Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bush OK's Field of Dreams for Cuba...

After considerable pressure from other nations, the US relented and agreed to allow Cuba's baseball team to participate in the first World Baseball Classic.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the ultimate green light was given by none other than Little Havana's best friend, President George Bush.

Oops, expect the president and his brother to drop in the Florida polls...
Administration officials said the reversal of the position came after the president became directly involved. As a former partner in the Texas Rangers, they said, he knew immediately that there were ways to organize the high-profile exhibition games without aiding Castro's government.
The International Baseball Federation had threatened to withdraw support for the event if the Treasury Department did not relent and give Cuba "a licence to participate in the 16-team international competition," the Financial Times and other newspapers reported.

But you see, it turns out the only reason Cuba was denied the license in the first place is because the administration feared Cuba was going to make some $$$ on the deal; and don't you know, only pals of Bush in Major League Baseball (who obviously trump the folks in Miami) are allowed to do so.

So the league "and the players' union revised their application to guarantee that Cuba would not make American money by playing," and voila, the union was saved and the issue was resolved.

The games will take place in March in Puerto Rica, Japan and the United States; but before the agreement, even Junior Puerto Rico was making some noise. It had warned the US that without Cuba it would "withdraw as a host."

Some of the greatest baseball players have hailed from Cuba, from Camilo Pascual in the 50s and 60s, Miguel Cuellar in the 60 and 70s, Tony Perez and Luis Tiant in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and Orlando Hernandez, Livan Hernandez and Jose Contreras today.

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