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Archive for April 9th, 2019

54 Today

The Astrodome opened 54 years ago today with the Astros hosting the Yankees. How many future Hall of Fame greats played in that game?

MLB and Cuba and Cuban baseball players finally had a deal worked out and it appeared to be working out for all until yesterday. This makes no sense at all. This is stupid. Here is from NPR:

The Trump administration has canceled a deal between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to join professional teams in the U.S. and Canada.

Under the four-month-old agreement, a major league club seeking to sign certain Cuban players would have to pay a release fee – 25 percent over the player’s signing bonus – to the Federation. The player would also have to pay Cuban income taxes on foreign earnings.

The deal, which was initially negotiated under President Barack Obama, met with immediate opposition from the Trump administration.

It was designed to end the often dangerous pattern of ambitious Cuban stars seeking to join the major leagues by defecting and arranging to smuggle themselves out of Cuba with the aid of human traffickers. Under the agreement, Cuban players may return to the island during the off-season, unlike those who defect.

A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in a briefing that the agreement itself was a form of “human trafficking” by the Cuban government and that the Cuban Baseball Federation is a subsidiary of the Cuban government.

“We look forward to the day that Cuban baseball players can fully contract with Major League Baseball like players from every other country in the world and not as pawns of the Cuban dictatorship,” the official told reporters.

Major League Baseball defended the plan.

“We stand by the goal of the agreement, which is to end the human trafficking of baseball players from Cuba,” said league vice president Michael Teevan, in a terse e-mailed statement.

The administration blocked the baseball deal just a few days after the Cuban federation released the names of 34 players eligible to sign with MLB teams. Cuban players older than 25 years old and with six years of experience were eligible for the arrangement. Younger players were required to get the Cuban Baseball Federation’s blessing to play for MLB teams.

It turns out Donald Trump thinks it is a good thing to separate families. Voters don’t. We will see what happens next.

There is a story in the Chron today about Harris County Commissioners Court needing a bigger meeting room. Nothing wrong with folks now having an interest in county government. It is about time.

On a kind of related note, the Astrodome is nearly twice the age of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

Hall of Fame greats Nellie Fox Mickey Mantle and Joe Morgan played in the Astrodome the night it opened of course.

We have now won four in row and are 6-5.

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