Cuban baseball doc shows defectors

At least one New York sports team can win in the playoffs
Was another Hughes deal on the table?

Orlando Hernandez and other Cuban baseball defectors were on the air in Cuba for the first time since feeling the country. In a sign of loosening policies, officials allowed a baseball documentary on the air in Cuba. The 68-minute documentary, made in 2004, looks at how players who left the island nation view their Cuban heritage.

At least one New York sports team can win in the playoffs
Was another Hughes deal on the table?
  • Jamal G

    Oh man, if Cuba were ever to become part of the International Signing look out! That nation is just oozing with talent. Im proud to be from Central America but there is not even an argument that Cuba owns us and virtually everybody (DR and Venezuela do have a fighting chance) when it comes to baseball in Latin America.

    I just drool at the possibility of Yulieski Gourriel (#10, 2B for Cuba in WBC, being able to be signed by the Yankees. I know he won’t defect because they say his father played in Cuba and his family has strong connections to the Government so his life is good down there and really has no reason to skip town.

  • dan

    Are baseball players exempt from the ban on Cuban products (like cigars) from our government? Players are people, but if you think about it, they are kind of bought and sold as if they were merchandise (Yankees buy A-rod’s services to entertain fans). If our government wanted to, would it have the authority to say that Cuban baseball players cannot be signed by American teams? Just kinda thinking out loud here…

    • mooks

      If the player defects, or is no longer a resident of cuba, he can play ball. If the US tried to ban them fron being signed for any reason, it would spark a civil rights lawsuit. FWIW, note that most cuban ballplayers do NOT defect to the US directly, but to the DR or another caribbean country so as to avoid being drafted and instead be a free agent.

      Players that do not or would not defect or continue to be residents of Cuba would not be able to play ball in the US even if the cuban government allowed it.

      • dan

        So if I understand you correctly… if the player is still a resident of Cuba then a US team cannot sign him (even if he’s allowed by cuba to sign). But since the players leave the country before signing, they are no longer “property” of Cuba and can therefore sign in the US.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Fascinating. Thanks for the tip. I’ll be looking out for this.

  • steve (different one)

    link for you guys:

    For the second time this offseason, the Yankees have pulled their Phil Hughes-centered trade offer for Johan Santana off the table.

    The Yankees, then, will not restart trade talks with the Twins unless Hank Steinbrenner has another change of heart, a baseball official with knowledge of the talks told 1050 ESPN Radio’s Andrew Marchand.

    it sounds like the Yankees made a SECOND offer based around Hughes, and the Twins wouldn’t bite.

  • JRVJ


    ¿Witti, tú eres Panameño cómo yo?

    And while I think Cuba has tons of talent, the fact that such Cuban defectors as have come out (including the younger ones) haven’t set the world on fire leads me to believe that Cuban baseball will need a little seasoning/international exposure until it reaches its true plateau (which should at least be as high as the DR’s).