Final Score: Netherlands 6, Cuba 2.
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Piet Hein’s capturing of a Spanish treasure fleet in Havana harbors.
Cuba knew, even before Thursday’s game, not to take the Dutch for granted. Much like the captured Dutch cabin boy who in the 1620s warned the Spaniards of a Dutch attack on Cuba’s harbors shortly before it came, the Dutch underdog victories in 2006 and 2009 had alerted Cuba that the Netherlands were out to conquer all.
In 1628, Dutch Admiral Piet Pieterszoon Hein…for those of who didn’t read that name once, please: Piet Pieterszoon Hein…thank you…commanded a fleet in an effort to raid a Spanish treasure fleet in a Cuban harbor. There was great wealth to be had and beautiful prizes to be claimed, much like the World Baseball Classic championship trophy. The mindset of the Dutch people has not changed in nearly 400 years. It continues to be, “Get everything shiny, and that’s enough for me.”
The Dutch team led an attack on the unprepared Cubans in a very similar way to Admiral Hein. They overwhelmed the Cubans, but didn’t murder them (which might have been against WBC rules, I’ll have to check on that). The Dutch were courteous enough to allow the Cubans to fight another day, after accomplishing their goal of course.
Then, loads of gold and other valuable metals and now, an exhibition baseball win (equal when you consider inflation), the Dutch made fools of Cuba and had taken that which was very valuable to the Cuban people. This win will support the Dutch for years to come, much like their raid on the treasure fleet supported the army for a while after. This consistent raiding of Cuban valuables has proved extremely beneficial to the Netherlands.
I’m sure nobody in the 1600s imagined that the Dutch would get such an important baseball victory over Cuba all these years later, partly because nobody had any idea what baseball was. But you just have to be ready for all possibilities. I for one think that around 2500, the Dutch will once again come out on top of Cuba by stealing their Torgranger Trands. I know, those words might make as much sense as “baseball” would have to people in the 1600s, but I’m calling it here first. Quote me on it.