According to Ashby Jones and Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, a panel of trademark judges denied a request for a private entrepreneur, Evil Enterprises, Inc., to register the phrase “Baseballs Evil Empire” after the Yankees objected.
The phrase, at least in the baseball world, was coined by Red Sox president Larry Lucchino in 2002 after the Yankees signed Cuban right-hander Jose Contreras. The Yankees have come to embrace the identity of being the “Evil Empire” over the years, even playing the Imperial March from “Star Wars” during their home games. This was actually part of the Yankees’ argument in the case, as well as numerous articles mentioning them in connection with the phrase.
The best part of this whole thing might be the judges’ explanation of their ruling.
“In short, the record shows that there is only one Evil Empire in baseball and it is the New York Yankees,” wrote the judges. “Accordingly, we find that [the Yankees] have a protectable trademark right in the term . . . as used in connection with baseball.”
Under normal circumstances, a baseball is about the least controversial object on the planet. The little white orbs are also usually very universal, each of them wound with the ability to bridge cultures, erase language barriers and force smiles between countries that may not like each other.
Neither of those truths, however, was present when the Cuban national team and the NC Dinos from the Korea Baseball Organization met up in Taiwan on Thursday.
While the friendly exhibition was set up as a way to help the Cubans prepare for their World Baseball Classic opener in Japan on March 3, not a single pitch was thrown.The reason? Neither side could agree on what brand of baseball to use.
From the Yohap News Agency:According to NC Dinos officials, the two sides had previously agreed that they would each pitch their own choice of the ball. But just before the match, Cuba demanded a ball by the U.S. brand Brett Bros. be used by both teams.
“The ball had thick and wide seams, and it posed injury risks for our pitchers,” one NC official said. “Then Cuba suggested we both play a Taiwanese ball. That ball also had big seams and we said we didn’t want to play it. Finally, Cubans brought out some mysterious ball, and again we told them we couldn’t play it.
“The official explained Cuba first asked the game be canceled, and the Dinos were more than happy to oblige.”
Not only did Yan Gomes become the first Brazilian-born player to reach the major leagues, his debut came against the most famous baseball team in the world.
Born and partially raised in Sao Paulo, Gomes was promoted to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday when slumping first baseman Adam Lind was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Gomes struck out in his first at-bat against New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes, but lined a single to right field for his first big league hit in the fourth. The ball was taken out of play and saved for him as a memento.
Gomes said he was on “an emotional roller coaster” after learning Wednesday he was headed to the majors. The 24-year-old infielder flew overnight from Las Vegas to Toronto, too excited to sleep.
“It’s a great feeling, absolutely a great feeling,” Gomes said after taking batting practice and fielding grounders at third base, where he started in place of suspended Brett Lawrie.
Gomes overcame long odds to reach the majors after spending his early childhood in soccer-mad South America.
“Growing up in Brazil you would never think of (playing in the majors),” he said. “Coming out here and having it, it seems like it happened so fast, so I definitely have to take it in. I’m really proud of it. It’s an honor to represent my country.”
Gomes fell in love with baseball following a chance encounter his father had on a trip to the grocery store, bumping into a Cuban baseball coach who was putting together a team and looking for youngsters to play. Yan’s father was persuaded to bring his son to a tryout.
“Probably the best thing that he did,” said Gomes, who took to the sport immediately.
Gomes can play third base, first base and catcher. He batted .359 with five home runs, 12 doubles and 22 RBIs at Las Vegas.
Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen apologized for telling a magazine that he loves Fidel Castro, a comment that prompted to team to issue a statement denouncing the Cuban dictator.
Guillen told Time magazine that he loves Castro and respects him for staying in power so long. When Guillen read his comments, he said he felt sick because he knew how people would react.
Guillen called the team’s beat writers for a closed-door meeting before a game against the Cincinnati Reds and apologized.
“I will apologize if I hurt somebody’s feelings, or I hurt somebody’s thought,” Guillen told the writers. “I want them to know I’m against everything 100 percent – I repeat it again – the way this man (been) treating people for the last 60 years.”
In response to the magazine story, the Marlins released a statement saying, “There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro.
“He is a brutal dictator who has caused unthinkable pain for more than 50 years. We live in a community filled with victims of this dictatorship, and the people in Cuba continue to suffer today.”
It’s not the first time Guillen, from Venezuela, has made a strong comment about a controversial leader. During his first news conference as Marlins manager in September, he bristled at a suggestion he supports Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
“Don’t tell my wife that, because she hates that man. She hates him to death,” Guillen said. “I supported Chavez? If I was supporting Chavez, do you think I would be manager of the Marlins? I never supported Chavez.”
Guillen said he has never spoken to Chavez, but in fact he appeared on the Venezuelan leader’s national radio show twice in October 2005, when Guillen led the Chicago White Sox to the World Series title.
At the time, Guillen said: “Not too many people like the president. I do. My mom will kill me, but it’s an honor to talk to the president.”
Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has been forced to abandon her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida about halfway through. CNN reports states Nyad was vomiting when she was brought aboard a boat at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, 29 hours after she jumped in the water.
“I am not sad. It was absolutely the right call,” she said.
CNN also said she had been dealing with ocean swells, shoulder pain and a bout with asthma before being forced to cease her attempt.
Nyad’s, 61, quest to swim from the 103-mile journey from Cuba to Florida was in hopes to send the message that it’s never to late to go back and write a book, adopt that child or do anything you set your mind to.
Nyad attempted the same swim in 1978, but severe currents made her abandon an attempt after 42 hours to make the trek inside a shark cage. This time she was hoping to become the first person to make the swim without a shark cage. In 1979 Nyad set a world record for open-water swimming without a shark cage, charting 102.5 miles from the Bahamas to Florida.