I hear the Baltimore Orioles took a trip to Cuba for a little exhibition baseball, and that the Cubans are going to get to make a return engagement in Baltimore. It's nice to see sport lead the way where politicians are too stupid, or too full of themselves. The leaders of our two countries, Fidel Castro and Bud Selig, sat next to each other and watched the game go into extra innings before the O's prevailed, 3-2.
The expatriot Cubans in Florida aren't happy with the whole affair; they'd just as soon keep up the animosity until Castro is driven out, I suppose. But isn't it time to give up the Cold War, for God's sake? It's not like the Domino Effect is going to rise up from the grave.
It reminds me of the exhibition game between the Lasers (and at least one ringer, me) and the men penned up out on Pleasant Valley Road, some years back. Getting clearance to visit the prison, being searched, negotiating multiple gates, walking through the recreation room (collecting a catcall or two), and playing soccer with one boundary laced with concertina wire definitely gives a new perspective on "playing" and "games."
The game was played fairly, curiously enough, with nothing like some of the nasty fouls and bad temper that sometimes contaminates the city league. Their guys were happy for the opportunity, we were a little thrilled by the adventure, we all felt good about posing for a group picture, and those us from the "outside" were very happy to be free to go.
I wonder how many Cubans might decide that Baltimore in the springtime looks like home...
April 18, 1999