The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck takes a typically enlightened view on the Treasury Department’s decision to bar Cuba from the World Baseball Classic.

Does anybody remember the last time we let those guys come over here to take part in a historic event?

Not only did the Cubans embarrass the Orioles at Camden Yards, but star pitcher Jose Contreras enjoyed himself so much he eventually defected and joined the Yankees.

Go figure. Orioles owner Peter Angelos gets accused of setting up the goodwill series to put his club in position to poach some talent from Fidel Castro’s baseball-rich island nation and everybody wants to play for George Steinbrenner instead.

If the Cubans come back for the WBC, it could start the whole vicious cycle all over again.

I say, keep ’em out.

On an altogether different tip, the New York Times’ Jack Curry points out the Cuban national soccer team was allowed to participate in last summer’s Concacaaf Gold Cup. There were no attempted defections on the part of the visiting Cuban players, perhaps because none of them could tolerate a pay cut moving to the MLS.