Wikileaks: Indonesia Sought MLB Team in 2008

An April 1, 2008 cable from the Jakarta embassy gave detailed descriptions of Indonesia's plans to have its own Major League Baseball team. The unclassified memo was recently published as part of the Wikileaks documents.

Perusing the tens of thousands of Wikileak cables that are now searchable on cablegatesearch.net is a fascinating immersion in the US Government's daily chores of analyzing the world beyond its borders.

Three years ago an odd cable emanating from the Jakarta Embassy was labeled Indonesia Demands Major League Baseball. A strange missive written in the objective, removed prose of most of the exposed cables details.

Indonesia is currently abuzz about a plan to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Jakarta

The cable then details how the country's President is a closet baseball fan known to take in San Francisco Giants games whenever he visits the United States. The details of Indonesia's passion for baseball get even more fascinating with the vice president's desire to make the proposed major league stadium central to a larger economic development. It is then revealed that the Veep keeps seats at Chavez Ravine

...from his box at Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine, the Vice President has reportedly brokered several deals to move the project forward. These include plans for a politically well-connected construction conglomerate to build a giant new stadium complex in central Jakarta in the area now called Medan Merdeka (Freedom Park). The stadium would include residential and mixed-use space, and include high-end retail outlets such as Armani, Gucci, and Prada. (Note: The proposal for a Jimmy Choo boutique was rejected when the media alleged that Choo, who is Malaysian, stole several designs from traditional Indonesian footwear styles.)

The cable has many details of how the team, Jakarta Traffic, would also have a farm team, The Surabaya Mud Hens. In the headers for document distribution it gives permission for the memo to passed to Tony LaRussa. For trivia buffs, it also spearheads the source of Indonesia's love of baseball. A former major league pitcher has long since relocated to Bali. After his glory days were done with the Mets, the embassy notes that he has become the driving force behind this wild proposal.

The Mets pitcher? Sidd Finch. Do you know anything about Sidd Finch? Did you read the fawning Sports Illustrated profile of the young athlete by George Plimpton, published in April 1985? This cable was sent on the 23rd anniversary of that articles publication, April 1, 2008. Your State Department has a sense of humor, America.

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