As you’ve probably read or seen on the highlight programs, Reds closer Adrolis Chapman threw consecutive pitches in the general vicinity of Nick Swisher’s skull Monday afternoon, an act that struck Swisher, several teammates and Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton (above) as an unconscionable act of aggression. ““What you’d love to see Swisher do here is to knock it right off the temple of Chapman and see how much fun it is to have a ball coming at your head,” bellowed Hamilton, who in the view of Cleveland Frowns’ Peter Pattakos, went off the deep when saying of Chapman, “maybe you get away with that in Cuba”.
As much as this statement probably falls closer to idiotic jingoism than anything else, there’s at least a chance it was intended as a comment on Cuba as a place where things are so backward that pitchers can throw inside at batters with impunity.
So it’s at least worth pointing out that however backward Cuba is about some things, it’s also a place where child poverty has apparently been pretty much completely eliminated, whereas children in the U.S. suffer from the second-highest poverty rate in the developed world. Additionally, “[a]part from achieving near 100% literacy many years ago, [Cuba's] health statistics are the envy of many far richer countries.” And while the carnage suffered in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has been contrasted with Cuba’s “extraordinarily effective disaster response.” There’s also that, “the Worldwide Fund for Nature’s 2006 Living Planet report identified Cuba as the only country that achieved high levels of human development while living within its environmental footprint.” All of this while subject to a widely condemned trade embargo by the U.S. that’s been running for 53 years and counting.
I can’t be the only one who’d be interested to hear Hamilton’s thoughts on how these factors impact an analysis of Cuba’s status as a place where people get away with things. Anyway, it was probably the camouflage hats that had him all tuned up.