From the Associated Press (link courtesy Jon Solomon) :

Hours after U.S. baseball officials reapplied for a permit that would allow Cuba to join next year’s inaugural World Baseball Classic, the island’s communist government said Thursday night it would donate any money received at the tournament to hurricane victims.

Officials from Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association reapplied Thursday to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, seeking permission for Cuba to play in the 16-team tournament, scheduled for March 3-20.

The permit is required because of U.S. laws and regulations governing certain transactions with Cuba, and the Bush administration last week denied the first request, seemingly because Cubans would have received money.

“Although we have never competed for money, in order to offer options the Cuban Baseball Federation would be willing for the money associated with participation in the classic to go to those displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans,” a statement read on Cuban government television said.

In other international news, Angels prospect Kendry Morales was refered to as a “defective” on an XM afternoon show hosted by Ronnie Lane. Lane, no doubt mindful there’s a world of difference between a defector and a defective, was too polite to point out the caller’s error.