The 3rd World Baseball Classic / Rafael Leon Rodriguez


The Dominican Republic team will lead off this Tuesday, March 19, in the Baseball World Championship against Puerto Rico, as the favorite to win. The AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, will host the game. This time the champion will be a Caribbean country.

Cuba failed to advance to semifinals. Despite being first class, the Cuban team was tense, visibly playing under pressure and sometimes misguided. Contributing to this was a technical direction that, instead of calming the players, increased the tension, using expressive forms altered during the conduct of the games.

To this we must add the political charge, with all this implies in the milieu where our athletes perform. To participate in an event of this category is, for Cuban athletes, like marching into battle, a military confrontation. They are the torch-bearers in the Plaza of the Revolution, before the Jose Marti monument. Judges individually and as a team they struggle to fight for the victory and to perform at the level this implies.  Which means, also, they will return to the fatherland, with the shield or without the shield; only that is missing.

To our players we must recognize them, first, as victims of discrimination victims that prevents their playing in professional leagues, as players from all the other countries of the area are able to do, regardless of ideologies of their governments.

The lack of suitable terrain in our backyard to develop their athletic skills and many other unresolved material needs. But, the most significant thing to begin to reverse this situation is; Separating sports and politics, let each of them play in their separate arenas. Then we can aspire to be champions again.

21 March 2013