Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

World Baseball Classic: World Class Hypocrisy

Cuba got Visas,so they will participate in
the first World Baseball Classic starting this
March 3 in Japan.
Some countries threatened to boycott if
Cuba didn’t come in, that was the epitome
of hypocrisy. For anybody that has really
followed baseball in the Caribbean is it a
joke !

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezPuerto Rico said that if Cuba was not allowed to
participate in this first World Baseball Classic
this March they would boycott the games with
Venezuela also making a threat.

Did you know that Cuba has not been permitted
to play in the Caribbean World Series since
1960 ?

Did you know Puerto Rico,Venezuela,México or
the Dominican Republic never threatened with
a boycott and they have kept participating in
this Caribeean Classic. The Caribbean World
Series begins next month in Venezuela.

The Caribbean World Series is held each year
since 1949 during the month of February
and is played among all the champions from
all the leagues. I worked the 2000 and 2001
Caribbean World Series as play by play
(English)language for Fox Sports International.
The Caribbean World Series is the best of the best in baseball from Caribbean countries plus México
and Venezuela, but it is very interesting that
for over 40 years Cuba has not been allowed to
play in the Caribbean World Series and NOBODY
has ever threatend to withdraw because Cuba
was not in it.

So, Cuba will be allowed to participate in the
World Baseball Classic and because the US
Treasury Department cannot allow a sports
team from Cuba to make money in dollars
from any event, the Cuban government to make
this “kosher”pledged to donate all their money
to the hurricane Katrina victims in the Gulf
States. There are not enough medicines in Cuba for the Cuban people but Castro is giving money to the USA. Great ! some people are saying inside

Everybody should be happy,fine and dandy that Cuba is in. Cuba’s players are little known here
in the United States. The only time you hear about a Cuban player in the US Media is when they
defect and sign contracts to play in the Major Leagues. On the average a Cuban player playing in Cuba makes $60 dollar per month, a Cuban player in the Major League makes an average of
$4.5 million dollars per season.
Do you understand why they defect ? I do.
But it is more than money. The best baseball players in the world all aspire to play in the USA where the best baseball is played in the world.
Just like If you were a great Soccer player you would want to play in the European leagues.

The favorites for this 2006 World Baseball Classic
in my opinion and looking at the rosters are:

2-Dominican Republic
4-Puerto Rico

…and then the rest of the 16 teams/countries.

The United States and the Dominican Republic
without a doubt have the most talent.
Barry Bonds,Roger Clemens,Alex Rodríguez,
Derek Jeter,Dontrelle Willis and company.

The Dominican Republic coudl also win it;
Pedro Martínez, Bartolo Colón,David Ortiz,Alfonso
Soriano,Miguel Tejada and Adrián Beltre, that’s just in the infield. Then comes Manny Ramírez and company in the outfield.

The representative of Venezuela could be the
next strongest team. With a bunch of Major Leaguers also like USA and Dominican. Venezuela
managed by the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox’s Ozzie Guillén have guys like Bobby Abreu,Freddy García,Omar Vizquel,Johan Santana,
just to mention a few.

Puerto Rico is loaded with catchers, Iván Rodríguez,
Benji, José and Yadier Molina, all catchers are in
the roster (I hope they can play other positions)
but Puerto Rico is not in the same class as
the first three I mentioned. However, the Puerto
Ricans have two solid stars in Carlos Beltrán and
Carlos Delgado, but their pitching is very short,that is why Cuban-born Liván Hernández wanted to
pitched for Puerto Rico but he was denied by the
powers to be in the WBC.

Mexico has some good players but not enough.
Vinny Castilla,Esteban Loaiza,Ricardo Rincón,
Benji Gil maybe Erubiel Durazo if he is 100%.

Japan of course with Ichiro Susuki leading the way
has a handful of good players.

Cuba is the wild card, nobody expects them to
win it all, although they are the reigning Olympic
champions, but they have never faced teams with
these type of talent.

Nobody has picked Italia, which will have Mike
Piazza as their catcher and clean up hitter. Bad
that Piazza could not hit in every inning, maybe
the Italians will have a shot.

The rest of the countries, are just a bunch of
countries that are honored and thrilled to participate but they do not expect to win anything
but the “good sportsmanship”trophy.

So let the games begin and hope that there are
no injuries. If a guy like a Barry Bonds or an
Ichiro Susuki or a Pedro Martínez gets hurt
in this first WBC, this will not only be the
first but maybe the last World Baseball Classic.

It in amazing to me how Major League Baseball
was so ignorant of the international laws that
they never really expected any problems with
Cuba coming in to play. That is like thinking you
can go to North Korea and do business just like
you can do business in Omaha.



1 Anonymous { 01.21.06 at 4:56 pm }

I like the Dominican lineup but I don’ t think that Pedro Martinez or Bartolo Colon will be available to pitch. The
Mets and the Angels don’t want their best pitchers to break down. The USA team will be loaded and can win it all.

As for the politics, I am sitting on the fence. I would love to see the Cuban players participate. However, I find it difficult
to let Castro into the party. If the United States can deal
with China and Russia, I find it hard to understand why
we haven’t resolved the issues between Cuba and the United
States. The time has come to get rid of communism in Cuba. It hasn’t worked for the Cuban people and will never work
for them.
Jerry Feitelberg
ps- sorry to digress- should be about baseball.

2 Anonymous { 01.28.06 at 12:47 am }


as always terrific comments on this subject –especially about the Caribbean World Series –not sure how the US sanctions affect the blackout of Cuban baseball

the truth is, no one should be banning Cuban baseball players, and I hope these players represent their heritage — Martin DiHigo was probably the finest baseball player who ever lived, yet he was unable to play in the US Major Leagues because he plaaayed before Jackie Robinson.–

there is no place which loves baseball more than Cuba — and ANY event which bars Cuban players is missing out

this week at Candlestick a large Mexican American turnout welcomed the Mexican national soccer team –great pride among the fans for their team, jubilation when the winning goal was scored — and just like that, I hope every Cuban and every Cuban American will support their team in March, and be proud of the success they will accomplish there.

Cuba, que linda

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