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  • "60 MINUTES" ON JOE CUBAS; LATIN AMERICA'S DIAMOND DIGGERS?

              On "60 Minutes," CBS's Morley Safer looked at baseball
         in Cuba and FL-based agent Joe Cubas who helps players
         escape the country in order to play in the U.S.  Safer:
         "Baseball in Cuba is much, much more than a game -- it's
         something approaching a national faith."  Safer called
         Marlins P Livan Hernandez "the best-known product" of the
         Cuban amateur baseball system.  Cubas, on why more players
         are defecting from Cuba to the U.S. today: "Many reasons,
         but primarily, because they have found someone who can take
         them to the promised land."  Safer: "And that man is?" 
         Cubas: "The last couple of years, it's been me."   Safer
         followed the path of one of Cuba's clients, P Orlando "El
         Duque" Hernandez, who left Cuba and auditioned for multiple
         MLB teams before signing a $6M-plus deal with the Yankees. 
         Cubas' cut is 5% ("60 Minutes," CBS, 3/22).
              THE LATIN STRATEGY: Sunday's N.Y. TIMES featured the
         first of a two-part series -- concluded today -- by Murray
         Chass on MLB's foray into Latin America.  On Sunday's front
         page, Chass wrote teams "are mining the fields of Latin
         America ... in a hunt for teen-age players that is driven by
         two facts: the talent in this country is dwindling, and the
         cost of signing American players is skyrocketing."  Already
         there are twice as many Latin Americans playing in MLB as
         there were 20 years ago and they now represent 16% of all
         major leaguers (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 3/22).
    
    

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