Skip to main content

The Future is Cuban for the Red Sox

The Red Sox went 86 years between winning the World Series. Most of that was due to bad pitching, some bad luck and a lack of great players. In 1947, the color line was broken in MLB and there were a handful of teams that used it to their advantage by bringing in talented black ballplayers. The Red Sox were not one of those teams.

Willie Mays could have been in the same outfield with Ted Williams but the Sox passed on him due to the color of his skin. Mays was just one of many the Sox didn't sign because of skin pigment and by doing so the Red Sox were irrelevant for much of the 1950s and 1960s. The Red Sox were the last team to have a black player on their roster. The Red Sox history with race is not a proud one and superficially their stance hurt the product on the field. The Curse of the Bambino? No, lack of great ballplayers and a thing called karma.

Ted Williams would never get a ring and he has ownership to thank for that. He played his last decade plus on bad teams that had no shot and very little talent. At least Teddy understood it and during his Hall of Fame speech sung the praises of the black ballplayers like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson who had Hall of Fame talent but not Hall of Fame opportunity. Ted got it and the current Red Sox also get it.

The relations between the United States and Cuba have softened and from a baseball perspective that is huge news as Cuban ballplayers can now come to the United States and play baseball easier than ever. The Red Sox are one of the few teams really jumping on this opportunity.

The Red Sox signed Rusney Castillo last year and Yoan Moncada (unofficially) this year. The Red Sox brought their money with them and outbid the other interested MLB teams including the Yankees. Moncada is just 19 years old but has 5 tool talent. The Yankees put a cap on his value, the Red Sox put a higher cap on his value. Will the Red Sox be right? That remains to be seen. Undoubtedly there will be Cuban players who don't pan out just like other prospects who don't make it, however, the Sox feel the Cuban route will pay off in a big way down the road. Ben Cherington and his staff see the big picture. Cuba's number one sport is baseball. Their best athletes play baseball. Yasiel Puig is a freak athlete for baseball, if he grew up in the United States he would have been recruited to play football for an SEC school and drafted by an NFL team. In Cuba, the great athletes like Puig play baseball. The best athletes in the United States no longer play baseball. The Red Sox, like the Dodgers almost 70 years ago are ahead of the game, and their future will have a Cuban look to it.      

Buy Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 4 Buy Franchise Hockey Manager PC & Mac Buy OOTP Baseball 15 PC & Mac


Popular posts from this blog

The Greatness of George Brett

One of my all time favorite non-Red Sox players is George Brett. He is in that class of guys like Chipper Jones, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose. Guys who never played for the Red Sox but I wish they had.

I have always liked Brett and I even got to see him play 6 games in Fenway Park in 1990 and 1991. I recently went down a George Brett rabbit hole on the internet and I was reminded why I really liked him as a player.

The first thing I loved about him is that he hated the Yankees and still hates the Yankees. The Royals and the Yankees had some battles during the 70s and 80s and Brett was right in the middle of it all.

Brett was also a Yankee Killer, especially in the playoffs. Brett played in 17 postseason games against the Yankees and had 24 hits, 6 homers and 14 RBI. Not bad.

Here he is going deep three times in Game 3 of the 1978 ALCS

We all know what a prick Goose Gossage has become, here is Brett turning on a Gossage fastball in 1980 and sending it into the third deck of Yankee S…

A Homer and a Suicide: The Life of a Gay Red Sox Outfielder?

Ted Williams homered in his last at bat off Jack Fisher of the Baltimore Orioles. Williams was supposedly the only player in the history of baseball to retire after sending one deep. The great John Thorn found that hard to believe and through research discovered others who homered in their final at-bat. You can read his piece on that right here. Ted Williams was not the only player to do it and he wasn't even the only Red Sox outfielder to do it. Chick Stahl did it first on October 6, 1906 off of Tom Hughes of the New York Highlanders (Yankees). It was Chick Stahl's 36th and final home-run of his very successful career. He was just 33 years old and had played in his final game. Nobody knew it at the time. Stahl hit .305 for his career, led the league in triples in 1904 and would be a key player in the Boston Americans (Red Sox) winning the 1903 World Series. A month after his last game Stahl would get married but in March of the next year he would kill himself by drinking carb…

Willie Mays Would Have Had It

"Willie would have had it." I heard it the first time I went to a baseball game and have heard it or thought about it at every game since. The words would come from my father as he tried to teach me about the greatness of Willie Mays. Fly balls that hit warning track or that would drop in front of or to the side of an outfielder would get the same comment from my Dad, "Willie would have had it".

My father grew up a Mays fan and was surrounded by Mickey Mantle fans. His neighborhood was just one of the many neighborhoods where fans of all ages debated over who was better. Mantle fans would talk about his ability to switch hit and when Mantle would struggle to match up with Willie they would argue it was only because of his bad knees. My father would respond accordingly, "fine, Mickey is the best centerfielder with bad knees and Willie is just the best centerfielder".

I was born in 1974, a year after Willie Mays played his final game. I never got to see hi…