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Gainesville Red
03-20-2006, 09:59 PM
Guys like Contrares and El Duque came from Cuba, right?
And basically it means they have to escape Cuba to play here, correct?

I haven't watched much of the Cuba team play before tonight, but surely they have at least a couple guys MLB teams would be interested in.

What's to stop these guys from just not going home if they don't want to? It seems like it would be a lot easier to just sort of get lost in the United States when it's time to go home than it is to escape on a boat (or however they escape).

I mean, are they under strict lock and key in their hotel rooms after a game, or what?

Send a couple pitchers the address to GAB under the table or something.

KronoRed
03-20-2006, 10:03 PM
They have families, hard to leave them behind.

NastyBoy
03-20-2006, 10:08 PM
I think Cuba has a couple of pitchers the reds would be interested. LOL

realreds1
03-20-2006, 10:11 PM
They have families, hard to leave them behind.


That might lead to a really nasty, five-alarm international scandal, too.

Gainesville Red
03-20-2006, 10:12 PM
That might lead to a really nasty, five-alarm international scandal, too.

Maybe I just don't remember, but why did it not lead to an incident when Contrares crossed over?

MasonBuzz3
03-20-2006, 10:34 PM
not only some of the cuban pitchers, but i would like to see 2B Yulieski Gourriel in a Reds uniform. 21 year old infielder, has some serious talent

BCubb2003
03-20-2006, 10:45 PM
The Cuban players are watched and guarded, and they wear red track suits in public so they can't escape into a crowd at the mall, or something. It takes a lot of undercover work by agents (baseball agents) to get close to them and get them into the network that breaks them free. The book "The Duke of Havana" is a good look at how El Duque made it out.

Gainesville Red
03-20-2006, 10:47 PM
Interesting. I'll be visiting the library tommorow.

Nugget
03-20-2006, 10:52 PM
Think of the Russian musician and ballet dancers and you will get the picture on how closely guarded players are. Don't know about the Cuban regime but in certain countries when highly gifted individuals go on international tours their families are placed under house arrest.

Gainesville Red
03-20-2006, 10:53 PM
Think of the Russian musician and ballet dancers and you will get the picture on how closely guarded players are. Don't know about the Cuban regime but in certain countries when highly gifted individuals go on international tours their families are placed under house arrest.

WOW. I had no idea.

vaticanplum
03-20-2006, 10:59 PM
Maybe I just don't remember, but why did it not lead to an incident when Contrares crossed over?

This is halfway-informed speculation, not necessarily fact, but...Contreras had a very different relationship with Cuba than did many players who ended up defecting. He was openly supportive of the Communist government and in general I think was viewed as a rather quiet, non-threatening patriot. He actually resisted defecting for quite a long time -- scouts were all over him several years before he broke down and did it. He was viewed as the best pitcher in the world not playing in MLB and could easily have had the means to get out before he did. And he kept saying he didn't want to leave. Although he did, of course, ultimately defect, he hasn't changed in some of his beliefs. Whereas some Cubans have vehemently criticized their country since arriving in the US, Contreras has always held that he is Cuban, that he loves his country, that he always will play for them given the chance. This could have affected how they viewed him. In addition, Contreras defected WITH Miguel Valdez, the much-respected and highly successful technical director of the Cuban national team. Perhaps this had something to do with the lack of a "stir" on this defection -- either because the attention was deflected (unlikely given how well-regarded Contreras was) or because of the respect that Valdez commanded.

Castro was very hard on Contreras, especially near the end. Didn't he make him pitch like three straight Olympic games in a row? Something like that.

While there may not have been a public fuss made on the level that it could have, the defection was huge, HUGE in the public of Cuba, who took it horribly. And if I remember correctly, Cuba did pull out of the Central American Games shortly thereafter, and I think that was definitely a statement on the part of the Castro regime, a warning to other players not to defect.

LoganBuck
03-20-2006, 11:27 PM
Several years ago I read an article on a player who tried to defect by boat. He was caught either by the US or by Cuba and was forced to go back. Once back he was sent to a govenment prison farm and his wife was imprisoned. Basically Castro made an example out of this guy.

For purely selfish reasons I think Yulieski Gourriel looks like a superstar.

Heath
03-20-2006, 11:32 PM
WOW. I had no idea.

Communist-crazied dictators can make you do funny things.

Shaknb8k
03-20-2006, 11:38 PM
I think the only thing holding these players back is familes. I dont think the guards have much to do with it. Now the guards may drop hints to them about what could happen to their families but that goes back to the familes is the only thing holding them to Cuba. The guards are not going to handcuff a man and throw him in the plane or whatever and make him go back. We would step in and not let them do that if it was the case. If a Cuban player decides to run into the stands at the end of the game and say, "Save me, Castro will hurt me since we lost" then we will protect him.

If the Cuban is on US soil and chooses to stay then by law I believe we will protect that person as a "refugee" if im not mistaking. But Castro can do whatever to his family back in Cuba.

As for the Gourriel...I really wish he would stay but who can blame him for not because of what Castro would do. But he is great. He would make big bucks over here. Im talking Miguel Cabrera good. And for anyone who has not watched the WBC they missed a great baseball player that we may never see play again and definatly not in the next 4 years.

BCubb2003
03-20-2006, 11:41 PM
Hmmm... I'll bet RedsZoners have a lot of red track suits. We just kind of show up outside the Circuit City or the Chick-fil-A at the right time and cause a rhubarb, maybe we can make it out the door with some pitchers.

Caveat Emperor
03-20-2006, 11:56 PM
Hmmm... I'll bet RedsZoners have a lot of red track suits. We just kind of show up outside the Circuit City or the Chick-fil-A at the right time and cause a rhubarb, maybe we can make it out the door with some pitchers.

Or the government could just end this ridiculous stand off with Cuba and just normalize relations...

...on second thought, maybe the Chick-Fil-A approach might be more feasible.

redsmetz
03-21-2006, 05:19 AM
Guys like Contrares and El Duque came from Cuba, right?
And basically it means they have to escape Cuba to play here, correct?

I haven't watched much of the Cuba team play before tonight, but surely they have at least a couple guys MLB teams would be interested in.

What's to stop these guys from just not going home if they don't want to? It seems like it would be a lot easier to just sort of get lost in the United States when it's time to go home than it is to escape on a boat (or however they escape).

I mean, are they under strict lock and key in their hotel rooms after a game, or what?

Send a couple pitchers the address to GAB under the table or something.

Sheesh, how about we end this ineffective embargo, deal with Cuba like we do every other country and watch what happened in Eastern Europe happen in Cuba. I mean we do business with gobs of dictatorships just as bad as Castro.

I keep wanting to write Bob Castellini and suggest he approach the federal government to seek permission to play a series in Cuba, maybe versus the Marlins. I keep envisioning it like the American ping pong team that went to China in the early 70's. The Reds make absolute sense for this given our long history with Cuba. We signed some of the earliest Cuban players (think Dolf Luque, Reds pitcher early in the 20th century), had a farm club there in the 50's and mined a ton of Cuban players during that time (Tony Perez, Cookie Rojas, Chico Cardenas, etc. etc. etc.).

Frankly if there was to be an extension of MLB beyond the U.S. and Canada, besides Mexico City, Havana would be a prime spot.

RedFanAlways1966
03-21-2006, 07:46 AM
Sheesh, how about we end this ineffective embargo, deal with Cuba like we do every other country and watch what happened in Eastern Europe happen in Cuba. I mean we do business with gobs of dictatorships just as bad as Castro.

The other countries with dictators did not allow Russia (during the Cold War) to put missiles on their land and point it right at the United States. Some serious stuff there.

REDREAD
03-21-2006, 07:57 AM
Or the government could just end this ridiculous stand off with Cuba and just normalize relations...

.

I don't want to turn this into a political thread, but I think after Castro dies, there's a much better chance of normalizing relations. Right now, I can see why the US still wants to isolate Cuba.

redsmetz
03-21-2006, 08:33 AM
The other countries with dictators did not allow Russia (during the Cold War) to put missiles on their land and point it right at the United States. Some serious stuff there.

We're talking ancient history here, particularly since we're nearly 20 years past the collapse of the Soviet Union. The embargo serves no useful purpose and is, frankly, counterproductive. That said, from a baseball standpoint, there is no reason that the world should be unable to see the great talent of the Cuban baseball players (and that's a two way street there - Castro needs his bogeyman too).

In 1971, the U.S. Ping Pong team travelled to Red China following a tournament in Japan. That small, seemingly insignificant action, broke open relations between the U.S. and China and we see the result of that today. All I'm saying is, given the Cincinnati Reds history, I think it would be great to do it now and not later. When i get the time, I will write that letter to Bob C.

oneupper
03-21-2006, 10:49 AM
From a baseball standpoint, you don't want the Cuban dam to come down without some sort of international draft in place.

If you're dreaming of Gourriel manning 2B in Cincy...wake up. It'll be the Yank, Sox, Mets, and other high-revenue teams claiming those prizes.
Could set "competitive balance" back 10 years.