / Instagram

Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.

Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.

“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”

The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.

The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.

“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.

“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”

Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.

“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”

“Bad Hombres” is streaming on Showtime.

READ: Veronica Alvarez Is The Coach For The Oakland A’s And Her Presence Is Giving Girls A Chance To Pursue Baseball

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