I have tried very hard not to inject politics into my posts. So far I've been pretty successful, despite being one of the most opinionated people I know.
This is a baseball site dedicated to my favorite team. However, Bush Administration policies have now invaded baseball directly, and I am mightily pissed off.
The Treasury Department just announced that the Cuban team will be denied the permits needed to perform in the World Baseball Classic scheduled for March, 2006.
Are they serious?
Yes, they are. For obviously partisan political reasons, Cuba will not be able to play because they are still governed by Fidel Castro and his band of merry Communists. And don't even try to spin this as something else, something technical, because it isn't.
Look, I'm not a big fan of Fidel Castro, but when it comes to baseball or sports in general, politics should stay the hell out of it. The Olympic boycotts were BS, but at least in those days the Cold War was on, and the Soviets seemed pretty menacing. How menacing is an island nation that drives around in rusting Studebakers?
So, the already controversial WBC will have no Cubans. If you need to be reminded, Cuba has produced some amazing ballplayers. The White Sox have had some notable Cuban players. Minnie Minoso, Orlando Hernandez & Jose Conteras come to mind. Keeping them out makes the competition a farce.
This stupid, petty, political manouver gives the US yet another black eye on the international stage. It allows Castro and his government to look like victims, makes the US look like a bully and, worst of all, makes it seem like we're afraid to play them on the baseball field.