Cuba Loses its Way After Five Consecutive Losses and is Eliminated From the Caribbean Series

Another failure for Cuban baseball in the Caribbean Series after the Island was eliminated. (Cubadebate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 February 2023 — Cuba is still without a compass in the 65th Caribbean Baseball Series “Gran Caracas 2023.” On Tuesday it suffered one more defeat against Puerto Rico (4-3), the fifth in a row, and was eliminated from the series that takes place in Venezuela. A single by Emmanuel Rivera to center field was enough for the Puerto Ricans to give a setback to the Island as a whole in the lower part of the ninth.

The three-run rally at the top of the second inning was useless. With singles by Yosvani Alarcón, Rafael Viñales, Carlos Benítez and Yordanis Alarcón, Cuba moved ahead 2-0. Thanks to another single by Yunieski Larduet, the Island was winning by 3-0.

In the fifth inning, Puerto Rico scored thanks to two runs after a single by Daniel Ortiz, a triple by Roberto Enríquez and another single by Bryan Torres. In the ninth inning, the triumph over Cuba took place.

Puerto Rico put the game “under protest.” Puerto Rico’s manager, Mako Oliveras, alleges that on the roster that Cuba delivered, the name of Andy Rodríguez appeared instead of Andy Vargas, although it seems that it was all a mistake.

“I am not happy about Cuba’s defeat but I knew it was going to happen, because Cuba’s performance has been embarrassing,” commented Swing Completo journalist Daniel de Malas.

There had to be four consecutive defeats of the Cuban team in the Caribbean Baseball Series, one of them 20-3 by the host Venezuela, before a pro-government news source like Cubadebate would accept that Cuba “should have been backed up with quality baseball players.”

The publication took place after the 5-4 stumble before Colombia. We must “bring no less than eight reinforcements to this club tournament; all countries go with the best,” the same medium published.

The game against Venezuela evidenced the shortcomings of a Cuban team that came to this event with confidence in its pitchers, although “they weren’t very high-profile, except César García and Leandro Martínez,” said manager Carlos Martí prior to the competition, with experience in these battles in 2017 and 2018.  “We won with them in Cuba and we are going to fight here,” he proclaimed.

“You always have to be careful with the story,” journalist Francys Romero wrote on his social networks. He recalled that “Cuba’s teams in the Caribbean Series were full of stars between 1950 and 1960.”

The reporter regretted that “after six decades, these Cuban teams are drawn up to motivate a trip for a championship under the sun. They don’t even have reinforcements. It’s painful.”

The Island opened its participation in the current edition of the Caribbean Series with a triumph against Curaçao (3-1). And from there, defeats accompanied the team. The first was against the Dominican Republic (3-1) and then against Mexico (6-5). After the resounding defeat of Agricultores, the team that represents the Island in the Caribbean Series, against Los Leones de Caracas (20-3), Cuba was surpassed by Colombia (5-4), and this Tuesday by Puerto Rico (4-3).

Cuba had not suffered such an embarrassing stumble since February 8, 1977. On that occasion, the representative of the Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey) connected with 23 hits in a Caribbean Series game, according to the statistical firm Quality Sports.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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