December 14, 2005

Cuba denied participation in World Baseball Classic: "Generally speaking, the Cuba embargo prohibits entering into contracts in which Cuba or Cuban nationals have an interest."

posted by mkn to baseball at 11:09 PM - 42 comments

Well the head of the MLB Players Assoc. thinks differently. "I do not think that is a serious impediment," Orza said, adding he was "very, very confident that the Cubans will play." Strange the cbc article didn't include his statement.

posted by catfish at 12:03 AM on December 15

I think Orza said that before the decision was made by the guvmint on the assumption that the Treasurdy department wasn't going to block Cuba. There'll be a Cuban team one way or another. Either Cuba will send a team or a team will be constructed of defectors. There's something like 100 Cuban players in the majors and minors.

posted by panoptican at 12:49 AM on December 15

I had no idea that Cuba's Finest Florist adversited via Google.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:24 AM on December 15

This is ridiculous. First they deny Cuba from sending doctors to help in the Katrina tragedy, especially when our own government flubbed it. Now they won't them even play baseball here. I know the sport is sacrosant here, but c'mon. Are they afraid the Cubans will bug first base and plant a spy on third?

posted by roberts at 05:04 AM on December 15

I never read all the details when this whole thing started .....but to think that Cuba is excluded......That kinda spits some bacca juice on the whole idea of "World Classic"....and the winner never gets the best cigars to smoke.....pity...

posted by gfinsf at 07:33 AM on December 15

The Bushes can't resist pandering to the Cuban exile community here in Florida. The GOP needs them to win in a tightly contested swing state. I hope this decision is reversed, because the absence of Cuba will define the event, in the same way that the '80 and '84 Summer Olympics are remembered for the countries that boycotted.

posted by rcade at 07:34 AM on December 15

The level of ignorance amazes me . The athletes of Cuba have nothing to with the politics of the current regime ,and furthermore ; Castro seems to have more compassion than Bush or any of the other so called world leaders of "so called " democratic nations . The world " bullying " posture of the US has gotten old and time worn . Enough already , we are starting to look more like Superhypocrites than a superpower . Meddle elsewhere in things that have meaning .

posted by alvinthefirst at 07:35 AM on December 15

No sir, I don't llike it. I suspect this will not be the case come playing time.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:02 AM on December 15

Seems like everyone is of the same opinion- the idea of a WORLD classic loses its appeal and validity when you start excluding nations based on political issues.

posted by Bury Bonds at 08:25 AM on December 15

Hey everyone, this has nothing to do with the athletes, baseball or anything. This is politics. Plain and simple. However; I am sick and tired of watching the rules being bent for sports. This is the law. The U.S. govt. has an embargo with Cuba. There is a Federal Law that a contract cannot be entered into with Cuba. That is the LAW. Maybe we should start respecting the law more than we should pander to our need for sports.

posted by mcstan13 at 08:39 AM on December 15

Maybe the LAW should start making sense. What a stupid, useless and oft ignored, politically irrelevant embargo.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:54 AM on December 15

Have any of the people in Washington read a history book or even a newspaper. The way you defeat communism is to bombard it with capitalism. Worked against the Soviets is starting to work with China. Isolating it is counter productive, because it allows it to operate without being as subject to forces of the market. The ignorance of our elected officials countinues to boggle the mind.

posted by Fade222 at 10:05 AM on December 15

Mass foolishness. I expect that they will be allowed to play, they let them come here a few years ago to play the O's if I recall. Does the last sentence in the article mean that they cannot play in PR?

posted by sfts2 at 10:12 AM on December 15

mcastan....If it is the LAW, is the US the agent??....Don't we fight Cuban boxers in the Olympics??....What is the difference here....?? Just kills me to think that you believe what you said....Are you related to GWB???? Got a whole lot of things going there....but this is not about politics or is it????

posted by gfinsf at 10:30 AM on December 15

I suspect Jesse Helms is the only one who really still cares about this. What say we just don't tell him?

posted by chicobangs at 10:37 AM on December 15

I guess they could get around it by having all of Cuba's games played in the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Us Canucks have no problem with Cuba and would LOVE to see them play baseball. Where was the uproar when the Cuban baseball team played against the Orioles a few years ago?

posted by grum@work at 10:44 AM on December 15

gfinsf -- If you do a little research you will see that there is one major difference between the Olympics and the WBC. The WBC was created and run by MLB and the MLBPA, these two organizations are U.S. companies and they are therefore bound by U.S. trade laws. The IOC is not. Do I personally agree with the decision -- NO. I think that baseball has nothing to do with a trade embargo. However, the law states that a U.S. company cannot enter into a trade contract with Cuba. Whatever our feelings are; that is the law. The only way to change it is to change the law. But here again. We are going to make allowances in the law simply for athletes. I just think that it is funny that the same people that say the law needs to be enforced equally on athletes as it is on the general public are probably the same ones that are complaining about this decision. It all fits in the same mold. P.S. If GWB is about upholding the law, then yes I am all for him!!!!

posted by mcstan13 at 10:45 AM on December 15

The law should always be about truth and justice. It is because of narrow minded mcnuggets for brains that we have lost that basic principle. And nowadays, as a great man once said, the law sir, is an ass.

posted by RedStrike at 11:16 AM on December 15

If Cuba is denied, then the tournament has no legitimacy. I'm not saying they will win it, or even make the semi-finals. But baseball is religion in that nation more than it is even in the United States, and that team has repeatedly won World Championships, Olympic Games, Pan-American Games, etc. If they are not allowed to participate, then the tournament is a sham highlighted by political nose-picking. And baseball fans around the world know it.

posted by the red terror at 11:17 AM on December 15

mcstan....Well stated....you win.......but in the pit of your being.... isn't this just stupid??....."Can't we all just get along"....??....for a baseball game.....laws are laws but sometimes they are changed....and sometimes for the better.....I just hope we do not look like idiots to the world for a law about a baseball game.....Think we have enough people questioning some other things......but another day another place......not here.....

posted by gfinsf at 11:22 AM on December 15

gfinsf You type the way Christopher Walken talks.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:43 PM on December 15

Here's another interesting one: FIFA: Iran will be at World Cup - http://www.tsn.ca/tsn/news_story.asp?id=147070 FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - FIFA will not kick out Iran from next year's World Cup despite calls from German politicians for it to be excluded because the country's president denies the Holocaust.... The calls to banish Iran from the event in Germany came mostly from the opposition Greens party, although they had been supported by parts of the media and members of the country's ruling coalition. ''A country with such a president, who is driving the country into isolation, has nothing to do at the World Cup,'' said Angelika Beer, a Greens member of the European Parliament.

posted by loquax at 01:01 PM on December 15

The ruling came from a government agency enforcing the law. In the past years we have seen the Embargo against Cuba stretched and ingnored.( when the Cuban team played the Birds) I wouldnt be shocked if an exception was made in this case. When play opens, you will see Cuba Playing.

posted by daddisamm at 01:20 PM on December 15

gfinsf -- like I said. I personally think it is stupid.

posted by mcstan13 at 01:41 PM on December 15

Basesball talk in December = marketing scheme. I can't imagine MLB planning on Cuba playing without some confirmation from the us gov't. Say it ain't so Bud.

posted by catfish at 02:30 PM on December 15

If Cuba is banned, I hope that many other countries boycott this sham of a tournament. I'd love to see it turn into the baseball equivalent of the U.S. Grand Prix, with three teams battling it out and fans staying away in droves.

posted by rocket88 at 02:47 PM on December 15

If you've never read Bill Granger's The New York Yanquis, check it out. Pretty funny stuff. Oh, and the Cubans should be allowed to play, but mcstan's right -- the embargo would apply in this situation. What say the U.S. just drops the whole stupid stance and throws a big fat party for Fidel at the event?

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:37 PM on December 15

Why didn't the so-called law and embargo apply when the Baltimore Orioles played a home-and away series against the Cuban Nationals?

posted by the red terror at 03:52 PM on December 15

This is the law. The U.S. govt. has an embargo with Cuba. There is a Federal Law that a contract cannot be entered into with Cuba. That is the LAW. Maybe we should start respecting the law more than we should pander to our need for sports. People who say they respect the law and like eating sausages shouldn't see either of them being made. And if the law is wrong, unjust and unfair, it is your duty to oppose it.

posted by owlhouse at 04:45 PM on December 15

Cubanet.org, check out the news from Cuba. I don't think it is appropriate to "throw a party for Fidel" This man is one of humanities biggest disgraces.

posted by tselson at 05:21 PM on December 15

Hater, the Christopher Walken comment, I could hear his voice in my head as I reread the post...Hilarious and creepy at the same time.

posted by tselson at 05:23 PM on December 15

Allowing Cuba to play can actually have an adverse effect on Cuban's regimen. Imagine how badly "Castro" would look once his great players defect..... If this is about politics, then let them play... if it isn't about politics... then let them play as well. If it's about the LAW, then how come Cuba was able to play a few years ago versus a MLB team right here in the States? What has now changed? Let Cuba play, and then let their players defect..... what better scenario can there be to sham its communist dictator?

posted by zippinglou at 06:03 PM on December 15

/sprays fire extinguisher on lexical parsing engine

posted by yerfatma at 06:44 PM on December 15

Castro loves baseball and would love to showcase his athletes the same way Hitler did in 1936 at Munich. Reason enough to deny this tyrant any pleasure in his final days.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 06:59 PM on December 15

except as zippinglou pointed out how much cooler would it be to see his entire infield and half of his pitching staff defect.

posted by Fade222 at 09:13 PM on December 15

Plus, we all know how that worked out for Hitler in 36. Jesse Owens anyone.

posted by Fade222 at 09:15 PM on December 15

Lets not get into politics here , In WORLD Opinion ,GWB ranks between Hitler and Vlad Tepes on the likeability scale . Fidel Castro is actually more popular in many parts of the world . All that aside , I think the bullying has gone too far , next GWB will be banning " I Love Lucy " reruns because Desi hails from Bobba looo , Cuba . Leave the sports to the athletes and fans and leave the politics to the politicians and don't mix the two .

posted by alvinthefirst at 09:50 PM on December 15

Lets not get into politics here GWB ranks between Hitler and Vlad Tepes on the likeability scale Well, which is it? Not get into a political discussion or voice you political opinion? No matter whay anyone thinks of Bush, to compare him to Hitler is downright insane, irresponsible even.

posted by willthrill72 at 10:13 PM on December 15

Well, which is it? Not get into a political discussion or voice you political opinion? No matter whay anyone thinks of Bush, to compare him to Hitler is downright insane, irresponsible even. Ditto

posted by STLCardinalfan at 11:32 AM on December 16

"No matter whay anyone thinks of Bush, to compare him to Hitler is downright insane, irresponsible even." I might have agreed with you. But Bush has no problem comparing toothless tinpot dictators to Hitler, so the comparison is fair game. Bush has a wehrmacht. Bush has his Office of Heimat Defense, employs rhetoric and proganda techniques straight out of the playbook of Josef Goebbels, claims to be fighting a war of civilization, uses shock & awe ("sturm und drang") to invade sovereign nations (blitzkrieg) on trumped-up charges promising liberation to Poland (oops, Iraq), occupies a nation militarily, sets up torture camps, secret police and detention centers, ignores the Geneva Convention, bombs innocent civilians, used chemical weapons against civilians violating international banned weapons treaties, is faced by a homegrown resistance in an occupied nation, marginalizes opponents as treasonous traitors, cloaks himself with the flag and Jesus Christ. Both were democratically elected leaders who dressed-up in military uniforms -- something no American president had ever done when elected to office prior to Lord Bush -- not Washington, not Grant, not Roosevelt, not Eisenhower -- and they were genuine veterans with military leadership experience. I could go on. The only significant differences between the two men are that one spoke German, the other spoke Texan; the Fuhrer actually served in a military campaign, whereas the War President dodged his service, and the death camps. But it is instructive to remember that when the Allies went to war against Hitler, the West did not know about the death camps -- they went to war against Hitler in spite of the death camps. The Holocaust was discovered to the world's horror after Hitler's wehrmacht was crushed. There was plenty of reason for the West to hate Hitler without knowing about that. Now, you may think all of this a stretch, and yes, that is true. But it is equally true that in many respects the War President has far more similarities to the Fuhrer than many of the toothless Manchean Dr. Evil's that he goosesteps around pointing accusing fingers. Since Bush opens the pandora's box comparing toothless thugs to the 20th century's worst monster, he steps right into inviting the comparison himself.

posted by the red terror at 02:26 PM on December 16

I might have agreed with you. But Bush has no problem comparing toothless tinpot dictators to Hitler, so the comparison is fair game. Get help.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 06:00 PM on December 16

Gotta back STL up here. I am no fan of the current administration, but if you are willing to compare GWB to Hitler, you're glossing over a terrible evil by comparing it to some dumb clown.

posted by yerfatma at 09:11 PM on December 16

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