Steinbrenner vs. Castro

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What makes the competition in sports leagues more unbalanced—runaway cajillion-dollar salaries, or runaway nationalist communism? University of Washington ecomonist Kate Baird compared the baseball economics of Cuba and the United States, and came up with some interesting findings:

Despite complaints about New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's domineering deals, Baird found that the Cuban League is less balanced than the National and American leagues.

Over the last quarter-century, she found, the Cuban League teams were 22 percent less evenly balanced in their win-loss records than those in the Major Leagues. In other words, cellar-dwellers were more likely to stay on the bottom, and vice-versa.

Link via Science Blog. In June 2002, I profiled one of Cuban baseball's many martyrs, the historian and statistician Severo Nieto, whose dozen or so books on the island's professional past have gone unpublished since the Revolution. Nieto, I'm very happy to note, is a new candidate to join the great, offbeat Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals.

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