Cuba’s Official Press Blames the Major League Players for Cuba’s Defeats in the Classic

After losing to Italy, the so-called Team Asere is at the bottom of group A, with “minimal” chances of moving to the next round. (Jit)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 9 March 2023 — Cuba’s options within the World Classic seemed to evaporate after adding another defeat, in an extra inning, 3-6 against Italy. It was “a good game,” said Cuban manager Armando Johnson. “I thought that once we tied we could do the job, that we could win the game, but you already saw that we couldn’t.”

Journalist Francys Romero was blunt after the defeat of the Cubans when he commented that the options for Team Asere in the World Classic are “minimal” and “reduced to 20%.” He did not fail to recognize, however, that it was “a game of total vertigo  with constant returns of both teams in 10 innings” in front of some  6,000 spectators at the Intercontinental Stadium, in Taichung, Taiwan, with a capacity of 20,000.

The newspaper Pelota Cubana lamented that the Cuban representative “could not defend the great mound work of Roenis Elías.” The Chicago Cubs baseball player also offered his opinion  about the panorama: “This is baseball. We have to keep fighting and moving forward. We went out to win; things didn’t go the way we wanted, but here we are, ready for tomorrow.”

The official newspaper Cubadebate, in its publication this Thursday, found those responsible for this defeat. There was the possibility of “breaking the tie in the third inning, after consecutive singles by Yadir Drake and Yadil Mujica” to which the “sacrifice of Yoelkis Guibert” was added, but “the major league players Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert were incapable of scoring.”

The same media stressed that against the Italian starter Matt Harvey, “Moncada perished in a fly to third and Robert tapped a harmless grounder to David Fletcher. Meanwhile, in the fifth inning, Moncada again struck out, with Quintana on third and Guibert on first.”

Faced with the comments about the lack of productivity presented by the Cuban batting, Johnson acknowledged at a press conference that “the offensive has not been working” and that “we wanted to have some runs, but (Italy) was ahead and we couldn’t.”

As for indications of a possible rotation of Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, the Cuban manager said it would be analyzed among the “group of coaches” in the hotel. “I think that if there has to be some movement, it will happen. We are waiting to meet and do the relevant analyses.”

Francys Romero confirmed that “a conversation between the coaches and players took place at the clubhouse in Cuba.” In that talk, the one who took the baton was the manager and former shortstop of Industriales, Germán Mesa, who recalled that they still have possibilities and will continue fighting in the tournament, taking up the phrase of Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

The collaborator of Play-Off Magazine, Renier González Jr., lamented that although we have the best players in the world, “if we continue with these managers, we will not make much progress.” Through his Twitter account he exhibited his annoyance: “A team with a lot of potential is not being managed in the right way. Outs are given away in bunt hits. The pitching is handled badly. Players are lined up with a terrible defense.”

González Jr. stressed that “as long as we aren’t looking for trainers, coaches and people prepared in the world’s major leagues, we will continue the same way.”

Group A accomplished its second date in which the Netherlands remains undefeated (2-0,) followed by Italy (1-0), Panama (1-1), Taiwan (0-1) and Cuba (0-2).

Translated by Regina Anavy


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