14ymedio, Havana, 20 October 2023 — The Havana Baseball Commission removed the Cotorro municipality team from the 63rd Provincial Series. The squad received the disciplinary measure, announced this Thursday, “for not showing up for their last two games,” according to journalist Boris Luis Cabrera Acosta. The sports authorities did not accept the justification that the absences were caused by the lack of transport due to the fuel shortage that affects Cuba.
A member of the team told the official media Tribuna de La Habana that “they waited in vain for the bus, which no one in the municipality could manage” to take them to the Ciro Frías sports center in Arroyo Naranjo.
Cotorro also lost a second game days later after not showing up to face the Plaza de la Revolución team, so the authorities decided to remove them from the competition that serves as a prelude to the National Series.
“Another desert of disbelief multiplied in the eyes of the protagonists, who visualized how they were given a sovereign knockout from the field,” Swing Completo published. The blow also spread to the fans, who, despite the escapes of baseball players, go to the stadiums to spend moments of distraction.
Another desert of disbelief multiplied in the eyes of the protagonists, who visualized how they were given a sovereign knockout from the field
Cabrera Acosta recalled that the Boyeros team also faced the lack of transport prior to their match against 10 de Octubre. However, the team paid for the bus with its own money. “The good development of these challenges must be a maxim,” says Swing Completo. “Unfortunately, another stone on the road appeared to hinder the sacrifice of the players, who are the main ones affected in this whole history of turmoil and bureaucracies.”
Pitcher Pablo Luis Guillén, who left Cuba legally in 2021 and currently plays in the Italian League, said when he was interviewed last September by Pelota Cubana, that on the Island “the game is played only out of love and you can’t eat love.”
“When you play baseball and are not paid a dignified salary, where players earn only 14 dollars a month, you can’t be responsible right now for how the world and life itself is in Cuba,” he added.
It’s not the first time that the fuel shortage has hit Cuban baseball. In August last year, the first match of the Under-23 championship of the National Baseball Series between Villa Clara and Cienfuegos was suspended for this reason.
The Villa Clara Leopards, who were staying at the Pasacaballos hotel, received the notification that they could not be taken to the September 5 stadium, where the host team and local fans were waiting for them.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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