A Tongue-in-Cheek Cuban Baseball Fantasy continued

By Terry Culver

…The owners will be Cuban-Americans who are very rich, industrious, and persuasive. They will stock their teams entirely with native Cuban players. They will be committed to open the 2016 season playing real Major League teams in official games. (I think we may eliminate that third owner qualification.) When the deafening, delirious decibels return to a normal level, the owners will say how much they look forward to going (or going back) to Cuba.

They will then add the very few qualifications which might upset the laden donkey cart. The power of direction will be entirely theirs. There will be no interference by dictators, military, police, or national and neighborhood spy/organizers.

Of course, the Castro twosome will immediately fall into bad cop/bad cop, extended four-hour castigations, saying that they control everything within their island paradise to the ceaseless benefit of all Cubans and, in a word, “NUNCA!

The following silence will be as deafening as were the “Arribas!” that met the owners’ invitation. The oppressed Cubans will, for possibly the first time, be forced by their own reasoning to see that the Castros do not care for them and worse, never have. They will desperately want the sport, and to have it rejected because it will not please or give dominance to some stupid level of bureaucracy will make them more than mutter, and their grapevines will stir with unheard of activity and now wrath.

As the people hear and see more and more how petty and manipulative the Castros really are, endlessly disparaging foreign, wicked baseball, they will begin to follow those who had early on known how human rights and customs were pulled away from them, their very rights twisted into privileges for the elite patrons of the dictatorship. They will listen, they will think, they will actively respond to the leaders of dissent.

And so over a long home stand, or a road trip, or a half season, or a full season complete with playoffs and series where they will see escapee Cubans make heroic plays — and knowing similar athletes were killed running or swimming away — there will come at last the day when Fidel and Raul are rounded up from some palace or playground and taken to a beach enclave which restricts these campesinos, and there, in enforced haste, the two brothers will try to find tourista clothing for cooler climes. Then it’s onto a donkey cart creaking along between two columns of honking, backfiring 1956 Chevy convertibles all the way along the splendido Grand Army of the Mountains Boulivard to the gangplank of a Democratic Republic of North Korea tramp steamer up which they are tossed for the long slow voyage to that barren land of Kim Il Uncouth to spend the rest of their too-long lives arguing the merits of beisbol communista versus those of basketball, which the killer Divine Leader commends as the best, especially since his brand features the freak Dennis Rodman.

Should we have empathy for these three sports fans? Permit a brief diversion. The wearily overworked word “empathy” should only be used as a character trait present in few people besides Mother Teresa. Yes, we all have sympathy and show it as often as we care about the misfortunes of others. No, we don’t have empathy for that stupid fool of a $500,000 plus Seahawk offensive coordinator who thought it only right that the wildly successful running game be stopped in its tracks and, why of course! we’ll throw a four-yard pass into the middle of all those Patriot defensive backs from East Central, THE University of Teacher’s Cream State! No there’s no empathy here for the 99-and-44/100ths percent of the audience who have never coached football. We have sympathy for them, maybe, but no more than we feel “empathy” for the Bulldog’s plucky quarterback and his errant last pass that might have resulted in a 22-yard touchdown and a chance to tie The Game. Instead he threw to an astounded Harvard defense guy on the 12-yard line who looked around like he was as surprised to get the ball as would be the guy outside Harvard’s column-surround stadium guarding hubcaps on Yale-bedecked autos.

And speaking of locomotive cheers, one should always, but always, Stop…Look…and Listen before proceeding across the empathyless tracks. Mostly just stop. Did you ever hurl a pass like Bill Leckenby? Have you gone down to defeat in a one-sided political election? Remember, in 1956 Adlai Stevenson said nothing about empathy with Abraham Lincoln (alas, unlike our present president who is sort of from Illinois), but only that he felt, as that wonderful man did, like a boy who has stubbed his toe: too hurt to laugh and too proud to cry. Where in this Land of Endless Surveys is the empathy in that?!

Meanwhile, back in North Korea we return to our three sports fans. Two of them are, again, athletes’ rights abusers, all rights in general abusers, robbers, killers, homophobes. They are falsely credited as ecologetic puritans because it’s warm, sabe?, and everyone can exist at some not unpleasant low normative level without too much to wear or energy to waste shoveling snow and such. And the heartless brothers don’t give a buenos Dios condenaro for all the creepy, crawly life that’s humping along just swell, thank you, a godsend to eco-freakoes the whole, wide, changing, half-full, half-empty world over, but not a blessing to anyone else.

And then there’s the basketball-loving One. He would seem to be shooting for some godforsaken sports, Olympic blessing, perhaps even from the scandal yellow-carded international soccer federation, and he means to do this all the while killing, imprisoning, and ruthlessly controlling his own people, threatening all too real nuclear war while kidnapping South Korean and Japanese children, killing the odd Republic of South Korea border guard, and back at cozy home, the more than odd uncle or three.

Empathy! By the very Saints Above and Fallen Archangels Below, these three honestly and truly can have overflowing empathy for one another. They know, they understand, they ARE each other. And the sooner they can reap the just award that Fate must surely have in mind for them all, the better will be this world…

Still, there are these Islam warriors dying to be men, lookin’ for the love of 27, 29 virgins in Paradise. Oh dear! do you suppose we could cargo-kick YMCA and YMHA athletic equipment into their various and multitudinous Fields of Schemes and start feelin’ the love of happified boy/men with shin guards around their forearms and jock supporters strapped firmly atop a side-twisted baseball cap? Who hasn’t ever worn or adjusted a piece of athletic equipment the wrong way? Now that’s empathy we can all clink to. The problem is once they get their costumes figured out and even rejiggered to their own holy purposes…

Well, let me end by saying don’t look for any friendly Iranian baseball teams arriving here for a tournament without first verifying that those really are bats and their metal is not from their expanding nuclear factories. But trust that ever alert SoS John Kerry would know the ins and outs, the whys and wherefores of this diplomacy of sports and be certain that one in three of these bags would be searched. Hey, at first they would only go for a one in ten ratio! Here’s true progress and all brought to us by that great, cold, empathizer-in-chief himself, President Obama.

What, me worry? Are you MAD and dead as the late comic book?

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  • Henry Childs October 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    What a breath of fresh (and slightly perfumed) air to see that some one can weave a canvass of absurdity out of the remnants of a world that does seem to have taken leave of its senses. And deliver the punch of reality in the glove of humour. Bravo!