You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
'Bad Hombres' film uses baseball to show the game of borders

'Bad Hombres' film uses baseball to show the game of borders

  • Updated

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — People have always crossed borders to play baseball, and the sport routinely reaches across borders to fans. But rarely do players have to cross a border almost every day to participate in a game they love while dodging the tensions and rhetoric around this imaginary line.

And that's what members of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, a binational professional baseball team with home stadiums in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Laredo, Texas, have to do.

A new Showtime sports documentary follows this AAA Mexican League baseball team that plays on both sides of the border amid the tension around immigration, divisive politics, and environmental concerns. “Bad Hombres” centers around the 2019 season of the Tecolotes as players chase dreams and a championship while avoiding drug cartel members who have lookouts in every city.

Players often cross the border by foot to each game with equipment in tow. They must also endure a militarized Mexico tank patrolling the parking lot of its Nuevo Laredo stadium in the midst of cartel battles. The team has to wear U.S. Customs and Border Protection patches at Laredo games sponsored by the federal agency.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s heated rhetoric about a border wall and promises to “close the border” threaten the team’s season. Immigrants fleeing violence in Central America land in both towns.

For two cities long connected by economies and families, the Tecolotes serve as a welcome uniter — even just for nine innings.

Second baseman Juan Martinez of Los Angeles watches the turmoil while also trying to concentrate on hitting a low-and-away slider to the opposite field. Aging catcher Luis Flores, 32, embarks on one of the best seasons of his career but must contemplate whether he should take a high school coaching job back in Del Rio, Texas, to be close to his young family.

Cather Cristian Mejia of Sinaloa, Mexico, takes calls from his mom, who pleads with him to stay inside during road games to avoid the violence in the street.

Of course, the faith of the season comes down to the last series against a rival.

Former Associated Press journalist-turned-filmmaker Andrew Glazer said he came up with the idea for the project after seeing a reference about the team in a 2018 New Yorker story about singer Alejandro Escovedo. The team gave him access to players during the 2019 season while Glazer also documented the news around the border.

“I wanted to take viewers on this immersive journey so they could see what I saw,” Glazer said. “I didn't want to change any minds but I wanted to share the truth.”

The documentary is scheduled to premiere Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

———

Russell Contreras is a member of The Associated Press’ Race and Ethnicity Team. Follow him on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/russcontreras

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0
0
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Sports
  • Updated

The Dodgers had played 5,014 regular season games and were in their 114th postseason game since Orel Hershiser struck out Oakland’s Tony Phillips for the final out of the World Series in 1988, the same year veteran lefty Clayton Kershaw — the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner who won Games 1 and 5 of this Series — was born in nearby Dallas.

Sports
  • Updated

Roberts did what his seven predecessors — including Joe Torre and Don Mattingly — failed to do, bring a championship to long-starved Dodgers fans. He joins Hall of Famers Walter Alston and Tom Lasorda as the only managers to do so.

Sports
  • Updated

Seager batted .400 with two homers, five RBIs and six walks against the Tampa Bay Rays, including a sixth-inning grounder that allowed Mookie Betts to speed home from third base with the go-ahead run Tuesday night in Game 6. The star shortstop jumped into the arms of second baseman Kiké Hernández after Julio Urías struck out Willy Adames to end a 3-1 win that clinched the championship.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alert

Breaking News