14ymedio, Havana, November 16, 2023 — The Cuban baseball team was left out of the Caribbean Series, which will be held in Miami next February, a key event for regaining the prestige of the national team after a year marked by desertions and mediocre performance. The players of the Island “were not invited,” said the president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, Juan Reinaldo Pérez, during a press conference at the Latin American stadium.
Juventud Rebelde journalist Guillermo Rodríguez asked the manager about the next steps for the Cuban team in the international arena and received confirmation that the Island will not be part of the competition.
The news was confirmed in the X account of the Federation itself, which added that it continued to summon the “players (Cubans) inserted in other leagues,” as already happened in the World Classic, to alleviate the shortage of players of the so-called Team Asere. The team “maintains its aspirations to participate in 2025,” the agency noted.
This April, the ESPN network pointed out that the Caribbean Series had limited the participation to six teams, preferring to invite Nicaragua and Curaçao rather than Cuba. Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, which are part of the Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation, will also play and, by membership rights, are obliged to participate in the tournament.
The team “maintains its aspirations to participate in 2025”
As for the Elite League of Cuban Baseball, which the Island is currently celebrating, Pérez said that the team that wins will have the right to participate in an important Antillean Cup to be held in Puerto Rico, to which Cuba “was invited,” along with the Dominican Republic, although they still have to negotiate with the organizers the details of the trip.
Cuba was present at the 2022 Caribbean Series, held in Venezuela, when the number of invited teams at the time was eight. Although it did not obtain any notable results, the Cuban national team expected to attend the event this year, a disappointment that Pérez did not hide during his press conference.
Several experts have attributed the rejection of the Cuban national team by the organizers of the Series to the controversy over the presentation of Team Asere in Miami, during the last World Classic. The Cuban regime launched a campaign to politicize the meeting, to which the Cuban emigrants in Florida responded with protests against the presence of the Cuban national team.
In addition, Cuba’s performance during the last Caribbean Series was well below the level of the event. The Agricultores – winner of the Elite League of 2022 and entitled to play in the Series – made up of players from Las Tunas and Granma, suffered six defeats and won only once.
The Cuban Federation, specialists have also pointed out, is taking steps towards the reissue of a new Team Asere, a desperate strategy that seeks to counterbalance the escapes of Cuban athletes and improve the Island’s performance internationally. The Premier 12 international tournament, whose venue is not yet known, is the goal of the Cuban directors and the reason why they are urgently summoning Cuban players who already play as professionals ’on the other shore’.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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