Globalization has been instrumental in the growth of sports. As everyone knows sports are global and are a part of many different cultures. This can be seen more with baseball than any other sport, especially Latin and American countries. The major league baseball (MLB) pulls many different players from around those countries but also all over the world ranging from Japan to Ireland. While many countries are represented in the MLB there is one place that is known as a talent pipeline for baseball players. That place is called the Dominican Republic, a Caribbean country beside Haiti.
Alan Klein discusses the changes and relationship between the MLB and the Dominican Republic throughout his book Dominican Baseball: New Pride, Old Prejudice. Throughout the book, Klein discusses the differences and battles of the MLB and the Dominican baseball players. There is a power struggle between the power that the MLB holds and the poor Dominican baseball players. Klein does research on the MLB and Dominican players through personal knowledge, interviews and research on mass media. This book review will examine how the book portrays the MLB within the Dominican and how this is only one way to understand the relationship between the two.
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Klein uses a process called the global commodity chain (GCC), which exploits resources and produces them to consumers. He uses the process to show how the MLB exploits the Dominican players because they have nothing else on the Island. The MLB is exploiting these players because they can get them for cheap and get a higher rate of return on their investment.
In the Dominican, guys either play baseball and get a way out or they start working in the cannery. Since the MLB knows this they can offer baseball as a way out and let them take the chance for themselves without being help responsible. The league can say that they are doing the country good by bringing in jobs and good to the community. Klein (2014) states the player is both the goal and means of production (p. 30), which again shows that baseball is their only way out. Each MLB team offers an academy for prospects to define their baseball skills and give them educational needs.
Throughout the book, Klein discusses the baseball academies and has proficient knowledge on the matter. He discusses not only the academies themselves but how they search for talent, how they benefit both the player and the team and how they are structured. Because of this, Klein has a strong argument on his understanding of the academies making it a strength of the book.
The academies are there for the MLB to scout for new and rising players in the Dominican. They offer many resources to the adolescents that they would not have otherwise.
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