Cuba Removes a Coach From the National Team After Accusing Him of ‘Illegal Exit’

Donal Duarte retired last April at the Capitán San Luis stadium in Pinar del Río. (Guerrilla)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 29 November 2022 — The experienced baseball player Donal Duarte, El Lobo Mayor, was excluded at the last minute from the coaching staff of the Cuban team that will participate in the 2022 Caribbean Baseball Cup in the Bahamas. The National Commission accused him of “illegal exit” from the country, an argument that the athlete rejected. Duarte told Pelota Cubana magazine that he “would request his removal from the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (Inder).”

Duarte denied that alleged abandonment, as well as “a fight” in which he allegedly participated. “Both things are completely uncertain,” stressed Duarte, who is also director of the Pinar del Río Under-23 team. “It’s disrespectful what they just did to me.”

The coach was considered on the preliminary list of the national team, hence his surprise when he saw that Ricardo Eizmendiz appeared in his place, and that he was also accused of indiscipline. “I’m one of the few left in this country, I live for baseball and look what they do to me,” he said.

“What was the use of playing baseball in Cuba for 18 years? What was the use of working so hard? They are alleging things against me, I really don’t deserve it, I can’t admit it,” Duarte lamented.

The journalist Francys Romero described this as an “injustice,”  since Duarte “had no illegal exits either as a player or after his retirement.”

“Let’s hope that the Cuban baseball authorities will publicly pronounce on this new injustice. It is something that the fans demand,” published Swing Completo. “To trust the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB), you have to be part of its circus and paint your nose red,” it said.

For its part, the magazine Cubana Pelota denounced that the baseball player “does not deserve that treatment… You can’t play like that with the figures of this country in the field of sport,” the outlet stated.

The official press limited itself to announcing the Cuban roster for the Bahamas Caribbean Baseball Cup 2022, which highlighted “three catchers, six infielders, five outfielders and 10 pitchers, among the youngest and most talented players in the I Elite League.”

The summoned are the receivers Yunior Ibarra, Iván Prieto and Richel López. As infielders are Guillermo Avilés, Santiago Torres, Rangel Ramos, Luis Vicente Mateo, Cristian Rodríguez and Rodoleisis Moreno, as well as outfielders Leonardo Argüelles, Héctor Labrada, Yoelkis Guibert, Yasiel González and Alexquemer Sánchez.

For their part, the pitchers are Ariel Zerquera, José Rodríguez, Alexander Valiente, Yunier Castillo, Pavel Hernández, Andy Vargas, Javier Mirabal, Franklin Quintana, Leodán Reyes and Yeudis Reyes.


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