Cuba to World: Screw All Your Riches and Freedom


Because I don’t mind being completely cliché, I’ll say it. Cuba is pulling off a miracle at the World Baseball Classic. Too bad nobody is watching.

The Cubans continued their stunning run in the tournament by advancing to Monday’s championship game with a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic. They’ll meet Japan, who defeated previously unbeaten Korea in the other semifinal.

In order to draw more attention to the final game, I wouldn’t be surprised if ESPN tried to build this up as baseball’s version of the “miracle on ice,” only without the Americans and with communism toppling the free world.

The description might actually be fitting.

This is a team that, unlike any other country in the WBC, has no player that is affiliated with professional baseball in the United States. And while Cuba has succeeded on an international level in the past, this is hardly the same team that won Olympic gold. They actually designed the team around players they thought would not defect.

It was one thing for them to beat Venezuela last week. That team was the Caribbean champion and had a roster stacked with major leaguers. But for Cuba to take down the Dominicans was absolutely shocking. That lineup featurued major league all stars Miguel Tejada, Albert Puljos, Davis Ortiz, Adrian Beltre and the starting pitcher, Bartolo Colon, was the defending American League Cy Young.

Frankly, Cuba didn’t belong on the field with that team. If they played 99 more times, it’s possible the Dominicans would win every game.

Fortunately, they only played once.


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