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IBAF: No Cuba, no WBC
2006-01-06 19:07
by Bob Timmermann

The IBAF, the International Baseball Federation, has threatened to withdraw accreditation for the World Baseball Classic if Cuba is not allowed to participate. If there is no IBAF approval of the competition and the WBC were to still take place, all participating nations would be declared ineligible for future international competitions.

If you're ever in Lausanne, Switzerland, you can drop by the headquarters. Malta is a member. The 2005 Maltese champs were the Melieha Northenders. Man, I hate that team, always buying up all the good Maltese players. When I was a kid, I remember when there were real pennant races in Malta.

2006-01-06 20:09:08
1.   Andrew Shimmin
Um. What future international competitions? Can the IBAF shut down the Dominican Winter League? Disband the Blue Jays? Assuming the Olympians let baseball back in (which, I don't see why they should, and hope they don't either) would they defer to the IBAF? Or is this like Pat Robertson's withdrawing G-d's protection from that Pennsylvania town?
2006-01-06 20:22:06
2.   Bob Timmermann
Well, someone didn't read the story, did they... I'm shocked and dismayed that such behavior would happen.

There is a baseball World Cup every four years. As well as competitions in events like the Pan Am Games and Asian Games.

2006-01-06 20:38:12
3.   I am Ralph
The IBAF can pound sand. Was it around in the days of apartheid South Africa, and, if so, what was its position on boycotting and excluding South Africa from competitions? Probably didn't have one. Like I said, the IBAF can pound sand.
2006-01-06 20:56:31
4.   Andrew Shimmin
2- I tried. I swear I did. But Carmen: A Hip Hpera is on the tv, and it's just so hard to concentrate on anything else. Sorry. I'll slink away, now.
2006-01-06 21:03:03
5.   Bob Timmermann
The South Africa point would be a good one, but South Africa didn't join the organization until 1992.

The IBAF is trying to appease the IOC in any way it can.

2006-01-06 21:20:22
Re 3, I think the IBAF operates under a consensus of its members like other international organisations. In regards to SA I do not know, but apartheid was widely seen as a violation of basic human rights while the exclusion of Cuba is essentially politically motivated.

In my opinion, this act by the IBAF was one of solidarity (which it should be understood is of critical importance for international organisations) and that is why the IBAF has threatened participating nations with future ineligibility.

As a baseball fan, I was really looking forward to this competition. It would be really disappointing if it did not happen because of politics.

Who knows though, something good might come out of this. About fourty-five minutes down the road from the IBAF, there are the headquarters of many other international organisations, whose focuses are much more important than baseball. We can only hope their leaders are paying attention.

2006-01-06 21:52:51
7.   Andrew Shimmin
My slinking shame was short-lived. As I demonstrated earlier, there's no way I'd be following this story, if not for Bob's coverage; thanks Bob. I wasn't looking forward to the WBC. It's better than the All-Star game in that it wouldn't disrupt the real baseball season. But it's still exhibition baseball.

My only interest in this slapfest is that it be as funny as possible. I can't decide whether that would be the WBC turning in to an America vs. Canada, three country tour, or the end of the baseball segment of the Pan Am games.

2006-01-06 22:00:24
8.   I am Ralph
"As a baseball fan, I was really looking forward to ..." seeing Cuban major leaguers play for their home country, but, alas, they cannot and are "dead" to Castro -- an "essentially politically motivated" position of the perennially unelected Jefe. I think it would be disgusting to allow him to have his way. No human rights problems in Cuba, eh?
2006-01-06 22:00:45
9.   Bob Timmermann
I think the WBC would be more interesting if Malta had an entry.
2006-01-06 22:02:08
10.   Bob Timmermann
I've also learned that North Korea is in the IBAF. Now if they sent a team, you could get started on an Axis of Evil group.
2006-01-06 22:10:35
11.   Andrew Shimmin
How soon we all forget. A mere three years ago the Socialst Party won a 97% share of the votes in a sqeeker of a parlimentary election. Mr. Castro won his sixth consecutive five year term as the representative of the Santiago province.
2006-01-06 22:12:22
12.   Andrew Shimmin
Hey, and there should be an opening for a new member. Although, Cuba? Doesn't really have the panache of the other two. Does Syria have any ball players? Maybe Malta could loan them some.
2006-01-06 22:27:34
13.   I am Ralph
Okay, "the perennially 'unanimously' elected Jefe."
2006-01-06 22:30:19
14.   Bob Timmermann
Syria is not in the IBAF, but Iran is.
2006-01-06 23:42:03
15.   Andrew Shimmin
I should totally be in charge of the WBC.

Axis of Evil bracket:

Axis of Bill O'Reilly's antipathy bracket:

What's the deal with baseball and communism, anyway? Cuba, China, DPRK, and Venezuela: all members of the IBAF. Looks like the IBAF endorses the One China policy, too. Chinese Taipei? Oh well.

2006-01-07 00:29:35
16.   Eric Enders
The Maltese National Team. It's the, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.

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