Tag Archives: Soviet Union

Double Dutch: Netherlands Leap Over Cuba For Second Time

An increasingly tubby Andruw Jones goes out for a morning stroll.

An increasingly tubby Andruw Jones goes out for a morning stroll.

Final Score: Netherlands 7, Cuba 6

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The Dutch role in preventing the Cuban Missile Crisis

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This, ladmen and gentleladies, is why the World Baseball Classic is wonderful. A baseball powerhouse against a baseball upstart; the New World against the Old and the Old Baseball World against the New. Someone named Kalian Sams hitting a walk-off sac fly.

If you have been an assiduous follower of The Zimmerman(n) Telegram’s WBC coverage (FOR SHAME if you have not), you’ll clearly remember my comrade’s coverage of the last CUB-NED game, which was an obvious metaphor for Dutch adventures in 17th century Spanish Cuba. For this post, the foreign power the Dutch are dealing with in Cuba will be not the Spanish, but the Soviet Union. We’re later in the World Baseball Classic, so the metaphor is later in time. Obviously. Continue reading

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To Each According to His Ability: Cuba Refuses to Share With China in Shutout

Fidel Castro comes out of retirement and near-death to lead the Cuban squad to victory.

Fidel Castro comes out of retirement and near-death to lead the Cuban squad to victory

Final Score: Cuba 12, China 0

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: The diplomatic feud between Castro and Mao in 1965-66

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You would think that Cuba and China would be the best of friends. They’re both Communist. They’re both, uh…well okay, that’s their only similarity. But still, it’s a pretty big one.

Well, you would think wrong. Sure, they got along well enough at first, after the Cuban revolution in 1959. But the commu-honeymoon didn’t last for long. Fidel Castro started trying to reconcile the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union after Nikita Kruschev was deposed, but China was having none of it. After a few failed attempts at diplomacy in Beijing, Castro started calling China some mean names and accusing China of spreading some mean anti-Cuba propaganda. Relations grew increasingly frigid, culminating in the collapse of economic negotiations in 1966.

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NLDS Game 2: Buschwhacked

At a disgusted Davey Johnson’s request, Sean Burnett tries to rip his nose off. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Did the Nats win: Uhh…no.

Was it fun to watch: Is it fun to watch your entire family be instantly incinerated in a car accident?

Visceral Emotion of the Game: I feel like I’m dying a little bit inside. Wait, maybe it’s just a cold? No, no. Definitely dying.

Back when I used to dabble with the bats and balls myself, I had a coach who always used the same encouraging words when the team would go down 1-0 early in a game. “If you never score a run you’re not going to win anyway.” This was, logically, true. And it was comforting even though it omitted the fact that it was now impossible to win the game without scoring two runs.

When we gave up four runs early, the line had to be modified. “If you don’t score four runs in a game, you don’t deserve to win anyway.” This statement was less logical–after all, how do we know whether anyone deserves anything? What does it even mean to “deserve” something, in a world without karma or absolute good or reasonable grading for my English papers or an appropriate number of sexual partners given my impeccable taste in sweatpants? But after I got past my teenage existential crisis, this too was comforting. Four runs seems like a reasonable amount of runs to get in a game.

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