23 December 2005

World Baseball Championship

The Jenius has loved baseball since He was 3 and got to sit on His father's lap to watch "The Game of the Week" on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It is a love transmitted from a father who played almost every day of his childhood and had seen Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson and so many other greats play.

Zip forward some 30 years... Now Major League Baseball, in a nod to globalization and attempting to make foreign money off the sport's appeal, is launching the World Baseball Championship, scheduled for March of next year. Teams from a dozen countries will play, among them Canada, Japan, South Korea, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and of course, the U.S. But in a decision of monumentally crass stupidity, the U.S. government has denied visas to the Cuban baseball team. Something about "violating an embargo." Yeah, right.

By all regards the best national amateur team ever, a hotbed of baseball talent and passion for over 80 years, is denied participation in a sporting event for crappily empty political reasons. What's next, invading a country by lying about it?


Sports and politics have been jammed together before: the Olympics in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and Los Angeles come to mind. A sorry legacy of a sorry President was the decision to pull out of the Moscow Olympics, denying a generation of U.S. athletes their right to compete against their peers.

Once again, the U.S. is acting like a spoiled brat, a retard with a grudge. Only in the neuron-deprived mind of government officials can a sporting event be equated with violating an embargo initiated by one's own government. Whatever the reasons for the embargo, baseball wasn't one of them.

Keep the glory and brightness of sports out of the sickening swamp of politics. Cuba should be allowed to play in the World Baseball Championship, by right and by respect for their achievements within the sport.

And kudos--kudos!--to Our Baseball People who stated that San Juan would refuse to host the World Baseball Championship if Cuba were not allowed to play. To sanction idiocy is to encourage it and baseball is far too important to leave in the hands of microcephalic wonks.

(So let's get rid of Bud Selig while We're at it.)

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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