...one of the juiciest rumors of the late 1980s was that the Toronto Blue Jays and their ingenious general manager, Pat Gillick, were plotting to sign Linares and have him play only home games in Canada.But stupid politics. Stupid, archaic, lobby-driven notions of danger, stupid ideology. Cuba ceased being any kind of threat to the United States when the Soviet Union fell into the abyss of fallen empires, yet we still have a stupid embargo which has done nothing to change the situation - it has only impoverished a nation of people. And now, after all of the years of dictatorship and poverty, when Cuba seems so close to joining the twenty-first century in the global economy, one can only wonder when the Castros die, will the beautiful island country that breeds baseball players go the way of Haiti, the most dangerous country on Planet Earth? Will the deaths create a power vacuum that will turn the island into a warzone? Will a potential Hall of Famer choose a gun over a bat?
I love international tournaments because we get the opportunity to see the Cubans play ball. It's the only chance we get. I was hoping that the USA would play them in the title game, but Cuba is out and I'm not sure the USA, with its disrespectful attitude towards the WBC, will win another game. (I know that since both teams advanced, the USA-Venezuela game didn't matter much, but Davey Johnson didn't even try. He left Guthrie in even as he was getting pummeled to "get his work in." This is the second time it's happened - the first was with Peavy. And speaking of Venezuela, MLB Network announcers need to shut up about how Magglio Ordonez is a friend of Hugo Chavez. Chavez is not the Hitler Fox News makes him out to be. Stupid politics. Stupid tangents.)
The amazing thing about Cuba's elimination is the fact that since Castro took over, Cuba has never not been in the title game of an international competition. Never in 50 tournaments. Until now. They had won 43 of the 50 tournaments! That's dominance.
Hopefully this administration will finally normalize relations with Cuba and pave the way for Yulieski Gourriel (pictured above) to sign with the Cincinnati Reds (he can play short, right?). He's only 25 years old, so if we get him next year, there's still a lot of life left in those baseball legs! And I'd like to see the Miami franchise moved to Cuba, where people actually go to baseball games - oh, that would be some baseball vacation! You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday, they will join us, and the baseball world will be as one. Oh, yeah, and the greater world, too.