HAVANA TIMES — Cuba’s Beisbol Internacional (“World Baseball”) sports show has been on the air for some months now and we have not yet seen one of the many Cuban baseball players now in the major leagues on TV. Mere coincidence?
It would be monumentally naïve to even consider the possibility that high officials at Cuba’s Radio and Television Institute (ICRT) haven’t done anything deliberate in this connection.
If memory serves me right, there are nearly twenty Cuban players now employed by major league teams, making Cuban the third country with the most players in the world’s most prestigious teams. If memory continues to serve me right, these players are employed by 10 of the 30 main baseball franchises.
This sports show, the only one of its kind on all of Cuba’s television channels, not only televises major league games; it is also the only program that broadcasts league games from elsewhere in the continent and Asia on a weekly basis (every Sunday at 8 pm).
Though I haven’t actually counted them, I would say anywhere from 15 to 20 full major league games have been televised by Beisbol Internacional since the show came on the air.
Since Cuban players are in 10 major baseball teams at the moment (33% of the total number of teams), the chances of seeing a Cuban player on Beisbol Internacional (considering the smaller figure of televised games) are 5 over 15. However, we haven’t seen a single game where a Cuban has played.
Though this does not prove that the ICRT has any involvement in this, it does raise questions. Let us assume it’s the case. The question then becomes: why?
Why? I am now addressing the government officials who have come upon this post doing a keyword search. Why? Answer only this question.
Don’t you allow me to get lost in speculation and think there isn’t a real will to liberalize the sport, politically and mentally. I am led to think that Beisbol Internacional is a mere concession, a temporary pact between two parties who have not yet settled their conflicts.
I continue to want Cuban television to broadcast as much baseball and soccer as possible. I want to see sports from all countries – that’s what we have a sports channel for. We’re also talking about our national sport. I continue to dream of watching live games, at least the post-season ones. I continue to long to see our stars shine out there in the field, where the sky is less bright for them, far from home as they are.
As you can see, all of these questions and doubts have put me a bit on edge. Doesn’t the same happen to you?