Reactionary Essay on the book “Pitching Around Fidel”
The significance and implications of the aspect of sports of a country is an undeniable reality. This is because its underlying nature and principle as well as the people involved such as the players manifest whether the game activities serve to foster beneficial effects. However, sports of a country are subjected to various diplomatic or bureaucratic elements. Rather than promoting athletic activities, these factors instead detriment the conditions of the players and eventually jeopardize the field of sports in general.
The above-cited situation is best manifested in the 2000 book of S.L. Price entitled “Pitching Around Fidel: A Journey Into the Heart if Cuban Sports.” The mystery which hits the center of Cuban sports was effectively presented by the author in two scenarios. First, it is about the sports people or the players themselves while the other concerns the events which surround the political regime of Cuba’s Fidel Castro. In doing so, Price used the contradiction style and was able to differentiate from which among the two does the downfall or failure of the filed of sports in Cuba was attributed. Through the book, Price revealed the factors surrounding the eventual defeat of players and end of the Castro regime. Hence, the public was provided with the reality that the combined power of politics and money is a proven damaging ground for both sports personalities and political episode to reach their respective conclusion.
In his illustration of the first condition, Price presented the greatness of Cubans ports as exemplified by its players or athletes. The Price book connected with the real and existing condition of Cuban athletes. That is, Cuban players were regarded as the most gifted athletes particularly during the reign of Castro. The book effectively depicted how the players and the concerned sports people triumphed in their field. This was proven with the various international achievements attained by the players which eventually also put the personality of Castro, as the President of Cuba and proponent of field of sports in the country, into limelight.
The book presented the second phase of the mystery with the apparent emergence of the episode of capitalism which faced the field of sports and its athletes. As the players, in the persons of Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez and Rey Ordonez, continue to harvest their victories, the apparent shaky political condition and the intrigue-stricken free enterprise in the country have slowly overwhelmed the grandeur and honor that the Cuban sports has provided. The fields of sports, political and enterprise have worsened thereby igniting grievances among players until finally ending the enormous period of sports in the country. Deception and conspiracy mainly resulting from the evils brought about by money continued and eventually caused the extinction of the nation’s acclaimed players.
The book’s boldly presented how liberty, political interest or Castro’s reported tyrannical ruling and most importantly, money have altered the nation’s notable sports personalities and the field of sport as well. It served as a clear study of the relationship between Cuba as represented by Castro and the field of sports as represented by its athletes. Beyond this connection, the book disclosed that despite player’s passion for their sports or even beyond Castro’s effort to uplift the condition of the country through the promotion of sports, there is still the danger of being harmed especially when money sets in. Lastly, the book is an aggressive yet insightful work which looked into the intriguing and hostile sports culture in Cuba. Price exposed the destructive connection between the people such as its leader and the Cuban athletes as well as the proliferation of money which eventually damaged the field of sports that was previously praised.
Price, Scott L. Pitching Around Fidel: A Journey Into the Heart of Cuban Sports. New York, NY: Ecco, 2000.