Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Venezuelan Baseball is Crippled (Update)

Happy New Year !

Not in Venezuela, where since

early December the Venezuelan

Winter League is “out of business”

because of the political chaos

in that country.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezIn Venezuela, as we speak, thousands

of people have taken to the streets

and have declared a General Strike

against the unpopular government

headed by Hugo Chávez. Many have

been killed in the streets and many

more have ben wounded as the people

of Venezuela are revolting against

Hugo Chávez. They are asking Chávez

to resign/leave power and therefore

their country to held free elections.

Chávez tendencies are Marxist, hence

his very good relationship with Cuba’s

dictator Fidel Castro. Cuba is the only

government in this hemisphere that

has pledge to support the Chávez

government in their fight to maintain


Last time Cuba (population 11 million)

sent troops outside the island was in

the 1980’S during the fiasco in Angola.

But Cuba is in no situation this time

to repeat that. Because Cuba is a

dictatorship, you will never see

demostrations in the streets of

Havana, when Castro send his

troops abroad). And also Cuba is

in the worse shape economically

that they have ever been in their

history since they declared their

independence from Spain in 1902.

Baseball is the only think “working”

in Cuba since comunism in that

island has been a royal failure.

Consider that most countries

in the world have relations and do

bussines with Cuba, yet Cuba’s

peso is not even in the finantial

radar worldwide. Castro has

been there for 43 years but he

cannot blame everything on the

American embargo or in the

tourists from Berkeley that visit

the island each year !

Cubans have free education and

free medical) but for that they

traded their soul to Fidel.

How many of you Democrats,

Republicans or Independents

will tell the US government,

yes I will trade free medical,

free education(including college)

but I can never be the owner

of my business, or travel freely

outside the US or say and write

what I want ?

In Cuba there is ONLY

one employer, the government.

Hugo Chávez has slated some of

his government early programs very

similar of those to Castro’s Cuba

and the people in Venezuela

are not swinging at Chávez

pitches (to use a baseball methaphor).

Even baseball is not that great in

Cuba, if you have a doubt ask

recently signed by the Yankees

Cuban pitcher José Contreras,

considered the best pitcher in

Cuba. He ask for political exile

while the Cuban National Baseball

team was playing a tournament

in Méjico last year. Contreras said

about defecting Cuba for the US:

“it is not the money only, in Cuba

I am owned by the government until

I die, I didn’t want to live like that”.

So, Chávez government reforms

similar to those of Cuba are not

working otherwise he would

have a very happy country and

that is not what I see on CNN

every day.

The Venezuelan Winter

League is cancelled until at least

the 10th of January and the 15th

of January would be the “last day”

to save the season.

Venezuela was hoping to send a

champion to this year’s 59th

edition of the Caribbean World

Series to be held in Puerto Rico

February 2 – 8. But the situation in

Venezuela is so bad, that the powers-

to-be in baseball are afraid for

the security of the players and

the fans.

The two teams that finished in

first place this 2002-2003 season

are Caracas 23-16 and Aragua

28-11. One solution could be

to declare these teams their

division champions, Caracas

(East) Aragua (West) to have a

short playoff and to send the

winner in time for the CWS in

Puerto Rico.

One organizer in Puerto Rico

told me just days prior to

Christmas 02″ “we will have

a Series in Puerto Rico regardless”.

I don’t think the CWS could be

played with only three countries,

it should be the regular four:

México,Puerto Rico,Dominican

Republic and Venezuela.

Puerto Rico could loose millions

of dollars if the 2003 CWS is

cancelled and as good olde Charles

O Finley used to say” money talks

bullshit walks”… I think at the

end there will be a Caribbean

World Series this year in

Puerto Rico. Unless Bud Selig

gets involved and he will

declare the Caribbean World

Series a tie !

After the CWS a lot of players

report to Spring Training in

Florida and Arizona. One of

those players is American

League MVP and A’S shortstop

Miguel Tejada who is presently

playing for the Aguilas del

Escogido of the Dominican

Republic. Tejada’s team, the

Licey Tigers who have won the

last four Dominican Winter

titles and have a total of eight

Caribbean World Series titles

(the most by any team/country)

was eliminated. But Tejada

was picked up as reinforcement

of the Aguilas team.

Venezuela is South America

#1 producer of baseball and

#1 producer of Oil (also in

South America) at the present

time with the General Strike and

the chaos in the streets of

that country baseball and

oil are both in very bad

shape. When I say South America

I mean the continent, since

Cuba,Puerto Rico,Dominican

Republic are Caribbean nations

and Mexico geographically is

not South America.

I have an easy prediction to

make. Baseball in Venezuela

will survive, but Hugo Chávez

is another story. As we all can

see in all newsrooms accross

America the top three foreign

stories are(in this order)

1-Posible war in Iraq

2-Tense situation in North Korea

3-Chaos in Venezuela

I will keep readers of this site

up-to-date on the Venezuelan

crisis. But If you really want to

see with your own eyes,

day-to-day, all you have to do

is watch the first 10 minutes or

so of international news on any

Television local or network station.

Hasta la vista amigos !


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