Is anyone else really enjoying Cuba’s success in the World Baseball Classic? Not from a political perspective, obviously — even those of us who lean to the left have no fondness for Castro’s regime. But the players themselves. It has been, to me, a great treat to see these guys accomplishing something that means so much to them.
(By the way, check out this excellent piece on the topic by my friend Jeff Passan.)
Ultimately, that’s why I watch sports. It’s why I love sports. The sporting events I enjoy more than any others are the ones where guys (or women) would give multiple toenails, or even toes, to win. ("You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me.")
That’s what’s so great about the Stanley Cup playoffs, and about the Olympics, to name two favorites of mine. You see someone hoist that trophy, or that medal, and you know that has been that person’s singular goal since he or she was old enough to have any idea what it was. That’s exciting, inspiring, uplifting.
And that applies with team Cuba’s performance in the World Baseball Classic. Not that they’re the only ones — clearly the tournament meant a ton to the Dominican Republic, to Venezuela, to Puerto Rico, to the countries where baseball is a central facet of life. But to no one does it mean as much as it does to the Cuban players, it seems to me.
Come Monday night, I won’t be rooting for Castro or the Cuban government. But I’ll be hoping those players win.
Currently playing on the iPod: Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West.