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Yankees Acquire Cuban PitchersCharlie McCormick M'08
Cuba's new co-general owners embrace.
Havana, Sept. 9-In a stunning move with uncertain geopolitical ramifications, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner today announced that his organization had concluded negotiations with Cuban leader Fidel Castro to acquire wholesale the dictator's island-including its lucrative wellspring of pitching talent-for an undisclosed sum. "This is a win-win situation," Mr. Steinbrenner was quoted as saying to reporters after the announcement, while putting out a cigar in a rhinoceros-foot ashtray. "Just look at how many important players have come off of that island. And think of how much talent hasn't made it over. Instead of the mess of defecting or getting smuggled across, I thought to myself while bathing in Montrachet '78 champagne one night, 'It would just be so much easier to buy the whole damn island.'" The normally reclusive Gen. Castro also seemed to welcome the development, noting, "It was really only a matter of time, if you think about it. Think of how many things have a bigger GDP than Cuba: your larger second-world countries, many U.S. states, Halliburton, and of course, the great Yankees organization. We knew we were ripe for acquisition, and it was a matter of finding a good fit." Before settling on the billion-dollar Yankees behemoth, Cuba had considered competing offers from titan investor-recording duo Warren and Jimmy Buffett, as well as Virginia. (The latter had been seeking a site for its lucrative proposed "South Virginia" franchise to offset losses from West Virginia, its disastrous economic and genetic experiment). While details will be forthcoming, Steinbrenner has already begun to outline his plans to develop and import baseball talent from the Communist island. At the center of the outline are a network of "training resorts," baseball training complexes that will feature several fields, extensive weight training facilities, lodging for the players and their families, all encircled by a 12-foot-high chain-link "freedom fence." Brushing a piece of lint off one his crocodile skin shoes, Mr. Steinbrenner explained: "They'll be in heaven-practice during the day, drinks with little umbrellas in them at night, and none of the distractions of the outside world, all kept out by our freedom fences. We don't want other teams snooping, after all!" When asked about his plans for the rest of the Cuban population, the Yankees owner replied, "Who now? You mean like their agents?" When told that Cuba was an island with a population of several million and not just a tropical enclave of baseball-playing youths, he stopped polishing his solid-gold championship rings and appeared surprised and visibly distraught. Stroking his chin, he said tentatively, "Well, I suppose we would have to put them somewhere too; maybe on another island . . . Is the Dominican Republic for sale?"