Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, March 10, 2006

Miami Herald: Baxter: Protest leads to possible tumult after Cuban win

“Tira la piedra y esconde la mano!”

A minor protest in the late innings of Cuba’s 11-2 win Thursday night against the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic led to the ejection of a high-ranking member of the Cuban delegation and had Cuba briefly threatening to pull out of the event.

Jose Garcia, a Cuban exile living in San Juan, sitting five rows behind the plate, held up a sign reading Abajo Fidel (Down With Fidel) that was clearly visible on the TV feed that was carried internationally, including in Cuba.

...’‘What happened was a great provocation on the part of four or five counter revolutionaries using signs and offensive language that violated the established norms of the organizing committee,’’ said a statement released by the Cuban team. ``The local police, instead of fixing the problem, showed their support for [the protesters].’‘

 

 

Repoz Posted: March 10, 2006 at 01:40 PM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospect reports

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#1892027)
Well, good for the Puerto Ricans.
   2. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#1892039)
using signs and offensive language that violated the established norms of the organizing committee

Has MLB promised anything like that?
   3. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 02:58 PM (#1892048)
"fixing the problem" sounds like sinister euphemism.
   4. winnipegwhip Posted: March 10, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#1892061)
"Fixing the problem" - It's about time. That was last tried with the Bay of Pigs.
   5. Passed Ball Posted: March 10, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#1892072)
Free speech is a good thing.
Abajo Bush.
   6. Guy LeDouche Posted: March 10, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#1892108)
Guy wishes he could have been at the game with an Anti-Castro sign.

How cool would it be to be called a counter revolutionary?
And Guy's not even Cuban!
   7. Guy LeDouche Posted: March 10, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#1892113)
Plus, they're just trying to hide that lefty that no one's been able to get a look at, something Rodriguez.
   8. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 10, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#1892120)
Free speech is a good thing.

I agree, but private enterprises are allowed to regulate speech. If I am in a movie theater and some yahoo in the back is chanting "Down with Bush! No blood for oil!!", I would expect management to escort him off the premises.

If there was some agreement in place, it would not be unreasonable for the Cubans to ask that it be enforced.
   9. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#1892127)
If there was some agreement in place, it would not be unreasonable for the Cubans to ask that it be enforced.

Not by the police. That would be a major scandal.
   10. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#1892128)
If there were "some agreement in place," I am sure the Cubans would have referred to "that agreement we have in place" rather than "the established norms of the organizing committee." That's like citing "International Law" when you don't have anything better to hang your hat on.

I'm not sure there's been enough time to establish "norms".
   11. jeff angus Posted: March 10, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#1892161)
PhillyBooster said:
I'm not sure there's been enough time to establish "norms".

Actually, there is a "norm" for international competitions <u>such as</u> WBC. Olympics, annual baseball competitions (like Pan American Games, IBAF, et.al.). And as mild as gusano dude was relative to ML norms, he was entirely over the line for international competition, a line that attempts to remove political hectoring or even rude ad hominem blather from all concerned, aiming for an ideal purity of on-field mano-a-mano based on athletics, not "irrelevant" ideological issues. And the ideal is imagined by the international athletic movement's adherents to reduce international conflict off the field, so sanitizing political posturing is a keystone of their whole buh-zunga.

That's the ideal anyway, and the norm is based on that. Universally known by coordinating committees and participant nations' committees and most of the athletes.
   12. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#1892171)
Soccer fans have never heard of those norms, that's for sure :-)

Sounds like some quaint Olympian idea.
   13. Flynn Posted: March 10, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#1892219)
Actually, there is a "norm" for international competitions such as WBC. Olympics, annual baseball competitions (like Pan American Games, IBAF, et.al.).

Sort of like how there's international law, too.

Soccer fans have never heard of those norms, that's for sure :-)

Doesn't mean they won't be arrested. See article in UK papers today about how England fans will be prosecuted if they wear Nazi regalia, sing Nazi songs or perform the Nazi salute in Germany during the tournament.
   14. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 05:17 PM (#1892224)
Doesn't mean they won't be arrested. See article in UK papers today about how England fans will be prosecuted if they wear Nazi regalia, sing Nazi songs or perform the Nazi salute in Germany during the tournament.

Yeah, but that's because all of those things are illegal in Germany. There will be plenty of offensive chanting, don't worry about that.
   15. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 05:17 PM (#1892225)
Doesn't mean they won't be arrested. See article in UK papers today about how England fans will be prosecuted if they wear Nazi regalia, sing Nazi songs or perform the Nazi salute in Germany during the tournament.

Yeah, but that's because all of those things are illegal in Germany. There will be plenty of offensive chanting, don't worry about that.
   16. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 05:24 PM (#1892231)
Sort of like how there's international law, too.


Right. And one of the most prominent international norms is that the United State ignored International Law when it doesn't like it.

If there is an international norm, but the event is occurring in the U.S. (or Puerto Rico, which is close enough), the international norm should be that the international norm will be ignored.
   17. Answer Guy. Posted: March 10, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#1892238)
Right. And one of the most prominent international norms is that the United State ignored International Law when it doesn't like it.

If there is an international norm, but the event is occurring in the U.S. (or Puerto Rico, which is close enough), the international norm should be that the international norm will be ignored.


And to think that some people are still surprised that Iran and North Korea want nuclear weapons.

Not that it matters in this case, since, as SC as already pointed out, it's not as if international soccer games hew to this supposed international norm.
   18. G.W.O. Posted: March 10, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#1892252)
But what if the sign had said "Yankees Suck"?
   19. standuptriple Posted: March 10, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#1892266)
Anyone know where I can get an "Abajo" shirt? I sure hope somebody in Tijuana is entrepeneurial enough.
   20. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#1892401)
Do you think if I show up in San Diego next weekend with an "ABAJO BUSH" sign that I will even be allowed into the park?
   21. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#1892413)
Do you think if I show up in San Diego with an "ABAJO BUSH" sign that I would even be allowed into the ballpark?

I have been denied access into, or escorted out of (and without a refund), ballparks on more than one occasion for perfectly legitimate free expressions of political dissatisfaction with a game's attendee (for the record, both Bush I and Clinton) or disenchantment with a particular team's racist name and mascot.

Suddenly when it's the Cuban government that is being protested, the guy gets police protection in violation of international competition guidelines and his picture in the paper?
   22. ST in VA Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:12 PM (#1892446)
I have been denied access into, or escorted out of (and without a refund), ballparks on more than one occasion for perfectly legitimate free expressions of political dissatisfaction with a game's attendee (for the record, both Bush I and Clinton) or disenchantment with a particular team's racist name and mascot.

The private owner of the ballpark has a right to not let anyone for any reason. (other than discrimination based on sex, race, etc.) This is completely different than the government stopping you from doing something.
   23. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:25 PM (#1892472)
SirTom might I dare suggest that governmental interference with free expression is not on the radar of the present discussion?

Unless of course you are referred to the oxymoronic "free expression zones" that were set up in San Juan for the visit of the Cuban baseball team and are set up wherever the present US president appears "publicly."

Or perhaps you were talking about the suggestion that the police should have been involved in enforcing the code of conduct for international competition instead of being involved in the protection of the individual with the offending sign?

I don't think I wrote anything about the police having been involved in my removal from the private ballparks in question, but feel free to address that issue if you would like, off the present topic though it may be.
   24. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:35 PM (#1892498)
The private owner of the ballpark has a right to not let anyone for any reason.


Rereading your post SirTom, another interesting question to consider, though also offtopic, is itself the notion of private ownership of publicly financed stadia or private lessees of publicly owned facilities.

Getting back to the original question I raised though, feel free to comment on my perception of hypocrisy in private and state coddling in this instance of an individual whose conduct violates the rules of international competition vis-a-vis the actions that would be undertaken (and have been undertaken) towards me if I dared protest a US president at a baseball game.
   25. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#1892520)
feel free to comment on my perception of hypocrisy in private and state coddling in this instance of an individual whose conduct violates the rules of international competition vis-a-vis the actions that would be undertaken (and have been undertaken) towards me if I dared protest a US president at a baseball game.

You don't see the difference between the police arresting someone and a private organization kicking someone off their property?
   26. RichRifkin Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#1892532)
I wonder if the Cubans would have objected if a "counter-revolutionary" held up a sign that read, "Eff Castro!"
   27. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#1892537)
Do you think if I show up in San Diego with an "ABAJO BUSH" sign that I would even be allowed into the ballpark?


Way to criticize Puerto Rican police as hypocrites by positing a hypothetical counterfactual in a different location and then assuming without evidence that the Puerto Rican police would react inconsistently.
   28. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#1892541)
I'm sorry Mr. Royster, but whom did the police arrest in the scenario presently at hand?

Perhaps you are referring to the representative of the Cuban athletic federation who was escorted from the premises in San Juan by the police while he was insisting in vain upon strict adherence to the guidelines governing international athletic competitions that were being ignored yesterday?
   29. ST in VA Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#1892550)
SirTom might I dare suggest that governmental interference with free expression is not on the radar of the present discussion?

I thought this was part of the present discussion because it is implied that the government should have removed the guy with the sign. If not the government, then it would be the owners of the park, who are not bound by international agreements and such. Also, the Cubans implied that "The local police" should fix the problem, and they are part of the government. This seems to be a question of government interference.
   30. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#1892557)
Mr. Philly, you fail to realize that both signs would be in violation of the governing guidelines - and I was not offering an assumption but merely asking your and others' opinions as to what would transpire in such an event.

To reiterate, what resulted yesterday was both private and state coddling of the individual who was in violation of the governing guidelines rather than his removal from the ballpark (or less drastically the removal of the violating sign).

So I ask you again to consider another hypothetical since you apparently concede that I am correct in my original example - do you think that if the individual was holding a sign behind the plate and in view of the cameras that said "Viva Fidel" that such conduct in violation of the applicable guidelines for international competition would have been ignored?

I thought you Americans were supposed to be in favor of law & order, why are you on the side of the individual who violated the guidelines in this instance?
   31. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#1892564)
I thought you Americans were supposed to be in favor of law & order

You're thinking of the Romans. Americans usually place liberty over law and order. They do give it very high Neilsen ratings, though.
   32. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#1892565)
Thank you for your response SirTom - so it was indeed the suggestion that the police enforce the codes of acceptable behavior to which your comments referred. Thanks for clarifying.

So SirTom is your position then that the police and the stadium management were/are free to disregard the guidelines under which the game was being played if the guidelines don't suit their political temperament?
   33. ST in VA Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#1892567)
I thought you Americans were supposed to be in favor of law & order, why are you on the side of the individual who violated the guidelines in this instance?

Personally I believe in property rights over some "guideline" that is not law in the jurisdiction in question. If the owner allows something then it should happen.
   34. ST in VA Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:11 PM (#1892569)
So SirTom is your position then that the police and the stadium management were/are free to disregard the guidelines under which the game was being played if the guidelines don't suit their political temperament?

Yes, as long as it is not breaking the law.
   35. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#1892576)

To reiterate, what resulted yesterday was both private and state coddling of the individual who was in violation of the governing guidelines rather than his removal from the ballpark


Again, what "governing guideline" was involved? All I've seen are citations to the Olympics (this is not the Olympics) and "the established norms of the organizing committee", which doesn't appear to have any content.

I'm am saying that there appears to not actually be any "governing guideline" that can be enforced -- properly or otherwise.
   36. Halofan Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#1892580)
You don't see the difference between the police arresting someone and a private organization kicking someone off their property?

One is a night in jail and the other is walking to the other side of the curb.
One is an excessive use of force the other is an exercise of property rights.

The notion of San Diego just got more exciting.
   37. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#1892585)
Americans usually place liberty over law and order.


Mr. Mahken, how do you reconcile that with (as quick examples) the PATRIOT Act, your NSA domestic spying program and surveillance of domestic dissidents, and the aforementioned roving and oxymoronically-termed "free speech zones" wherever the current US president appears "publicly."

Straying a bit offtopic, in response to your quite ironic offhanded humour Mr. Mahnken:
You're thinking of the Romans
I must confess however that it's getting even more difficult these days not to confuse the Romans and the Americans, though I don't believe that the utility of petroleum had been fully recognized in the Roman Era.
   38. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#1892596)
So SirTom is your position then that the police and the stadium management were/are free to disregard the guidelines under which the game was being played if the guidelines don't suit their political temperament?

Do you really think the police can or should interfere with somebody not breaking any law or disturbing public order, who are exercising their constitutionally protected right of free speech?
   39. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#1892654)
Well Mr. Chef (yes as I read your post I imagined it being read aloud in a voice the cross between Isaac Hayes on South Park and the chef on the Muppet Show of apparent Scandinavian origin), is it not disturbing public order to be acting in contravention of the agreed-upon and well-established guidelines for acceptable behavior at a sporting competition between national teams?

The rule as I understood it prohibited specific politcal statements beyond the general nature of a "Go Cuba" or "Go Netherlands."
   40. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:40 PM (#1892656)
Do you really think the police can or should interfere with somebody not breaking any law or disturbing public order, who are exercising their constitutionally protected right of free speech?

No, I do not. But neither do I begrudge the Cubans their complaint. As for the "The police should have taken them away." comment, I'm willing to dismiss that as a cultural difference. There probably isn't such a thing as private security in Cuba, that's a job for the police. I'm sure they would have been just fine with stadium security enforcing the guidelines and removing the sign.

All of this is predicated on the assumption that their claim about the guidelines is valid.
   41. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#1892665)
is it not disturbing public order to be acting in contravention of the agreed-upon and well-established guidelines for acceptable behavior at a sporting competition between national teams?


No. It's not.
   42. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:46 PM (#1892671)
Mr. Miserlou I would agree with you that first the job was one for the usher of the specific section where the offender was seated, then for stadium security if the offender persisted, and only as a last resort for the police.

Your explanation of the statement being based on Cuban cultural differences may be well-taken, though it may also have been the case that the statement was taken out of context from a discussion similar to the first paragraph of this post, or even, given the quickness of Americans to resort to anti-Castro sentiment, a deliberate or perhaps inadvertent mistranslation of the original Spanish (Cuban dialectical Spanish in particular can be extremely difficult to understand and its idioms to translate).
   43. rory_b_bellows Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:48 PM (#1892683)
What surprises me in all of this is the fact that not everyone in the world knows that the US is the most evil country in the world mostly because of our unelected president chimpy mcbush.....

I think those cubans are lucky that the police/SS didn't take them out back and stand them up against a wall like we do to everyone else that shows displeasure with our actions...
   44. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#1892686)
Ah Mr. Chef, are you a fan of Lars Baeckmann?
   45. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:54 PM (#1892693)
is it not disturbing public order to be acting in contravention of the agreed-upon and well-established guidelines for acceptable behavior at a sporting competition between national teams?



No. It's not.


Probably true, depending on the severity of the actions. But I imagine if the perpetrator were asked to leave by stadium officials and refused, he could then be considered a tresspasser and then the local constabultory could get involved.
   46. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#1892700)
SirTom wrote:
Personally I believe in property rights ... If the owner allows something then it should happen.


Sadly, this is, always has been, and will forever be, the USA's Achilles heel. "Property rights" at its heart does little but privilege private tyranny of the minority and as such is antithetical to any meaningful notions of liberty and democracy.

As a brief aside, property rights coupled with a governmental system weighted towards property ownership both in the attainment of governmental power and in the exercise of such power has thoroughly undermined what once years ago had the potential to be a beautiful American democracy.
   47. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#1892709)
Ah Mr. Chef, are you a fan of Lars Baeckmann?

It's our best cultural icon ever. I mean, what is Greta Garbo or Björn Borg compared to the Swedish Chef? The fact that the muppet is based on a real live swedish chef says it all about the authenticity of the character :-)
   48. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#1892712)
Again, the "well established guidelines" (which I continue to say are not well established guidelines) pertain to the stadium-owner/WBC rep. Not the sign-holder.

If it DID apply to the sign holder, then the answer is still NO, because holding a sign does not disturb the peace (on the theoretical level) and did not (on the actual level).

But the complaint is not against the sign holder -- it is against the Security Guards for not acting AGAINST the guy. I don't see at all how not acting against a guy who is not disturbing the peace could be considered itself disturbing the peace. (A better question is whether acting against the guy and starting a riot would itself be a breach of the peace).

As it is, the sign holder wasn't bothering anyone, and the guards left him alone. I see "peace", not a disturbance.
   49. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:12 PM (#1892738)
Sadly, this is, always has been, and will forever be, the USA's Achilles heel. "Property rights" at its heart does little but privilege private tyranny of the minority and as such is antithetical to any meaningful notions of liberty and democracy.

So you're saying that if someone marched into your front door and marched back and forth in your living room, chanting slogans and waving signs, there should be nothing that you or the police or anyone can do about it, because the person is exercising their right to free speech?
   50. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:12 PM (#1892739)
Mr. PhillyFan wrote:
Again, what "governing guideline" was involved? All I've seen are citations to the Olympics (this is not the Olympics) and "the established norms of the organizing committee", which doesn't appear to have any content.

I'm am saying that there appears to not actually be any "governing guideline" that can be enforced -- properly or otherwise.


Mr. Philly, I have admittedly not been able to locate these presumed guidelines - my question for you is assuming that the guidelines do exist, why would they be so difficult to locate and why would your American so-called "liberal media" not explain or given context or content to the comments you reference by the Cuban delegation about "the established norms of the organizing committee"?

If the guidelines do not exist, then what the Cubans are requesting is an unsupportable crackdown on free speech - not much different in substance (though of course different in content) from the one that SirTom celebrates on behalf of "private owners."

Personally, I abhor selective censorship in either form - whether private or state.
   51. Swedish Chef Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#1892745)
And really, what is provocative about a sign telling Castro he should resign? It isn't a violent message or anything.
   52. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#1892748)
Mr. PhillyFan wrote:
the sign holder wasn't bothering anyone


So you tell me what happened yesterday then if he wasn't bothering anyone...
   53. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:21 PM (#1892767)
On a side note, Mark Grace broke many a batting slump by invading the Bay of Pigs.
   54. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:23 PM (#1892773)
And really, what is provocative about a sign telling Castro he should resign? It isn't a violent message or anything.

It's provocative to Castro, I guess...
   55. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:39 PM (#1892825)
Gentlemen-

Here's what I was able to come up with in regard to the question of "guidelines":

The IBAF by self-definition is the governing body for any baseball competition played between nations, according to Chapter VI, Articles 64 & 65.

http://www.baseball.ch/2003/f/statutes/stat.html

As a result, the IBAF Code of Ethics is in effect at any such competition.

http://www.baseball.ch/2003/F/statutes/BL/Ethics.pdf

The Code of Ethics governs all
"Federations, Associations, Organisations, Confederations,
athletes, coaches, umpires, administrators, officials and managers at any level"
and requires
honesty, respect, solidarity and fairness in
relations between players, teams, member Federations and organisations
and also
respectful, disciplined and supportive conduct, both on and off the field of play, whether in competi
tion or training, thereby ensuring through individual and group effort that Baseball conveys at all times an
educational message of solidarity and peace.
and
refrain from demonstrating or accepting, in any circumstances, physical or verbal aggression or gestures
that undermine physical or moral integrity or human dignity.
and finally <blockquote>feelings of friendship, companionship and solidarity among athletes, coaches, umpires, administra
tors, officials, managers and local authorities, expressed through absolute respect towards persons, institu
tions, countries and their symbols."

I can certainly understand, without necessarily agreeing politically, that allowing a spectator to call for regime change in Cuba from within the ballpark in view of the players and the rest of the Cuban delegation and in full view of the cameras broadcasting the game worldwide and to Cuba would certainly violate the IBAF Code of Ethics.

I would be happy to read a well-reasoned contrary position from any of you fellow baseball fans.
   56. Ben Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:44 PM (#1892842)
Fred-
Mr. Philly, I have admittedly not been able to locate these presumed guidelines - my question for you is assuming that the guidelines do exist, why would they be so difficult to locate


Are you alleging a right-wing conspiracy to suppress the guidelines?

Also, you "abhor selective censorship"? Censorship is by definition selective. You seem quite supportive of the idea that the police should stop a man from peacefully holding a sign at a baseball game. Do you have evidence that the Puerto Rican police apprehended or removed pro-Castro or anti-American sign carriers?

Simply because we allow a team from an authortarian state to play baseball in this little sideshow doesn't require that we cede control of Puerto Rico to the whims of an insecure and paranoid dictator. If Castro's hold on Cuba is so fragile that the populace will be inflamed to revolution by "Abajo Castro" in block letters then perhaps he has more serious problems than the failure of foriegn law enforcement to appropriately silence dissidents.

The Puerto Rico police are helping Cuban authorities prevent Cuban baseball players from defecting. Mr. Smith, may I enquire as to your opinion of that?
   57. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:46 PM (#1892847)
I hope you will forgive that the last post looks like crap.
   58. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#1892866)
Not your post Mr. PhillyFan but my post with the excerpts from the IBAF Code of Ethics.
   59. PhillyBooster Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#1892867)
So you tell me what happened yesterday then if he wasn't bothering anyone...


Well, he was certainly bothering government officials. The "disturbing the peace" thing is about preventing civil unrest. You can't say, "take him away or I will riot!" though. The nearby fans weren't bothered, which is the relevant issue.

Mr. PhillyFan wrote:


Why do I feel like I'm debating a KGB agent from a 1970s B-movie?
If the guidelines do not exist, then what the Cubans are requesting is an unsupportable crackdown on free speech - not much different in substance (though of course different in content) from the one that SirTom celebrates on behalf of "private owners."


Yeah. That's what I'm saying mostly. The burden has to be on the person who says "You are doing something wrong" to demonstrate why. I'm not really happy with private rights to exclude in a semi-public accomodation like stadia, but at least the owner of the stadium can point to his lease and say "mine mine mine." Until someone shows me a "Guideline" or a "norm", it's just the Cubans making junk up.
   60. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:56 PM (#1892880)
Mr. PhillyFan, please redirect your attention to the post above wherein I excerpt the applicable guidelines from the IBAF Code of Ethics.
   61. J. Michael Neal Posted: March 10, 2006 at 10:23 PM (#1892936)
Mr. PhillyFan, please redirect your attention to the post above wherein I excerpt the applicable guidelines from the IBAF Code of Ethics.

As far as I can tell, the IBAF is completely uninvolved in the WBC. They are not the default organizer of international baseball competitions; they are the organizer of international baseball competitions that they, uhm, organize. Which the WBC is not.

Hence, my contention that you are misreading their Code of Ethics is irrelevant, and I don't need to go into. The code simply has no bearing on these proceedings. Those running the WBC have no need to follow the guidelines of an organization that they are not a part of, and with which they are in no way involved.
   62. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 10:27 PM (#1892941)
I think we are now addressing some important substantive issues.

Mr. PhillyFan wrote:
Also, you "abhor selective censorship"? Censorship is by definition selective. You seem quite supportive of the idea that the police should stop a man from peacefully holding a sign at a baseball game. Do you have evidence that the Puerto Rican police apprehended or removed pro-Castro or anti-American sign carriers?
Point-by point I respond thusly:
1. You split semantic hairs. Censorship both encompasses the general prohibition of comments regarding a certain topic and the selective allowal of some sentiments regarding a topic but not other sentiments regarding the same topic. Both are worrisome and antithetical to free expression, but to reiterate, selective censorship is particularly insidious in that it results in the dissemination of only one side of an issue while contrary viewpoints are actively suppressed.
2. I am NOT supportive of the idea that the police should stop a man from peacefully holding a sign at a baseball game, though in this instance of course the advocacy of regime change ("down with Castro") is hardly peaceful. Personally, I am more supportive in principle that individuals should ALWAYS be able to speak freely except in those rare situations where their speech would create imminent danger (shouting fire in a crowded theatre of course the classic example of truly dangerous speech).
3. No of course I do not have such evidence in this instance, but neither arguendo do I need it. Hence my hypotheticals about an "Abajo Bush" sign in San Diego or "Viva Fidel" in San Juan.

To recap, what gives offense here is the idea that the police/stadium security/whoever would coddle the individual who had been acting in violation of applicable guidelines rather than enforce those guidelines.

While the guidelines are offensive to my ideas of freedom, if there are such guidelines they should be enforced across the board. If there were in fact pro-Fidel signs allowed in the ballpark then that would undermine my position. Feel free to provide me with any information to that effect.

Mr. PhillyFan also wrote:
The Puerto Rico police are helping Cuban authorities prevent Cuban baseball players from defecting. Mr. Smith, may I enquire as to your opinion of that?


While I admit to sympathizing with many of the aims of the so-called Cuban Revolution (a society based on self-autonomy and freedom from imperialistic exploitation; on material equality rather than materialistic accumulation; on equal access to excellent education and healthcare; and on preservation of a culture based on spirituality, beisbol, great music, and physical expression, not to mention the world's best tobacco; shouldn't be objectionable to anyone), tend to agree somewhat with Castro when he chides expatriates for "succombing to the temptation of American millions," and also agree that Cuba's material "shortcomings" have almost everything to do with the illegal and unethical American trade blockade of the island, I wholeheartedly DO NOT agree with the notion that Cuba can or should keep its athletes or any other citizens for that matter under lock and key and restrict their ability to travel freely around the globe.

And I say that believing sincerely that Castro's "paranoia" about US intentions (and Hugo Chavez's re Venezuela, Evo Morales's re Bolivia, and Aristide's in Haiti too) is well-founded. Just as one example among many, when the US Attorney General approves a plan for the Mafia (whom he is supposed to be prosecuting after all) to effectuate regime change in Cuba, I suppose just about anything in that respect has to be considered in play from Cuba's perspective.
   63. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 10:41 PM (#1892963)
Mr. Neal wrote:
As far as I can tell, the IBAF is completely uninvolved in the WBC. They are not the default organizer of international baseball competitions ... The code simply has no bearing on these proceedings.
Sir, I believe that you may not have read Chapter VI, Article 64, of the IBAF by-laws, which states as follows:

"Article 64.
Any International Baseball Game or International Baseball Tournament between teams and/or clubs that come under the jurisdiction and/or auspices of one or more Member Federations and/or comprising of one or more players that come under the jurisdiction and/or auspices of one or more Member Federations, shall come under the jurisdiction of the IBAF
and shall be subject to the Statutes, By-Laws, Rules, Regulations and Policies as established by the IBAF from time to time"

I am happy to hear how you feel this is inapplicable to the WBC. If you have specific information that the IBAF and WBC are completely disinvolved, I would love to see it. My understanding is that the WBC is indeed an IBAF-sanctioned undertaking.
Hence, my contention that you are misreading their Code of Ethics is irrelevant, and I don't need to go into.

Irrelevant though you may think it, please do pay me the respect of articulating the basis of your contention rather than disrespectfully offering a simple naked assertion sir.

Hey did you guys see there was a no-hitter thrown today by the Netherlands albeit in mercy rule-abbreviated form?
   64. Tom Poquette Posted: March 10, 2006 at 10:42 PM (#1892966)
Great post Ben.

Fred, you say the Code of Ethics governs all, but the quote provided mentions nothing about fans.

</blockquote>The Code of Ethics governs all

"Federations, Associations, Organisations, Confederations,
athletes, coaches, umpires, administrators, officials and managers at any level"<blockquote>


That is assuming that the IBAF guidelines governs all, which in this case may be like saying 2+2=5.
   65. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#1892970)
Mr. Neal, I apologize that I only found this after typing out the above response. The following is from the first official WBC press release last July announcing the existence of the WBC:

"The World Baseball Classic, a 16-nation tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will feature the best players in the World competing for their home countries for the first time..."
   66. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: March 10, 2006 at 10:52 PM (#1892977)
You mean I shouldn't show up to a Cuban WBC game with a sign saying "Overthrow Fidel" in Spanish?
   67. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#1892981)
Mr. Poquette, the Code of Ethics imposes the above-referenced responsibilities on "Federations, Associations, Organisations, Confederations,
athletes, coaches, umpires, administrators, officials and managers" to see to it that the stated objectives are achieved and the prohibited conduct disallowed.

For the administrators or officials at the San Juan site to permit the display of a sign advocating regime change in any of the participating nations appears to clearly be in violation of their responsibilities as set forth in the excerpted relevant portion of the ethics code.

So yes you are correct in an overly legalistic sense that the code does not specifically impose obligations on the fans themselves but rather on the administrators or officials in charge of regulating fan conduct.

Do I correctly surmise that you must be an attorney sir?
   68. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 11:05 PM (#1892998)
Mr. Ben previously wrote:

Are you alleging a right-wing conspiracy to suppress the guidelines?

Interestingly this article from the American corporate press also eviscerates any legitimate basis for the Cuban dissatisfaction with the failure of the San Juan authorities to live up to their responsibilities under the IBAF Code of Ethics, choosing instead to disingenuous protray the issue as a more general freedom of speech question.

Also of note, the article presents two abbreviated quotations (clauses not even full sentences) lifted entirely devoid of context from statements issued from within Cuba, but chooses to devote six paragraphs to content from what is identified within the article as "An anti-Castro Web site."

And Mr. Ben, I offer my apology for incorrectly identifying your statements earlier as having been made by Mr. PhillyFan. I regret my mistake in so doing and welcome your comments in response to my position.
   69. FredWSmith Posted: March 10, 2006 at 11:18 PM (#1893013)
Mr. CobraCommander hilariously wrote:
You mean I shouldn't show up to a Cuban WBC game with a sign saying "Overthrow Fidel" in Spanish

I'm not saying that. If your conscience demands that you do so, by all means go for it dude! Just don't expect to be able to display it for long or even stay in the ballpark for that matter.

I'd suggest having two tickets to the game, using the worst one, displaying the sign far away from either of your ticketed seats, and then after you've been evicted toss the sign away, go into the game through a different entrance, sit in your good seats, and enjoy the hell outta the ballgame! You sure deserve it at that point.

For what it's worth, it's always worked for me that way.
   70. Ben Posted: March 10, 2006 at 11:53 PM (#1893072)
No of course I do not have such evidence in this instance, but neither arguendo do I need it. Hence my hypotheticals about an "Abajo Bush" sign in San Diego or "Viva Fidel" in San Juan.


Only the second of those is relevant. San Diego's stadia policies are not Puerto Rican jurisdiction. If you have evidence that the Puerto Rican authorities suppressed pro-Castro signs then you have a legitimate argument about unfair censorship.
   71. FredWSmith Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#1893173)
No Mr. Ben the burden would be on you to demonstrate that other signs that were pro-Castro in content were allowed, as the allowance of a sign that was anti-Castro in clear ignorance of the stadium authorities' obligations as conferred by their participation in an IBAF-sanctioned event is prima facie censorship.

The relevance of the San Diego hypothetical is also not so easily discarded, as San Diego must abide by the same code as the San Juan stadium authorities, and you know that a "Down with Bush" sign isn't getting me into that park.
   72. Tom Poquette Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:16 AM (#1893185)
Fred, our 'corporate media' allows dissent; that's why few people would bother bringing an anti-Bush (or anti-Clinton) sign to a ballgame. Those that do would be laughed at even if someone agrees with the message.

Cubans don't have that luxury. That prison society, looked at with lust by the socialists that don't have to live there, doesn't allow freedom of speech. Hence the need for the sign...how else can you send Castro a message?

Can you tell us what you think would happen had that Cuban brought that sign to a game in Havana?
   73. Dave Bowman Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#1893190)
Seriously, has no one noticed FredW's join date? Nobody at all?
   74. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:30 AM (#1893201)
Seriously, has no one noticed FredW's join date? Nobody at all?

So he joined today. So what? Presumably he was motivated to post today for the first time due to this incident. Does that make his POV any less valid?

I have a feeling that we share diametrically opposite political viewpoints (I'm not a fan of the Boca Breeze), but I do feel he, and the Cubans have a point.
   75. Answer Guy. Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#1893211)
Fred, our 'corporate media' allows dissent; that's why few people would bother bringing an anti-Bush (or anti-Clinton) sign to a ballgame.

I'm not sure that that's directly relevant as to what signs are allowed in the ballpark.

That prison society, looked at with lust by the socialists that don't have to live there, doesn't allow freedom of speech.

I'm not sure anyone on here (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) looks at Cuba and thinks "lust." I make no claim that it's a good place to live, though I question whether it's much worse, if at all, than a lot of the places in Latin America that U.S. foreign policy has had more influence over, let alone somewhere like North Korea.
   76. Dave Bowman Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:37 AM (#1893214)
So he joined today. So what? Presumably he was motivated to post today for the first time due to this incident. Does that make his POV any less valid?

I would buy that if not for his bizarre "Mr." mannerism and the way he reminds me, in some inscrutable way, of Mark Garber.
   77. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#1893222)
I would buy that if not for his bizarre "Mr." mannerism and the way he reminds me, in some inscrutable way, of Mark Garber.

I don't think this is Garber's style. He'd be much more likely to jump into the Bonds threads and ask why steroids are such a big deal. This strikes me as a legit, though somewhat trivial, topic, not ripe for the kind of trolling Garber was known for.
   78. Dave Bowman Posted: March 11, 2006 at 02:13 AM (#1893253)
I wasn't saying this guy /is/ Garber, just that he gives off a very Garber-like vibe-- the air of unreality is just so strong that I can't believe he's not pulling all our legs. That or this is his first time on the Internet after being home-schooled by very old-fashioned, yet surprisingly liberal, parents who were really strict about calling everybody "mister," but who were pretty much A-OK with the Cuban revolution.
   79. Dave Bowman Posted: March 11, 2006 at 02:29 AM (#1893267)
I wonder if this is where he got the "disturbing the peace" thing from:

http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/secciones/ingles/noticias/art82.html



The way the local police reacted, as reported by the newspaper, indicates that authorities from the host country have violated the agreement reached with Cuba that provocations from the enemies of the Revolution in the framework of the tournament will be avoided. The people who were protesting the insult were thrown out of the game, while those who violated the peace of the sporting event were given protection to carry on their disturbance.
   80. Ben Posted: March 11, 2006 at 02:46 AM (#1893275)
No Mr. Ben the burden would be on you to demonstrate that other signs that were pro-Castro in content were allowed, as the allowance of a sign that was anti-Castro in clear ignorance of the stadium authorities' obligations as conferred by their participation in an IBAF-sanctioned event is prima facie censorship.


What if no one brought a pro-Castro sign? You know that he's an oppressive dictator, right? No matter that he agrees with you on economics(and boy those command economies have a hell of a track record, eh?), he's not tremendously popular outside of the Cuban military and idealistic and misguided western liberals.
Also, how can allowing a sign be prima facie censorship?

And there is no relevance of the San Diego hypothetical. The reaction by San Diego authorities to a negative sign about the leader of the nation San Diego is in vs. the reaction of Puerto Rican authorities to a negative sign about the leader of some other country are completely different situations. Even if the San Diego stadium authorities requested that you not display an anti-Bush sign that doesn't make the Puerto Rican authorities biased or hypocrites.
   81. Swedish Chef Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#1893482)
I'm not sure anyone on here (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) looks at Cuba and thinks "lust." I make no claim that it's a good place to live, though I question whether it's much worse, if at all, than a lot of the places in Latin America that U.S. foreign policy has had more influence over, let alone somewhere like North Korea.

It depends on what value you put on intellectual freedom and internet access.

"Lust" is quite correct, many europeans go there as sex tourists.
   82. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:52 PM (#1893487)
Actually, I was totally on the same wave length until someone derided people who approved of the revolution.

Castro has been bad, but it's really hard for him to measure up to Bautista. On human rights violations, Castro's not even in the same ballpark.

Personally, I wish they would have taken Marti's wisdom as doctrine and kept having revolutions until they got a decent leader.
   83. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 11, 2006 at 01:57 PM (#1893489)
Oops, that's "Fulgencio Batista", not Danny Bautista.
   84. Swedish Chef Posted: March 11, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#1893492)
Castro has been bad, but it's really hard for him to measure up to Bautista. On human rights violations, Castro's not even in the same ballpark.

Maybe not peak, but surely Castro's longevity gives him higher career value, and makes him a worthy candidate for the tyrannical HoF.
   85. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: March 11, 2006 at 02:05 PM (#1893494)
E-X, that's close to arguing that the operation was a success but the patient died. Even if Batista was worse than Castro (probably true), I believe that if the Castro revolution never took place, the Cuban people would be much better off today than they are now. Chile and the Dominican Republic are two latin countries which successfully weathered right wing despots without the intervention of 50 years of left wing despots.

Of course a lot of that has to do with the US embargo. I suppose Kennedy shares a lot of the blame.
   86. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 11, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#1893500)
No Mr. Ben the burden would be on you to demonstrate that other signs that were pro-Castro in content were allowed, as the allowance of a sign that was anti-Castro in clear ignorance of the stadium authorities' obligations as conferred by their participation in an IBAF-sanctioned event is prima facie censorship.


MLB only cares about the IBAF so long as it's convenient - all things being equal, they rather have IBAF sanction than not since the perceived extra slice legitimacy helps a little in getting the WBC off the ground.

But IBAF charter or no, MLB has no obligation to give a whit what the IBAF says. The IBAF charter can say they have authority over all baseball games between countries all its wants, but that's merely authority by fiat and unless there are contracts involved, it's no more valid than the Dan Szymborski Charter that declares I have the final say in all financial transactions between all sovereign nations.

Mr. Mahken, how do you reconcile that with (as quick examples) the PATRIOT Act, your NSA domestic spying program and surveillance of domestic dissidents, and the aforementioned roving and oxymoronically-termed "free speech zones" wherever the current US president appears "publicly."

That it's such a big ccontroversy in the US only serves to demonstrate how American citizens feel about their rights.
   87. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 11, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#1893591)
Woo! It's nice to get back into subjects that I agree with Kevin on!
   88. Passed Ball Posted: March 12, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#1894322)
I have read with interest the discussion above, but I still can't tell whether I can wear my "Selig Sucks" t-shirt to MLB games this year.
   89. Swedish Chef Posted: March 12, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#1894353)
I have read with interest the discussion above, but I still can't tell whether I can wear my "Selig Sucks" t-shirt to MLB games this year.

Only if you want to be a revolutionary martyr.
   90. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 12, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#1894454)
Swedish Chef--that was hilarious AND accurate. Good stuff :)

E-X, that's close to arguing that the operation was a success but the patient died. Even if Batista was worse than Castro (probably true), I believe that if the Castro revolution never took place, the Cuban people would be much better off today than they are now. Chile and the Dominican Republic are two latin countries which successfully weathered right wing despots without the intervention of 50 years of left wing despots.

Of course a lot of that has to do with the US embargo. I suppose Kennedy shares a lot of the blame.


Um, no it's not. What you are saying is that if a patient rejects a transplant it means that the transplant was a dumb idea to begin with.

I said that they should have kicked out Batista because he was terrible and then they should have kicked out Castro. I mean, it's possible that you are smarter than Jose Marti, but could you at least address his theory instead of making up poor analogies?
   91. Answer Guy. Posted: March 12, 2006 at 07:50 PM (#1894647)
I think the only thing that's well-founded there is the ability of those guys to exploit anti-Yanqui demagoguery to bolster support at home for their regimes.

Well, was there or was there not a Bay of Pigs Invasion? Not to mention a long series of attempts (some of them really comical, like the one that involved covering a diving suit with itching powder) to oust Fidel and tacit and not-so-tacit support of various attempts to undermine his regime. Whatever one thinks of Fidel or his regime, or the various anti-Castro groups involved...I wouldn't say that his fear/loathing of the United States was "unfounded."

As for Chavez...was there or was there not a coup attempt in Venezuela a few years back? Don't tell me that you actually believe that the U.S. had nothing to do with that.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Martin Hemner
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThe Caray legacy revisited, 30 years later
(30 - 1:58am, May 15)
Last: GregD

NewsblogOMNICHATTER's so ugly, it's required to wear masks — Halloween masks, for May 14, 2021
(7 - 1:06am, May 15)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogPadres players Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers test positive for COVID-19, at least 3 other players out for contact tracing
(43 - 1:05am, May 15)
Last: Lowry Seasoning Salt

NewsblogNBA 2020 Season kick-off thread
(3185 - 11:28pm, May 14)
Last: CFBF's Results are Certified

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(13074 - 11:26pm, May 14)
Last: Hank Gillette

NewsblogMayor says MLB has discussed A’s relocation to Las Vegas since 2019
(7 - 10:54pm, May 14)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogMLB players union seeking $500 million in grievance against league
(1 - 8:56pm, May 14)
Last: "bothsidesism" word 57i66135

NewsblogMax Scherzer and the Coming Wave of 3,000-Strikeout Pitchers
(33 - 7:27pm, May 14)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogMilwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes sets record for strikeouts without a walk to start season
(8 - 7:07pm, May 14)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogWith Bob Cousy, Pedro Martinez And More In Attendance, Worcester Red Sox Open Polar Park
(20 - 6:52pm, May 14)
Last: Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc

NewsblogESPN, MLB announce seven-year extension running through 2028
(1 - 6:34pm, May 14)
Last: Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc

NewsblogThese Aren’t the Hits MLB Wanted
(25 - 6:14pm, May 14)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogNew York Yankees 3B coach Phil Nevin, 1B coach Reggie Willits positive for COVID-19
(36 - 4:56pm, May 14)
Last: Hank Gillette

Sox TherapyTap the Brakes
(13 - 4:51pm, May 14)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - Spring is in the Air
(437 - 4:49pm, May 14)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Page rendered in 0.6573 seconds
48 querie(s) executed