Saturday, March 18, 2006

Viva La Revoluccion!!

Cuba has showed again why they are the world’s foremost power in baseball. With all the attention focused on teams sporting Major League studded rosters, it was the little Socialist island nation that broke through to the finals. It was the team that always wins that showed the world that the level of competition means nothing. They are the best against Little Leaguers. They are the best against college players. They are the best against minor league journeyman. They are the best against the Baltimore Orioles. Now, they are the best against 3 former MVPs a Cy Young winner, and a few close runners up to both awards.

It’s ironic that Cuba was almost barred from participating in this event, because of hard-liners in the US government. The international community threatened to blow the lid off the whole concept unless Cuba played, and for good reason. How can you claim to be a World Champion, if the reigning champ isn’t in the building?

I love this story line. Billions of dollars of Major League talent have washed down the drain in the World Baseball Classic. The US was humiliated in posting a controversy laden 3-3 record, which easily could have been 2-4. The Dominican Republic, everyone’s favorite (including mine), goes down in a fair match between the nations and in the process eliminates virtually every important Major League player from the WBC. Bud Selig must be spinning in his luxury box. Likewise, President Bush must be wincing at the knowledge that Fidel Castro may just be able to snub his nose at the American Empire looming over him, at least for one day.

We’ll get into the history of Cuban baseball a bit more in the Final Game Preview, including Castro’s days in as a top Major League prospect. For now, ponder Cuban victory.