Monthly Archives: October 2013

Not only MVP. Big Papi deserves the Red Sox C

Big Papi leads the team

Big Papi leads the team

For any Red Sox fan the 2013 season has been truly remarkable. Finishing 2012 among MLB’s worst seven teams, they now find themselves within one game of clinching the World Series, sharing MLB’s highest win percentage with the Cardinals.

This season will be remembered for many reasons, including the way the Red Sox played as a team, with premier and bench teammates playing their roles in the team’s best interest, without personality conflicts marring the efforts of the whole. The solidarity among players has been visible in their beards, reminiscent of the House of David barnstorming teams from the first half of the past century.

The playoffs were memorable, with grand slams by David Ortiz and Shane Victorino being just some of the highlights. And the World Series has not been less exciting. Games 3 and 4 will leave baseball fans with unprecedented memories, including a game-ending obstruction call in game 3 and the equally surprising game-ending pickoff of Kolten Wong in game 4.

These have been spectacular plays, changing within seconds the outcome of crucial games. But baseball is a game of both instant moments and the long haul. And in the latter David Ortiz is distinguishing himself in the record books. Five games into the series Big Papi has been batting an impressive 0.733 with a 0.750 OBP, placing him only behind Billy Hatcher whose numbers were 0.750/0.800 in the 1990 World Series. Continue reading

Migration and Exile in Latin American Music

“A los mojados les dedico mi canción”, Los Tigres del Norte

On Sunday, October 20 Mexico’s La Jornada ran several stories on the US Latin@ experience. Among them was one focusing on migration songs. The piece focuses mainly on Mexican corridos, a genre which, as Américo Paredes and María Herrera-Sobek have shown in their groundbreaking works, has been a vehicle to document the experiences of migrants and borderlands inhabitants almost since the moment of the US occupation of northern Mexico. Within the limitations of a short newspaper article, it discusses a good sample of this repertoire. Inspired by it, I’d like to share some of the actual songs discussed in the article and add a new dimension to it, incorporating others about migration and exile from other Spanish-speaking traditions. The list of this kind of songs is very long and I will not do justice to all, but I offer this as a sample of the music that exists. Some of them appear as embedded videos, others as hyperlinks within the text. Continue reading