14ymedio, Havana, 28 December 2016 – Cuban Faces of 2016: The name of Victor Mesa has filled the sports pages this year. The explosive and controversial baseball manager announced in February that he would no longer manage baseball in Cuba out of fear for his physical safety and that of his family. This statement came a few days after he beat up two students in Pinar del Rio, having confused them with another individual who criticized him.
In March, Mesa led the selection of the Cuban team against the Tampa Bay Rays, who played a friendly match at the Latin American Stadium in the presence of presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro. In November, the National Baseball Commission (DNB) reported that the Matanzas team manager had been disqualified for nine games because of “inappropriate behavior” in a game between his players and the team from Holguin.
With Mesa there are no half-tones. Followers of the national pastime love him or hate him. His last scandal came after the announcement of the Cuban team for the 4th World Baseball Classic (WBC) to be held next March. “Nobody approached the managers when it came time to come up with the 50 shortlisted,” criticized the manager of the Crocodiles.