14ymedio, Havana, 17 February 2022 — Cuba’s National Baseball Commission (CNB) suspended for five games the players Andrés Hernández, from the Industriales, and Alexis Varona Núñez, from Sancti Spíritus, for congratulating the independent media Por la Goma. “The simple fact of having sent us a video of congratulations for our 27,000 followers is totally prohibited for athletes and managers,” the publication stressed in a post, which described what happened as “lack of respect.”
For journalist Francys Romero, the sanction “shows the mental and physical deterioration of the Cuban regime,” by not allowing the players “to have contact with alternative media, that is, unofficial media.”
Annoyed by the federal decision, Romero stressed: “The players do not have the freedom to speak with any media because they distort the truth about Cuba, according to managers such as Frangel Reynaldo, the commissioner, and the remaining members.”
For his part, the Pelota Cubana analyst, Yordano Carmona, trusts that “the Cuban press will echo the sanction of Andrés Hernández and question the National Baseball Directorate and the Cuban Baseball Federation” for being “accomplices and participants in a hit.”
Two days before Industriales outfielder Andrés Hernández was sanctioned, the State newspaper Granma highlighted him as the “most complete hitter of the season.” In the publication, the player is referred to as the most regular batter so far in the contest, completing 1,275 hits to drive in runners. Only Yordanis Samón from Camagüey exceeds 1,200 and to get an idea of the quality of this parameter, although 61 average more than 300, only 17 players achieve 1,000 in this statistic.
Romero also believes that this type of punishment encourages the flight of players: “Imagine the parents of any prospect between the ages of 13 and 18 in Cuba reading this. Will they not seek the option of leaving, even if it is by submarine?” And he adds: “Now imagine a Cuba-MLB agreement. Will the players be able to talk to a press that is not the servant of Cuba?”
Alexis Varona Núñez was sanctioned, according to the official Jit media, for “violating the provisions regarding relations with media not recognized by the event authorities” and for failing to comply with the “discipline that must support the main sociocultural show” on the Island The measures took effect on February 15 and 16, both for Hernández and for Varona.
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