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View Full Version : Puerto Rico May Bow Out of World Classic



savafan
01-05-2006, 01:12 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051222/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbi_world_classic_cuba



By LUIS R. VARELA, Associated Press Writer Thu Dec 22, 6:50 PM ET

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Baseball officials reapplied Thursday for a permit that would allow Cuba to join next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic as Puerto Rican athletic officials said San Juan should withdraw as a host city if the Cubans aren't allowed to participate.

In Miami, a congressman who opposes
Fidel Castro's communist government met with several major league players, hoping to form a team of Cuban defectors that could play in the 16-team tournament.

The U.S.
Treasury Department last week denied a permit request from Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The permit is required because of U.S. laws and regulations governing certain transactions with Cuba.

Baseball spokesman Pat Courtney said a new application was submitted Thursday to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The commissioner's office and the union had said they planned to address government concerns and ensure that no money would go from U.S. entities to the Cubans.

"OFAC turns around all license requests as quickly as they are able to," Treasury spokeswoman Molly Millerwise said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "We don't comment on individual license requests."

Israel Roldan, president of the Baseball Federation of Puerto Rico, and Hector Cardona, president of the U.S. island territory's Olympic Committee, opposed the decision by the Treasury Department.

"What we are saying is that we should renounce our position as host if Cuba is not permitted to compete," Roldan said.

Roldan sent a letter on Wednesday to International Baseball Federation president Aldo Notari saying the island would decline to be a venue because of the U.S. government's decision.

"We have not heard that directly from the federation," Courtney said.

Antonio Munoz, a businessman who agreed to pay millions of dollars to bring the games to Puerto Rico, would not comment on Roldan's announcement, but said he was not part of the decision.

Notari said he sympathized with Roldan's view but said it was up to Major League Baseball to move the games out of Puerto Rico, which is scheduled to host games during the first and second rounds.

"I won't enter into a problem with the national committee," Notari said. "The position of Roldan is very good and very clear."

Cardona said he was talking to other Latin American athletic officials to enlist their support in persuading the U.S. government to change its position.

Cuba is set to play Puerto Rico, Panama and the Netherlands in Puerto Rico in the first round of the tournament. Each of the 16 teams in the classic are to receive 1 percent of the earnings and the champion is due up to 5 percent, according to Roldan.

In Miami, former Boston bullpen coach Euclides Rojas spoke at an announcement by a group that included Osvaldo Fernandez, Eddie Oropesa and Rene Arocha, the first Cuban defector to play in the majors.

"We would like to represent the team of free Cuba," Rojas said.

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (news, bio, voting record), a Florida Republican who was born in Cuba, backed the new group, which hopes to recruit pitchers Jose Contreras of the
Chicago White Sox, Livan Hernandez of the Washington Nationals and Orlando Hernandez of the
Arizona Diamondbacks.

"The lineup is ready," Diaz-Balart said.

Courtney said MLB is dealing only with groups recognized by the IBAF.

"The IBAF sanctions this events under Olympic-type rules. We don't independently recognize federations," he said.

___

Associated Press writers Ronald Blum in New York, Jessica Gresko in Miami and Chris Lehourites in London contributed to this report.

KronoRed
01-05-2006, 01:57 AM
This is turning into a nice mess.

savafan
01-05-2006, 02:23 AM
This is turning into a nice mess.

I call it the Selig Touch.

MartyFan
01-05-2006, 05:17 AM
What could Selig do any differently? MLB made the request and teh government turned down the request.

MrCinatit
01-05-2006, 08:15 AM
yep, gotta agree, Selig has his hands tied in this situation.
but, yes, this is turning into a huge mess. what at one time had the potential to be an entertaining exhibition has now been turned into a laughing stock because of a few bruised egos.

RedFanAlways1966
01-05-2006, 09:09 AM
<tries to avoid politics>

It would be real nice to see Cuba participate. It would be even nicer to see Castro change his ways... for the suffering people of Cuba. How bad must a place be for people to make crude rafts and attempt to float on the ocean (sharks, etc) to "freedom"?

The United States and Cuba used to be friendly. Until 1959 when Castro and his armed comrades overthrew the government and tossed out all American companies and interests. Castro once allowed the U.S.'s biggest enemy (at the time) to put missiles in Cuba that were aimed at the United States. This action was probably the incident that came closest to causing a war (nuclear?) between the world's two superpowers at that time. Things seemed so bad that the United States setup a program to investigate the best way to assasinate Castro.

Puerto Rico? Pull out as far as I am concerned. And the same goes for any other country that threatens to do so. No one is stopping any other country from not participating. I do not like to see politics getting in the way of sports (like the 1980 and 1984 Olympics). But this one has a 46 year history. How come countries like Puerto Rico do not take a stand against a country and a leader who does not freely allow his people to play MLB (w/out having to risk their lives to get here)? That lack of freedom is a lot BIGGER thing than banning Cuba from this tourney. It bothers me that people do not see the BIGGER picture here. But such is life.

Chip R
01-05-2006, 09:52 AM
I don't see anything in this article about PR pulling out of this competition except as a host city.

RedFanAlways1966
01-05-2006, 10:10 AM
I don't see anything in this article about PR pulling out of this competition except as a host city.

Very true, Chip (I didn't word it correctly!). But I take it as a "threat"... not a nasty one, but a threat all the same. And why? Because they do not see the BIGGER picture. I am all about "forgive and forget", but not while Castro is still the dictator. Let another city/country host some games in P.R.'s place. I am sure the local economies will be better off for it and San Juan would lose that extra revenue.

All the same... politics and sports is a bad mix. It is too bad when young-and-gifted athletes suffer for it. I support the Cuban ban, but I do not like it when these things happen.

MartyFan
01-05-2006, 11:23 AM
<tries to avoid politics>

It would be real nice to see Cuba participate. It would be even nicer to see Castro change his ways... for the suffering people of Cuba. How bad must a place be for people to make crude rafts and attempt to float on the ocean (sharks, etc) to "freedom"?

The United States and Cuba used to be friendly. Until 1959 when Castro and his armed comrades overthrew the government and tossed out all American companies and interests. Castro once allowed the U.S.'s biggest enemy (at the time) to put missiles in Cuba that were aimed at the United States. This action was probably the incident that came closest to causing a war (nuclear?) between the world's two superpowers at that time. Things seemed so bad that the United States setup a program to investigate the best way to assasinate Castro.

Puerto Rico? Pull out as far as I am concerned. And the same goes for any other country that threatens to do so. No one is stopping any other country from not participating. I do not like to see politics getting in the way of sports (like the 1980 and 1984 Olympics). But this one has a 46 year history. How come countries like Puerto Rico do not take a stand against a country and a leader who does not freely allow his people to play MLB (w/out having to risk their lives to get here)? That lack of freedom is a lot BIGGER thing than banning Cuba from this tourney. It bothers me that people do not see the BIGGER picture here. But such is life.

I agree...and I also only saw that they would withdraw as a host city...In our current world climate it is easy to forget just how deperate things must be in Cuba for people to try and escape the way they have for over 40 years.

I agree that anyone who wants to press the nations buttons in accepting Castro and his goons..."STEP OFF".

Okay, sorry hope this was not too political but then again it is a political subject.

RedsBaron
01-05-2006, 11:37 AM
I would be in favor of letting Cuba play, even though I believe that Fidel Castro is a murderous dictator/gangster/thug.
I have never favored political boycotts of sporting events. I didn't like the USA boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic games, which in turn lead to the USSR boycott of the 1984 LA Olympic games.

Unassisted
01-05-2006, 11:43 AM
Puerto Rico needs to host this event more than MLB needs Puerto Rico to host this event.

The rest of my opinion is too political to post.

KoryMac5
01-05-2006, 01:49 PM
The best way to show up Castro would be to allow Cuba to play and than kick their butts all over the stadium while he watches. All this talk and politics gets everyone nowhere and tends to taint a pretty good baseball idea.

top6
01-05-2006, 02:26 PM
For once, Selig isn't to blame. The U.S. policy towards Cuba is. Note that China is permitted to play in the same tournament. Unfortuntately for dead Chinese dissidents, there is not a large Chinese exile community in a politically important state, so the U.S. government has formal relations with China while Cuba is isolated.

I was looking forward to this event, but it really wouldn't be the same without Cuba.

savafan
01-10-2006, 02:43 PM
http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/story?id=396648

MIAMI (ESPNdeportes.com) -- International Baseball Association (IBAF) president Aldo Notari said on Saturday his organization will not sanction the World Baseball Classic if Cuba is not allowed to participate.

"Without Cuba, IBAF will withdraw its approval of the event," Italian Notari stated. "And if the IBAF does that, national federations will not be able to register their teams for the World Baseball Classic."

Notari made this statements in Chicago, where he is taking part in the NCAA's Trainers' Convention. He talked to "Dogout", a radio show broadcast by Radio 1120 AM in Puerto Rico.

Producers of the show allowed ESPNdeportes.com access to the interview, which will air on Monday.

"There is an article in the Olympic Charter saying it clearly: any kind of discrimination on political, racial or religious grounds is unacceptable," said Notari before flying to Lausanne, Switzerland.

"IBAF cannot endorse a tournament in which Olympic rules are not being respected, without leaving the Olympic movement altogether," he added.

The World Baseball Classic is being jointly organized by IBAF, Major League Baseball and the Players Union. All 16 countried originally invited to participate are members of the IBAF.

The United States Treasury Department has denied Cuba a permit to take part in the event, saying that as teams will receive money from their participation in the tournament, that would violate of the terms of the economic embargo against the Caribbean country.

In order to offer options, Cuba has proposed to donate any earnings associated with their participation in the tournament to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile, tournament organizers are still trying to revert the decision and have reapplied for a permit.

Cuba was originally grouped together with the Netherlands, Panama and co-hosts Puerto Rico in Group C, scheduled to be played in San Juan.

The event, which will also feature games in the United States and in Japan, will take place March 3-20.

Notari also stated that he has already sent MLB a document warning them on the IBAF's position.

"This is a sad situation, but MLS is not to blame. It's the United States government that has acted against a member country of the International Olympic Committee,", said Notari.

"We hope Cuba can finally play,", said Richard Levin, speaker for the the MLB's Commissioner's Office. Levin confirmed Notari has already sent MLB a warning letter.

Notari also said that the IBAF's main problem right now is not the World Baseball Classic, but keeping the Olympic status of the sport beyond 2008.

"We're trying to keep Baseball within the Olympics after the 2008 games, and this decision by the Treasury Department of the United States does not help us at all", he said.

RedFanAlways1966
01-10-2006, 03:24 PM
I think the United States should stay out. Let others do all the hosting. Let us see how well the thing will turn out w/out U.S. participation and money.

Redsland
01-10-2006, 03:49 PM
Personally, I think the U.S. should back put unless Elbonia participates.

M2
01-10-2006, 04:25 PM
The sad thing about this is it allows Cuba to take the high ground. I still say that letting them in and destroying them at their national sport is the way to go. Compete and win, that's capitalism at work baby.

Chip R
01-10-2006, 04:34 PM
The sad thing about this is it allows Cuba to take the high ground. I still say that letting them in and destroying them at their national sport is the way to go. Compete and win, that's capitalism at work baby.

Exactly.

savafan
01-12-2006, 01:39 PM
http://articles.news.aol.com/sports/article.adp?id=20060111032009990013&cid=561

TOKYO (Jan. 11) - Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda thinks Cuba will be allowed to play in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, and also expressed his disappointment that Japanese major league stars Hideki Matsui and Tadahito Iguchi have decided to sit out the tournament.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control in mid-December denied the request for a license to allow Cuba to participate. The license is necessary because of U.S. laws governing certain commercial transactions with the Fidel Castro-controlled nation.

Major League Baseball reapplied on Dec. 22 after Cuba said it would donate any money it earned from its participation to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Lasorda, who led the United States to the 2000 Olympic gold medal at Sydney and is an Ambassador at Large for the event, was in Tokyo on Wednesday to promote the 16-nation, World Cup-style tournament that will be staged in March.

"I think they (the Treasury Department) are just trying to stop Cuba from making money because of sanctions," Lasorda said at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. "Because they have offered to give their earnings to the victims of Katrina I think they will be allowed to play."

The World Baseball Classic will feature top professionals from the major leagues. Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners has agreed to play but Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees and Tadahito Iguchi of the Chicago White Sox have said they won't join the Japan squad, citing commitments to their teams.

"I know (Matsui) is a tremendous guy but I'm disappointed that he and Iguchi won't be representing their country," said Lasorda. "You've got to be patriotic for your country and I'd like to see Matsui play. He's a great player and the Japanese team needs him."

Lasorda also said that he was upset that baseball was taken off the Olympic program. In July, the IOC voted to drop baseball and softball after the Beijing Games, leaving 26 sports on the program for London. Baseball and softball are pushing for a new vote in a bid for reinstatement in February.

"I'm disappointed, dejected and depressed that they would take baseball off the Olympic program," added Lasorda. "When we played in Sydney the stadium was packed. Baseball belongs in the Olympics more than some of those other sports like archery and tiddly winks."