Listen to the world about Cuba can’t play WBC

No matter where you are and who you are, almost all people who care about baseball are against the decision made by U.S. Government last week.

From Pete Alfano of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he mention that “Politics rain on baseball’s parade,” “Raise your hand if you thought the Cold War was over.”

“By the way, doesn’t the United States compete in Olympic Games that include nations that we believe harbor, recruit and / or train terrorists?” “What’s the big deal about Cuba?” “Baseball is the national pastime in that country. President Fidel Castro is willing to field a national team and risk even more defections. Cuba is willing to play even though defectors such as Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez would not be in its starting rotation.”

“We understand that there’s too much history in the world to ever remove politics from sports. Nonetheless, the international sports movement needs to adhere to its idealistic approach, even if it’s perceived as naive. And the United States should reconsider its decision. Right now, we’re just the grinch who stole the World Baseball Classic from Cuba.”

From Phil Sheridan of Philadelphia Inquirer, he said “Barring Cuba from baseball tourney embarrasses U.S.”

“WBC won’t be great for baseball or anyone else if the U.S. government doesn’t change the foolish ruling that would keep baseball-mad Cuba from participating. ”

He also suggests “MLB should announce that the World Baseball Classic will include Cuba or it won’t be played at all.” And “The easiest thing in the world is for the former owner of the Texas Rangers, George W. Bush, to make a phone call and reverse this policy. The sooner the President or one of his aides does so, the better.”

One point is interesting: “The funny thing is, you would think it would be Fidel Castro who didn’t want his national team coming to the United States. Cuba has already been embarrassed by the defections of star players such as Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez. By shutting Cuba out, Castro could claim to his people that the United States was simply afraid of losing. And we’d be in no position to argue with him.”

“It will be worse for everyone if a well-meaning enterprise is undermined from the beginning by political stupidity. A tournament with a chance to unite and excite baseball fans all over the hemisphere would divide and embitter instead.”

From The News & Observer, Sean Higgins said “Shouldn’t America’s Pastime bring the Americas together?”

“I think it is time we be proactive and seek reconciliation with Cuba, rather than our current policy of ‘wait until Castro dies and hope for something better.’ What message are we sending to the Cuban people? They share our continent, our history, our roots and our blood. Play ball!”

From, Matthew Ross said “Ridiculous and thoughtless by the U.S. government in that regard.”

“We can’t forget about Cuba being banned by the U.S. treasury department from participating in the World Baseball Classic. Are you kidding me? I can understand a ban being instituted in light of political policies, but why couldn’t this have been dealt with a little earlier? Why not announce this in August, so that another nation could have taken Cuba’s spot. ”

From Alay Soler, the Cuban defector who signed a three-year $2.8 million deal in 2004 with New York Mets, Said “It’s too bad because the young guys can’t come here and show everyone what they have,” said Soler, whose repertoire includes a fastball, sinker, slider, changeup and occasional knuckleball. “Still, I’d like the U.S. to put together a Cuban team that I can play for and represent my country that way.”

From Morning Sentinel, it said “Ridiculous. The U.S. Treasury Department provided further evidence Friday that it is time for the United States to end its embargo against Cuba.”

“The embargo serves no purpose. It has not toppled Fidel Castro, and will not do so in the future. It has not gained support from other nations, and will not do so in the future. It has not isolated Cuba from the rest of the world; other nations have normal relations with Cuba.”

From Evansville Courier & Press, “Treasury should reconsider.”

“At the worst, the ban on Cuba, if it stands, might cause other countries to boycott the tournament. At the best, the tournament would have to be redrawn so that Cuba plays its rounds outside the United States. We could be treated to the spectacle of the United States being unable to host the international championship game of its own national pastime. To the rest of the world, the ban makes the United States look mean, petty and small-minded. Let the Cubans play.”

From The Huffington Post, Sarah Stephens said “This decision on baseball neglects the universally recognized healing power of sport.”

“President Bush prefers “boomerang diplomacy” to “ping-pong diplomacy.” He would much rather stop Cuban and U.S. athletes from playing baseball together to keep the archaic and ineffective embargo against Cuba intact, than risk exposing our fellow citizens to an aspect of Cuba they would never otherwise get a chance to see. America gets nothing from punishing Cuba; the administration simply makes Castro’s ideological case against us: we end up isolated and looking unsportsmanlike all at the same time.”

From Winston-Salem Journal: “The Bush administration has once again employed its hard-line policy against Cuba and, as usual, the United States will suffer most as a result.”

“If this decision makes anyone happy, it is the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. He could not have asked for better propaganda fodder: The big gringo denies his little country a fair chance to compete.”

“Make no mistake, this decision is based on politics. This administration is beholden to Cuban-American hard-liners in Florida. To satisfy them, Bush has chilled what had been a warming trend in relations with Cuba.”

“There’s another reason Castro will smile about the decision: He knows his team can’t compete at this level. The Cubans have produced some good major-league players – pitchers Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez helped the White Sox win the World Series. But the Cuban team would have had a hard time surviving the tournament’s first round, having to play the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Now Castro doesn’t have to explain such losses. Instead, he can cry foul.”

“For a president who came to office saying he wanted to promote baseball, George Bush has just let his administration commit a big error.”

From Greg Stoda of Palm Beach Post: “Move ahead, as much as possible, without the politics.”

“The inclusion of Cuba in the World Baseball Classic would enhance the event by virtue of the sport’s revered tradition on the island nation. Also, the display of abundant Cuban baseball talent would elevate the level of the competition itself. Not that it’s a legitimate argument to put the team in the field, but who wants to listen to Castro’s predictable mewling about prejudice against Cuba’s national team based on fear of its excellence if it’s left out?”

“The U.S. has a choice in this matter, and it’s the choice between being inclusive through a show of open-borders baseball tolerance or being exclusive out of spite.”

“Cuba is scheduled to play its first game March 8 in Puerto Rico against Panama. President Bush, who once part-owned the Texas Rangers, should see that it happens. He could think of it as a step toward becoming Major League Baseball’s commissioner, which some folks think was his grandest ambition in the first place, straight from the White House.”

From Bob Matthews of Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, “In a perfect world, sports and politics wouldn’t mix. But it isn’t and they do.”
“It would be wrong to ban Cuba from competing in the Olympics on U.S. soil, and this athletic competition should be no different. The Cuban people on the communist island were looking forward to this event, and I applaud Fidel Castro for deciding to send his players to a baseball competition in which they wouldn’t be overwhelming favorites for a change.”

From Kevin Hench of “Baseball is about WHIP and OBP and OPS, not OFAC.”

“Has baseball suffered because some guys injected stanozolol? Sure. But if you really want to screw up sports, just inject some politics into it.”

“Isn’t the whole idea of winning the battle for hearts and minds to expose their people to our freedoms as often as possible? And by the way, legal or not, there are two Cuban-made products that Americans love to import: cigars and baseball players.”

“Let’s face it, international tournaments are Cuban athletes’ best chance for defection. Surely OFAC would relax the embargo if it meant we could squire away the next Zoilo Versalles or Tony Oliva or Mike Cuellar to a life of merit-based millions in the land of the free.”

From Marcos Bretón of The Sacramento Bee’s: “Like a pitch to the head/all reason is dead/sportsmanship loses/amid many bruises/to what we hold dear/no matter the year.”

“What in the heck does the Bush administration fear? We’ll do business with despots from hell but draw a phony line around a guy named Fidel.”

From Albor Ruiz of New York Daily News: “Erecting our wall of shame”

“In reality, the White House, always obsequious to the most recalcitrant elements of the South Florida Cuban-American community, was simply yielding to them once more. What is involved here though goes beyond baseball. It is another instance of Washington’s surrendering its Cuba policy to a small and politically powerful group of recalcitrant Miami Cuban-Americans.

“If the U.S. is interested in bringing freedom to Cuba, perhaps we ought to practice a little freedom ourselves,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican. “What sense does it make for the U.S. to punish Cuba for denying freedom to its citizens by ourselves denying Cuban citizens the freedom to travel to our country?”

From Guy Junker of The Tribune-Review: “Perhaps we are just afraid that a little island nation could beat us at our own game.”

“The United States should be embarrassed for banning Cuba from the upcoming inaugural World Baseball Classic in March. International competition is all the more interesting when it engages countries with vastly different political philosophies. If the Olympics were only held with countries who were friendly toward each other competing, they wouldn’t exist.”

From Dale McFeatters of Scripps Howard News Service: “The only problem with allowing a Cuban team into the country is that its players might defect, but that’s really Cuba’s problem, not ours. Castro will undoubtedly tell the Cuban people that the U.S. ban on their team was not out of principle but out of fear we’ll be beaten.”

From Doug Smock of Charleston Gazette: “Forget politics, George, let Cuba play baseball”

“Never mind that the Cubans were perfectly welcome at the 1996 Olympics. Never mind that Cuba’s soccer team was allowed to the last CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament recently in Seattle. And never mind that the Cuba embargo has been about as effective as a Tim Wakefield fastball. No soup for you, baseball team.”

“I understand that Cuba’s participation is not necessarily fair to the Cuban exiles pitching in the majors, set apart from their families for months, even years. Yes. But is there any benefit to barring baseball players whose only loyalty to Castro is probably coerced? Shoot, I argue that you are preventing players from defecting to the U.S., thus preventing the spread of freedom.

“Whatever the case, President Bush the baseball man should intervene.”

From Rene A. Henry of Huntington News: “The U.S. government has again insulted the world of sports.”

“Using sports – or art, music and culture – to retaliate where diplomats fail is unconscionable. President George W. Bush must listen to Philosopher George Santayana who warned that if we do not remember the past, we will be condemned to relive it.”

“President Bush must overrule the decision of Treasury Secretary John W. Snow. Otherwise U.S. international sports relations will further suffer irreparable harm. Chances are that other competing teams from the Caribbean and Central America – Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Panama – may retaliate and not participate.”

“Politics has no place in international sport. We especially don’t need interference from Washington politicians. It is time to let the games begin!”

From Tracy Press: “Major League Baseball should appeal the decision.”

“We agree with what Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos told The Washington Post, “It just sullies the hope of what this would accomplish. The main thing is celebrating and enjoying the game of baseball and bringing these nations together.”

From Mike Lopresti of USAToday: “Sport over politics. But not at the U.S. Treasury Department.”

“It has barred the Cuban team from entering the country for the first World Baseball Classic. Now, to help the home team’s chances, if the feds can only find a way to keep out the Dominican Republic ….”

From Frances Robles of Miami Herald: “Lawmakers: Let Cuba play ball”

“At least 100 members of Congress have weighed in on the controversial U.S. decision to deny Cuba a license to play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Most of them want Cuba to play ball.”

Eighty members of Congress signed letters to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary John Snow urging them “”not to take international politics to the ball field.’ ”Let’s just enjoy the game and put sportsmanship over politics.”

“New York Democrat José E. Serrano said through a spokesman that he expected to get another 20 members of Congress to sign the letter this weekend. In Florida, only Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) signed it.”

“Another 12 members of Congress wrote Selig asking him to follow an idea proposed by U.S. Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart: allow Cuban exile ball players to represent Cuba at the games. That idea was quickly rejected by MLB, because the rules require teams to be represented by a national baseball federation.”

From Josh Hansen of, “And here we thought the Cuban missile crisis was over.”

“It wouldn’t really make sense not to give players a chance to bet on Cuba when we still feel that Cuba could be playing,” says SportsInteraction’s Anthony Munnelly.

Maybe the Cuba will finally play World Baseball Classic, maybe not. Just hope baseball is baseball, politics is politics.

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  1. promote your music online free Says:

    Thanks for finally talking about > Listen to the world about Cuba cant play
    WBC | World Baseball Classic Blog < Loved it!

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