No, this post is about a Cuban umpire who's defected to the U.S. We've had a lot of Cuban players come here for fame and fortune, but this is the first umpire that I'm aware of:
A top Cuban umpire has defected to the United States.
The Spanish-language newspaper El Nuevo Herald reports that Nelson Diaz arrived in Miami on Sunday with his wife and two daughters.
Diaz worked in the Olympics and the 2006 World Baseball Classic. His 26-year career supposedly ended after he was picked to work the 2009 WBC in Japan but was told by Cuban baseball officials he couldn't go because they didn't trust him.
Baseball might be one of the strongest arguments for moving toward more normalized relations with Cuba after 50 years of embargo. The Cuban people are passionate about the game, and the repression of the Castro brothers regime has driven their finest players to defection. If relations were more normalized, those players would return money to their home country, like Venezuelan and Japanese, etc. players do. An open baseball exchange would be a "win-win" for both the U.S. and Cuba.
And, lord knows that we could use better umpires.