Will the Major Leagues close deals with the mafia behind Cuban baseball?
JOSÉ HUGO FERNÁNDEZ | Miami | 9 Abr 2016 – 1:52 am.
I hope I’m not a victim of some prejudice that clouds my understanding,
but I cannot fathom the need for Major League Baseball (MLB) executives
to sit down and negotiate all the time with Cuban officials, who
function like overseers over slaves through their monopoly on baseball
in Cuba. Wasn’t it supposed to be that after March 16, thanks to another
of President Obama’s anti-embargo measures, all Cubans living on the
island – baseball players included, of course – could work in the US and
collect wages directly from American companies if hired by them?
If that is the case, then there is nothing to discuss. All the regime
has to do is finally grant our players their freedom, so they can go
play in the US, return home as often as they wish and, above all,
negotiate directly (personally or with the mediators of their choice)
with the MLB, like athletes from any other country.
We already had enough upon reading the cynical statements by Higinio
Vélez, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, when he announced
that “their” players were ready to join the Majors, impudently placing
them on sale, maneuvering to charge for letting them fly out of the
airport “with their heads held high.” His shamelessness knows no bounds,
his words coming from someone that fans on the island recognize as the
deputy of a mafia that, under the orders of Antonio Castro, ruined our
national sport and now, to top it off, intends to line his pockets at
In any case, nothing should surprise us when it comes to the Castros’
cadre and their shenanigans. What I cannot make any sense of is why MLB
execs would pander to that mafia, legitimising it by negotiating with
them, and approving of and even repeating in public its scheming arguments.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke a few days ago about the need to
establish a more secure path so that Cuban baseball players who want to
play in the Majors do not have to abandon the island. But is there any
more secure route than that already provided for by Obama’s recent measure?
“I hope that very soon,” Manfred said, “a change comes about in the
relationship between the US and Cuba that allows Cuban players to come
here and freely return to the island.” Thus stated, his desire does seem
to be absolutely unquestionable. The strange thing would be something
that now lends itself to being read between the lines: the possibility
that this alleged desire to seek a secure way for Cuban baseball players
to play in the MLB is being worked out through negotiations between it
and Antonio Castro’s mafia – even more so given the circumstances
existing as of March 16, the ball since then being exclusively in the
Or could it be that the real interest of MLB executives is not ensuring
our players’ security, but rather obtaining direct and unfettered access
to the island’s top players, without caring that the money they pay for
their contracts is going to end up in the pockets of the mafia in question?
Source: Will the Major Leagues close deals with the mafia behind Cuban
baseball? | Diario de Cuba –