2004 STORIES...

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Editor Jim Lockwood

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Monday, August 9, 2004
Story by Jim Lockwood

HAVANA (AP) - The temperature was hot at the 2004 All-Star Game in Havana, but tempers ran hotter as the animosity between the Inferno League and Blizzard exploded into a spectacle of brawls and beaneballs! The final score was BL 5, IL 1 as the BL evened the all time series at four games each, but from the moment Fidel Castro took the mound for the ceremonial first pitch everyone knew this wasn't going to be a typical All-Star Game! Castro took the mound and shouted "With this pitch I guarantee Blizzard League victory over the pitiful, worthless, so-called All-Stars from the Inferno League! They do not deserve the honor of playing on this field! Especially that bum George Canate from Amity! But since we're all here I guess we'll play anyways!" Nobody could figure out why Castro singled out Canate, but the Havana crowd went crazy nevertheless. Needless to say, the Inferno League players were pretty pissed! They were ready to go kick some BL booty, but little did they know it would be a day of frustration for the team.

Cuban President and former Havana Cigars Second Baseman Fidel Castro tosses out the first pitch, along with some choice insults aimed at the IL!

The BL got on the board in their very first at bat, as hometown favorite Russ Johnson lead off the BL first with a home run off of Luxor great Smokey Joe Wood! But the real fun for the BL came in the bottom of the third when Canate came in to pitch! The crowd was taunting Canate pretty badly. Aparently it had an effect on him as he lost his control and plunked Motown's Robin Ventura on the first pitch! The next batter was Russ Johnson, and the crowd was going bonkers! Canate was PO'd at the whole situation! He flipped off Castro before drilling Johnson in the butt with a fastball! Benches cleared and all hell broke loose! After about 10 minutes order was restored. Amazingly nobody was thrown out of the game as the Cuban umpires stuck with thier "No blood, no foul" philosophy for the game. The next batter was Belfast's Ryu Nobeoka, and he made Canate pay for his headhunting by blasting a 393 foot homer to right center field to give the BL a 4-0 lead! This drove the Havana fans into a delirious frenzy! Canate finished off the inning but the damage was done! The IL got on the board in the 6th when Los Angeles' Ken Griffey Jr. drove in Honolulu's Nap Lajoie with an RBI single, but that would be all the scoring the IL could get on this day as they went on to a humiliating defeat! Nobeoka was named MVP, and to add insult to injury, George Canate was named the first LVP (LEAST Valuable Player) in Weaver League All-Star history!

Following the game the teams lined up for the customary post-game hand shake. George Canate and Russ Johnson met up as the players passed each other in line. Canate extended his hand to shake, but Johnson was still just a little pissed and he just looked past him and moved on. Canate then slugged the Havana shortstop in the gut and once again all hell broke lose as the teams brawled! This time it got pretty nasty, and the Cuba police were forced to use tear gas to break up the melee! Canate was quoted later that evening from a Havana jail cell as saying that he would someday have his revenge on Castro and Johnson! The Cuban police then gave him a serious beat down before White Sharks owner Jim Schmaltz came to bail him out!

2004 Weaver Times Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.