We think such stars come simply for the fame and fortune, the lure of a big league contract. Certainly, those are major factors in a player's willingness to make the leap and perhaps even risk his life. But in my discussions with Cuban ballplayers, another reason has been apparent. In our world, we're fortunate enough to compete against the best. Want to pen the next Oscar-winning screenplay? Go to Hollywood. Eager to go toe-to-toe with the best in the business world? Wall Street beckons. That thinking applies to baseball, too.You can read more on the ESPN website: Castro's Departure Could Create Brave New Baseball World.
"That's what some don't understand," Omar Linares, the best Cuban ballplayer of this generation, said during the landmark home-and-away series between Team Cuba and the Baltimore Orioles in 1999. "You're hungry to play against the best."
Monday, March 03, 2008
I know at least one of my readers shows up in the early morning, and is a baseball fan. Two back to back 12 hour shifts have wiped me out, so I'll post a link to Brother Tim's recent article at ESPN MLB about how Cuba's political shift might affect baseball. These paragraphs are something Tim has been saying for years, and they are as true for 5th grade chess players at Leland as they are for Cuban baseball players, and the rest of the world: