Cuba receives baseball players with distinction, despite their exclusion

▲ Cuban baseball players who play on the island have joined other major players to represent their country.Photos app


La Jornada newspaper
Tuesday, March 21, 2023, p. A 11

Havana The Cubans greeted, as winners, the members of the team that finished fourth in the World Baseball Classic.

The ninth of the island, which was defeated Sunday evening 14-2 in the semi-finals by the United States national team, arrived at Havana International Airport with the honor of President Miguel Diaz-Canel and the main authorities of the country.

Diaz-Canel thanked the baseball players for their performance in the tournament, which brought together 20 teams and the return of the Caribbean to the global elite, by achieving the second-best historical performance in that tournament.

Cuba reached second place in the 2006 World Classic, after losing to Japan in title contention, while in the next three editions it was eliminated in the qualifying rounds.

You can’t always get a medal because others are also preparing, but you are among the top four in the world. This is a commendable performance.said the Cuban president.

Meanwhile, the team’s manager, Armando Johnson, fell to tears and had to replace him in front of the microphones with former player German Mesa, one of the team’s current coaches.

It was a very difficult stage, from selecting the players to reaching the tournamentMesa confirmed.

For the first time, Team Al Jazira brought together players who play in the National Championship and others who play in Pro League franchises, as well as from Japan and Mexico.

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Something very important is that Cuban baseball is once again returning to the astral planes. We wanted to beat the United States, discuss the championship. But we are proudMesa has been maintained.

After the reception, the players boarded two buses that made the long journey through the main avenues of Havana, where thousands of citizens gathered for a unique welcome despite the cold and intermittent drizzle.

They did what no one expectedconfirmed young Abelardo Almanza, who waved the Cuban flag at a center intersection as baseball players passed.

Medical student Lyudmila Perez, who was in the crowd, admitted that she was not a fan of baseball, but was impressed by the performance of her compatriots who They deserve all the appreciation of the people.

In recent years Cuba has suffered a hemorrhage of promising baseball players, many of whom have left the national teams on tours abroad or left the country by various means to sign up for other leagues. Local media reported that baseball player Ivan Prieto left the team after this edition of the World Series Classic.

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