Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Andy Ibanez, Cubans Face More Than We Think

There has been an explosion of Cuban talent heading over to the Major Leagues, whether legally or illegally, in recent years which is evident by the fact that 74 Cuban born players were on major or minor league rosters on Opening Day. In 2014 we saw 63 Cuban born players on MLB and MiLB rosters and we have seen a steady climb since the 2008 season when there were just 29 players. Andy Ibanez, the speedy second baseman and the youngest player for Team Cuba in the last World Baseball Classic, seems to be the next ball to drop sometime this season and the New York Yankees are interested. Whether they sign him or not remains to be seen, and honestly isn’t the point of this article, but when yous top and think about it could you imagine being Mr. Ibanez right now?

Sure Ibanez is going from a country that paid no more than $2,500 a month (if you’re lucky) to a country whose average player makes over $4 million but it’s not all about money. Cuban players who legally leave the country have eight years before they can come back to the island country and forever to wait if they leave illegally like Ibanez. Ibanez left behind family, friends and everything he has ever known to learn a whole new set of laws, customs, a new language, paying income taxes, autograph seekers, paparazzi, people trying to take advantage of his ignorance, etc. All Ibanez will know when he officially hits the states is his name and how to play the game of baseball. That’s scary!

This may be why the Yankees are shy about signing these Cuban born players and throwing them into the zoo that is Yankee Stadium and the zoo that is the Bronx in general. New York has chewed up and spit out a many of player, no matter where they were born, and the team has some of the roughest fans in the game right now. Signing these players is like signing anyone else, it’s an investment to Hal Steinbrenner and company, and for some New York is the last place that they want to be and the last place that they should be. This article wont appease the fans who long for their own Yasiel Puig, Yoan Moncada or Yoenis Cespedes but there is more to it then just “here’s your $70 million contract now go win me a World Series” and many of you reading this should remember that.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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