Thursday, November 12, 2015

EXTRA: Sox v. Cubs take to Havana?

Nothing is definite yet, but there are talks of having Major League Baseball clubs play spring training exhibitions in Cuba.

Do North Siders wish the 'a' were an 's'
Which could result in the possibility of a White Sox vs. Cubs spectacle being played in Havana – where in the Cuban League the city split is between fans of the Industrials and the Metropolitans.

WHAT WOULD FANATICOS of Cuban beisbol think of the South Side/North Side split that is so characteristic of Chicago baseball?

What makes this matchup possible is that the U.S. major leagues would probably want to send ball clubs that have prominent players from Cuba. It’s not like the Cuban fans who’d cram their way into the Estadio Latinoamericano would care all that much about somebody like Jake Arrieta or Jon Lester – even though I know Cubs fans think the whole world revolves around their preferred ball club.

That is something both of our city’s professional ball clubs have – the White Sox have as their star player Jose Abreu, while the Cubs include on their roster Jorge Soler.

There’s also the possibility the White Sox will once again have shortstop Alexi Ramirez back on the roster by spring training. And White Sox legend Minnie Miñoso also could make the Cubano fanaticos honorary Sout’ Side fans – unless there are Cubanos who remember Jose Cardenal, the one-time Cub with the legendary afro!

The Cubs' all-time Cuban great
NOW I KNOW some baseball fans (usually the ones who deep down resent the heavy Latin American influence that exists in U.S. baseball) are already nitpicking about the Cuban laws that prevent those Cuban citizens who defected from their home nation to come to this country from even being able to dream of returning.

Yes, there are laws that would have to be addressed. Although I suspect for the glory and glamour that the Cuban government would get from being able to host some U.S. major league baseball games, they’d figure out a way to overcome the “shame” they feel that someone like Abreu would rather play on the South Side rather than in his home city of Cienfuegos or for Equipo Cuba (as in the national team).

I’m not saying that baseball would “buy off” the Cuban government to get these games played.

The 'Cuban Comet' himself
But whatever deal is ultimately worked out may bear a strong resemblance to those campaign contributions to Chicago politico types that technically aren’t bribes but have the stink of them to the general public!


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