Trump Effs Baseball, Embargoes Cubans From Playing in the MLB

The smackdown of the Cubans is part of Trump’s policy of undoing everything the 44th President achieved.

“Yep! when asked whether the move was “more effort to pinch Cuba” Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo,  said the administration was “going to do everything we can to pull [Cuba] out” of Venezuela. “

In his last year as President, Barack Obama, a Chicago White Sox fan, negotiated an agreement allowing Cuban players to become part of the major leagues .. America’s Major League Baseball.  The agreement was exciting for two nations that regard this sport as a shared object of national pride.

Now, just two weeks after the start of the 2019 baseball season, Trump declared illegal an Obama era deal that would have allowed Cuban athletes to play in this country without having to defect.  Cuba had released the names of 34 Cuban players who were likely to be signed.  Without the deal, Cubans would have to give up their citizenship and usually leave Cuba illegally with a smuggler.

Americans and Cubans share a love of baseball and many Cuban players have defected in order to play in the major leagues.  Prior to the Cuban Revolution Cuban-born players often played in the American Negro Leagues.  Under Castro, Cuban players were forbidden from playing abroad.  Rogelio Álvarez, defected and debuted in MLB in 1960.  Bárbaro Garbey left Cuba in the Mariel boatlift in 1980.  In 1991, René Arocha defected, followed by Rey Ordóñez in 1993 and  Rolando Arrojo.  Arrojo defected during the 1996 Summer Olympics when they were held in the USThe largest contract given to a Cuban defector is outfielder Rusney Castillo‘s seven-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, signed in 2014, worth $72.5 million.[7] First baseman José Dariel Abreu signed a six-year contract worth $68 million with the Chicago White Sox in 2013. The largest contract given to a pitcher was the $32 million the New York Yankeesgave to José Contreras in 2002,[9] while the Cincinnati Reds signed Aroldis Chapman for $30.25 million in 2010.[10]

Major League baseball is pissed.  MLB Vice President Michael Teevan said, “We stand by the goal of the Obama agreement was to end the human trafficking of baseball players from Cuba.”  Former Obama administration official Ben Rhodes. a baseball fan and national security adviser said Obama, a Chicago White Sox fan, had developed the program because “The MLB came to us … They felt profound concern about the danger in terms of human trafficking that Cuban baseball players were subjected to to try to play in the major leagues.  This is an indefensible, cruel and pointless decision that they’ve made that will be ending the lives of Cuban baseball players and achieve nothing beyond appeasing hard-line factions in Florida,”

Someone might explain to Mr. Trump that baseball, especially American baseball, is now multinational. Stars come from Japan, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Hait and even Mr. Trump’s least likedCaribbeann country, Perto Rico!  Attorneys for Major League Baseball noted that Japan, South Korea and China had similar deals in which league payments were made to national federations. “MLB has been in regular contact with the U.S. government throughout its multi-year effort to address human trafficking through the establishment of a safe and orderly system” for Cuban athletes to play in this country, including as recently as November, “and received assurances throughout that period that such efforts were not only consistent with U.S. law and policy but would be welcomed as a means to address the dangerous smuggling of these Cuban baseball players.”

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adans #

    So no MRLB team in Havana?

    It is the world Series…..just a small world after all.

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