Monthly Archives: March 2009

The moral importance of the World Baseball Classic

Reflections by FIDEL CASTRO

IN THE early days of the Revolution, the Olympics were an event for amateurs.

When the concepts of developed capitalism managed to infiltrate the Olympics, sports stopped being a health and education issue, which had been its main goals throughout history.

The only country in the world where that character prevailed was Cuba, which for many years won the highest number of gold medals per inhabitant. Continue reading

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World Baseball Classic II: How Major League Baseball manipulates national team rosters

WBC.2009.logo-clasico2The Canadian sports media, by individualizing player “no shows” as the “reason” for the first round exit of Team Canada from the Classic, deliberately overlooks the peculiar and self-serving rules dictated by the U.S. sports empire. This is how the U.S. organizes fair play, writes TONY SEED* in the second article of a two-part series. Part I is here.

HALIFAX (March 15, 2009) – BASEBALL CANADA, which extensively collaborates with the Toronto Blue Jays, capitulated to the U.S. baton in the preparatory meetings of the baseball federations to organize the Classic and became one of its first casualties.

WBC.2009.Team CanadaIn the wake of Canada’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic (WBC), the sports media in Canada nevertheless spread the news that it was in part due to the bad “attitude” of Canadian professional players such as pitcher Ryan Dempster, whom it alleges had chosen not to participate on Team Canada. The same refrain is struck to “explain” the absence of this and that professional basketball player from the Canadian national team competing for the Olympics. The news is presented in a decontextualized manner so that the weakness of the national teams in different sports is individualized. The players are presented as “selfish,” “me-first” “rogues,” who are completely devoid of “Canadian values” and thus deserve recrimination, scorn and ostracism. The real selfishness of a U.S. sports empire, which owns the contracts of the athletes and makes the decision as to their participation, is rendered obscure. Continue reading

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World Baseball Classic II: Team Canada – just who capitulated and to whom?

WBC.2009.logo-clasico2Part I of two articles by TONY SEED*. Baseball Canada, which extensively collaborates with the Rogers-owned Toronto Blue Jays, capitulated to the U.S. baton in the meetings of the baseball federations to organize the Classic and became one of its first casualties. Part II is here.

HALIFAX (March 15, 2009) – TEAM CANADA ignominiously exited the World Baseball Classic in the first round for the second successive time. Playing in a pool with the United States, Venezuela and Italy, it lost successive games to the United States and Italy on March 7 and March 9 respectively. Canada’s overall record in the 2006 and 2009 tournaments is three wins (against South Africa, Italy and the U.S.A.) and four losses.

The Friday March the Thirteenth Prime Time Sports, the Canadian nationally-syndicated TV and radio show, convened its roundtable to assess the emphatic exit. Continue reading

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Alexei Ramirez’s story pokes holes in stereotypical ‘Cuban defector’ tale

By A VIEW TO THE SOUTH

WBC.2009.logo-clasico2THE World Baseball Championship is upon us again. Apart from being great fun and good for baseball, we also get a front row as journalists try their hand at connecting world politics to the great game. When they try to explain the success of amateur clubs like Cuba against the titans of MLB, the results are predictably coarse. Continue reading

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Fidel Castro: A fair and constructive criticism

reflexiones-fidelI TRY TO FOLLOW the details about the Baseball Classic through our national television.

The game between the teams of Japan and South Korea, Cuba’s two strongest rivals, which was played today, Monday morning, was 1 to 0 in favour of South Korea when Japan had only two more chances at bat.

The dangerous and emblematic Ichiro, who had failed three times, connected with a single. Continue reading

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