Being of Cuban descent, Luis Gonzalez figures he probably would be allowed to play for the island where his mother, his grandmother and so many other family members were born.
But if Cuban baseball officials have any intentions of inviting the Diamondbacks left fielder to play for Cuba in baseball’s World Cup next spring, Gonzalez said they shouldn’t waste their time.
For reasons both political and personal, he isn’t interested.
“I don’t know what the criteria is. I haven’t really paid that much attention to it, honestly,” Gonzalez said, “but to tell you the truth, I don’t really know if I want to because of the whole Fidel Castro situation. Out of respect for my family and for all the other Cubans out there, I don’t think I could.
“I probably could (play) if they said I was eligible . . . but I don’t think I’d want to.”
Most of Gonzalez’s immediate family left for the United States before Castro’s rise to power, but they – and he – remain anti-Castro. The Gonzalez clan was among many that were upset, Luis said, about the Baltimore Orioles playing an exhibition game in Cuba in March 1999 against a Cuban All-Star team.
“I remember Major League Baseball calling a lot of us players that have Cuban families and asking our feelings about (the Orioles) going down there to play,” Gonzalez said. “Obviously, it didn’t matter too much because they ended up going down there to play anyway.”
Asked about his chances then of perhaps playing for Team USA, Gonzalez, who was born in Tampa, said with a laugh: “I don’t think I could make the club, man. I’ve got a better chance to play for the Cuban team.”