Sunday, March 12, 2006

Cuba: Baseball and Politics

Catcher Ariel Pestano of Cuba speaks with pitcher Pedro Lazo during their 7-2 victory over Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

Baseball is a great lens for politics. Behold some of the mini-eruptions already in play surrounding Cuba, the US and the wonderfully compelling World Baseball Classic.

The largest noise came as the result of an engineered media stunt perpetrated by associates of The Real Cuba (Enrique Rubio) during the Cuba-Netherlands game. Even though this fella purposely changed seats in order to get his sign in the camera's sights (where it remained) and even though such political and offensive signs are never allowed, particularly not directly in the camera's view - this was played in the MSM and blogosphere as an example of Cuban's restricting "free speech." This despite MLB and WBC security clearly stating such signs are against longstanding sport policy.

Then in losing bad to Puerto Rico in a game that meant absolutely zilch, the "end of the Cuban baseball mystique" was prematurely declared by the ESPN announcers every 2 minutes. We were told the emporer has no clothes and that it's clear these "paper tiger" Cubans can't play with major leaguers. We heard idiotic political commentary from the ESPN booth, such as in socialistic/Communistic societies people don't get paid. We heard about phantom defections and "heavy security." The announcers went nuts about the supposed foul play of Cuba in headhunting Pudge Rodriguez - after PR had underhandedly stole a base Cuba was not defending with a 7 run lead. As I recall the PR pitcher was the one ejected.

But the drubbing Cuba eunleashed on Venezuela's MLB star packed lineup today is blamed on errors and poor coaching. It gets little notice for the major surprise it was for everyone, including me (except the announcers who displayed their shock all game). But no articles refer to a major upset - and the Cuban game was not mentioned during the later games.

On the other side, the US, playing in a much weaker bracket, wins a critical game on the account of a very rare (and totally incorrect) overruled call against a Japanese tag runner.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had been living in Cuba instead of LA do you think you could have posted such an idiotic comment on the internet? You never know what freedom of expression is until you lose it but stupid people always take it for granted.
I'll never understand leftists like you. Can you imagine what ,say, Bush would do if he had over the US the same power Castro has over enslaved Cuba. And still you keep supporting tyrants. Are you freaking mad??

5:52 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

Wrong buddy, my posting and Mr. Farinas' internet activity is different in one essential way. Mr. Farinas had been on the payrole of the US Government. His supposedly "independent" Cubanacan Press agency was really a front for - an organization that receives funding from the US Government (USAID and NED). All Mr. Farinas' "stories" appeared there. The 2 I found first were about the lights going out or someone upset they couldn't get fish one day... a real journalist.

Despite this, and the clear laws against receiving funding by the enemy government committed to regime change (the US), Mr. Farinas has not been charged with any crime. He is sitting in the hospital free to meet with his family and free to issue slick press releases that make it around the world. Mr. Farinas' sobb story made it into the US' 2006 "Human Rights" report that was released a few days ago - and was primary justification for us saying that things are getting worse on the island - thereby justifying the embargo. That is serious business when billions are lost each year beacuse of it.

Doesn't the fact that this guy is fighting for the right to his old email address tell you something else. That is that anyone can have an email address in Cuba. It is something that is taken away only if you engage in enemy propoganda, which has very important aims.
You are simply naive if you thnk this is about the ability to access information on the net. This is about the ability to work for a hostile enemy government.

7:17 PM  

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