I initially became aware of this thanks to our old friends at the Site Formerly Known As HBT. MLB.com confirms that there may be an exhibition game in Cuba this spring, and if that game happens, the winners in the lottery to play the game are the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay area is well known for its Cuban heritage–we can share cigars and Cuban sandwiches. The Rays would play the Cuban National Team if negotiations can be worked out. The Cuban National Team is totally going to kick the Rays’ collective asses. Do sting rays have an ass? It’s rather flat. Of course, they excrete, but can it be called an ass? I digress. Too much coffee. My apologies.
Other teams expressed interest in the exhibition game, including the Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers. Manfred, in his great wisdom, decided the fairest thing to do was a lottery. Manfred has made “improving MLB’s relationship with Cuba one of his top priorities,” in other words, making more money and taking all their players. I mean, spreading the game and goodwill towards mankind–all that good stuff.
I suppose it’s a good opportunity to scout out the Cuban team. I hope they can come back with a few players. The Rays can use the offense. In all seriousness, if this actually happens, I would love to make the trip. Visiting Cuba is one of the things I must do before I leave this earth, and this seems like the perfect opportunity.