Saturday, December 19, 2015

MLB Hopes for Spring Training Games in Cuba in 2016

Major League Baseball started a mission to not only expand the sport of baseball but to expand the brand of Major League Baseball last year when Commissioner Rob Manfred took the reins of the sport from Bud Selig. Manfred has done just that and was aided a bit by the announcement from President Barack Obama that the United States and Cuba would begin discussing certain things with Cuba including lifting the embargo and working on diplomatic ties between the two countries. Immediately the MLB fan base wondered how this would affect the slew of players defecting from Cuba and coming to the United States to play MLB and how it could potentially affect games and/or franchises being there, even if it were just spring training games to start.

Major League Baseball acted quickly when learning of the news and now hopes to have spring training games in Cuba as soon as March of 2016. MLB has already sent ambassadors to the country including former Yankees manager Joe Torre and will also send a three-day goodwill tour there to begin talks for games and such in Cuba. The league has already gone as far as to say that the Tampa Bay Rays would be one of the teams selected to play in what would be a two-game series in Havana, Cuba’s capitol.

MLB hasn’t played a game in Cuba since 1999 when the Baltimore Orioles played two games against the Cuban national team. Cuban born players Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig have joined the tour back to their native countries and will conduct clinics for children and a charity even with Caritas Cubana, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to the elderly, children, people with disabilities and people battling HIV and AIDS, while back in their native countries.

I cannot explain how excited I am for this. No words. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)