Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fidel Castro, Bud Selig, and Peter Angelos at game in Havana in 1999

Peter Angelos, Fidel Castro, and Bud Selig at Orioles-Cuba exhibition game in Havana, 3/28/99, photo from Baltimore Sun, ap, 11/13/09 11/13/2009, "Orioles vs. Cuba: Back to the future?" Baltimore Sun, Peter Schmuck.
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"I think the trip is great idea if Angelos and his whole family goes. Maybe Castro won't let them leave! That would be the best thing that could happen to the Orioles.

I attended the Cuba/Orioles at Camden Yards in '99. In fact, I still have the Program and tickets (which I had both autographed by Elrod Hendricks :). I was a bit embarrassed at the lack of enthusiasm displayed by the '99 team playing that game. And with Scott Kaminiecki assigned to pitch that game, the writing was on the wall.

Here are two questions, who pays for this exchange and how much will it ultimately cost? I would think that an organization which has bitterly complained about being unable to match the spending of rival clubs within its division while trying to rebuild and make substantial overtures to available free agents would be thinking about ways to CONSERVE funds, not ways to spend money on a pair of baseball games that will merit, at best, a footnote in a history textbook. This organization really has no idea about priorities, does it? The last pair of Cuban games led to ZERO free agents from Cuba signing with the organization and yielded no diplomatic breakthroughs so if those are the arguments for another round then they have to try a little harder to convince someone this is a good idea. "P" is for PUH-LEASE.

Yeah 11 straight losing seasons after those games, maybe it was a curse?

On a side note we have a problem with Cubas 50+ years of brutal dictorship, but no problems with China's brutal dictatorship. Maybe if we can get Castro to be willing to enslave his peasents to make cheap crap for Wal-Mart things will be different?

What impact, exactly, is this game expected to have that other international competitions with Cuba haven't had?

As for the hypocritical US policy toward Cuba, I really don't think that comes into play here. The hypocrisy with China doesn't change the fact that Castro is still a brutal dictator, and Angelos should be embarrassed to be photographed buddying around with him.

Furthermore, it probably hurts our chances at signing Chapman, as Angelos' friendship with Castro would probably make him disinclined to sign a freshly defected Cuban player.

Great picture for the article. Three dictators.


"But what about Bud Selig? He hardly can plead ignorance. In 1999 he accompanied the Orioles to Cuba to play the Cuban National Team. At the game, the Commissioner of Baseball sat beside Fidel Castro, who wore his military fatigues (Get it, America?).

You could see the worth-a-million-words video of the mostly forgotten episode on ESPN on Tuesday. Yep, Fidel and Bud, a couple of Presidents-For-Life, together, takin’ in a ballgame.

Selig, now 77, was very much an adult when Castro militarily installed himself as dictator (1959), stole the goods, livelihoods, homes and properties of both supporters and non-supporters, had the most stubborn and/or suspect executed or tossed, penniless, from their country.

Selig was an adult during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion (1961) and the Soviet-Cuban missile crisis (1962), when for two weeks American school children daily practiced nuclear explosion safety drills — as if crawling under desks would save them — and sought answers from adults as to why Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro want to blow up the United States.

So before we ask the Marlins then Ozzie Guillen how they can be so insensitive to Cuban-Americans — all Americans who value democracy — and how they can be so ignorant, perhaps Selig should be given the first shot to answer those questions.

The Marlins unilaterally suspended Guillen for five games, for whatever that’s worth. Good thing for MLB. If it had been left to Selig, what would or could he do? After all, as commissioner, he went out of his way — way out of his way — to sit beside Fidel Castro at an Orioles road game.

Still, Selig publicly and officially characterized Guillen’s spoken great regard for Castro as inexcusably “offensive” — especially “to the Miami community.” Why does that sound more like “bad for business” than “offensive?”"

"Loria and Samson — two pretty outrageous fellas on their own — wanted Guillen cursing up a storm, and drawing attention to himself and the team. They wanted the WWE-ification in their manager’s office as much as Woody Johnson craved the same with Ryan.

They hired a man who they knew was insensitive, thus reinforcing to Guillen that rash statements not only were fine, but encouraged. So Loria/Samson have the credibility of Capt. Renault in Casablanca stating, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
  • And one beat later being handed his winnings from the casino.

Loria/Samson thought they would be scooping up their own winnings by investing in an outrageous man without an editing valve named Ozzie Guillen. They should not be able to walk away as if they didn’t understand there was gambling going on with such a hire."

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  • The people who are causing Ozzie Guillen to fall all over himself apologizing are the right wing republican Florida Cubans (or at least their parents or grandparents may have once lived in Cuba) who helped get Bush elected/selected twice.
    In terms of dollars and human lives, Bush caused more pain in two terms than Fidel has in his entire lifetime – where is their outrage over that?
    Speaking of measuring pain, hasn’t the 50 year US embargo of Cuba caused more hardship for the people who are now living in Cuba than Cuba’s form of government has caused?
    The flag-wavers decry Castro for being a “Communist” while wearing all their made in China clothes and playing with their made in China toys.
    Chinese communists seem to be okay, but down with Fidel – where is the logic?
    None of them are willing to look at what Cuba was really like before Fidel – or compare then to now.
    Too bad Ozzie isn’t getting more public praise for his original statement – he probably had to back down to keep his job – or ever get another one in the “land of the free”!
    Maybe someday Ozzie can tell it like he really feels instead of what is pc.

    By Blogger NationalsFan, at 1:58 AM  

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