The All-Star Game of the 61 National Baseball Series is a fact. Matanzas will host the best of the current baseball campaign, with a Victoria de Girón that has been set up for an event that could well see Orientales extend their current minimum advantage of 16-15 over Occidentales in terms of wins and losses.
Only on two occasions have the best players of our baseball classics not been measured under that format. In 1994 when the challenge was disputed by teams under the name of Truenos y Centellas; and in the previous edition when a ninth of under 25-year-olds called Future Stars, and their counterparts Present Stars fought for victory.
On this occasion Michael González and Eriel Sánchez will pull the strings of the luminaries of the East and West; and among the 52 chosen, only six repeat. These are the cases of Rafael Viñales (LTU), Yordanis Samón (CMG), Yorbis Borroto (CAV), Yoelkis Guibert (SCU), Leonel Moa (CMG), and Frederich Cepeda (SSP). In the case of the consistent player from Sancti Spiritus and considered one of the best players in our National Series, he will precisely equal Eriel Sánchez as those with the highest number of incursions in these confrontations, with 11.
Precisely the Sancti Spiritus roosters emerge as one of the most effective casts in the eastern squad, with five, in correspondence with their second seat in the standings of the current contest, with 23-15. The Mayabeque hurricanes lead the tournament endorsed in a solid 21-13, hence González has been chosen as the helmsman of the West.
Santiago de Cuba (22-16), Ciego de Ávila (22-16), and Granma (21-17) complete the avant-garde quintet of a tournament that, although it exhibits considerable parity between the first and tenth seats, with only 4.5 games apart, it presents several gaps in terms of quality, something that our domestic classics have suffered from for more than a decade, and which has later left different Cuban teams exposed in the international arena.
Above all, with a pitching that in general has lack of control, lack of repertoire and poor distribution of commands to several of their worst enemies, and in correspondence the offense surpasses them; without that meaning that our hitters, even the most seasoned, have the mettle to successfully connect pitchers of greater caliber. If the ceiling of our tournament is not high…
With that introductory cocktail, it’s time to land on the Western and Eastern payrolls, made up of 26 players per capita and broken down into two catchers, eight infielders, five outfielders, a designated hitter, and ten pitchers, taking into account performance criteria in that Position in which an X player performed the most up to the time of the cut in question, and with more than 84 required appearances at bat under his belt.
Thus, the casts were formed as follows:
Launchers (10): Yulián Quintana (May), Yosvani Torres (Pri), Naykel Cruz (Mtz), Erlis Casanova (Pri), Yoenni Yera (Mtz), Marlon Vega (May), Hermes González (Cfg), Kendry Hernández (Ijv), Yamichel Pérez (Mtz) and Luis A. Padrino (Ijv).
Receivers (2): Richel López (Cfg) and Oscar Valdés (Ind).
Infielders (8): Yasiel Santoya (Ind), Reidel Pedraza (Vcl), Osbel Pacheco (Art), Juan M. Martínez (May), Andrés Hernández (Ind), Dayán García (Art), Juan C. Arencibia (Pri) and Sandy Menocal (Ind ).
Gardeners (5): Juan C. López (Vcl), Yasniel González (May), Carlos de la Tejera (Art), Eliseo Rojas (Ijv) and Yusniel Ibáñez (Cfg).
Designated Hitter (1): William Saavedra (Pri) – Lost due to injury and was replaced by Jefferson Delgado (Matanzas).
Manager: Michael Gonzalez (May).
Launchers (10): Ariel E. Zequeira (Ssp), Danny Betancourt (Scu), Joen Socarrás (Ssp), Yoandri Montero (Scu), Juan S. Contreras (Cmg), César García (Grm), Alexander Valiente (Gtm), Carlos Juan Viera ( Ltu), Alejandro Meneses (Ltu) and Kelbis Rodríguez (Grm).
Receivers (2): Rafael Viñales (Ltu) and Alfredo Fadraga (Cav).
Infielders (8): Yordanis Samón (Cmg), Pedro P. Revilla (Gtm), Raúl González (Cav), Dasiel Sevila (Scu), Adriel Labrada (Scu), Yordanis Alarcón (Ltu), Alexander Ayala (Cmg) – dropped out for medical reasons and he was replaced by Yorbis Borroto (Ciego de Ávila) – and Moisés Esquerrés (Ssp).
Gardeners (5): Yoelkis Guibert (Scu), Over L. Cremé (Gtm), Alexquemer Sánchez (Grm) – dropped out due to COVID-19 and was replaced by Yasniel González (Holguín) -, Carlos Gómez (Ssp) and Leonel Moas (Cmg).
Designated Hitter (1): Frederick Cepeda (Ssp).
Manager: Eriel Sanchez (Ssp).
The skilled will be:
The show at the Victoria de Girón Yumurino will incorporate for the first time on this occasion, and promoting the love of baseball and the possible development of future stars, a clash between teams belonging to the Little Leagues, between Bayamo and the hosts from Matanzas.
In addition, the skills tests that always generate so much expectation on this occasion were made up as follows:
Reidel Pedraza (VCL), Juan M. Martínez (MAY), Juan C. Arencibia (PRI), Eliseo Rojas (IJV), Yoelkis Guibert (SCU), Yasiel González (HOL), Dasiel Seville (SCU) and Carlos Gómez (SSP).
In the execution of the double play against time will be the triads of Juan C. Arencibia (PRI), Osbel Pacheco (ART) and Reidel Pedraza (VCL); Sandy Menocal (IND), Juan M. Martínez (MAY) and Yasiel Santoya (IND); Yorbis Borroto (CAV), Raúl González (CAV) and Yordanis Samón (CMG); and Moisés Esquerrés (SSP), Dasiel Sevila (SCU) and Pedro P. Revilla (GTM).
Richel López (CFG), Oscar Valdés (IND), Rafael Viñales (LTU), Alfredo Fadraga (CAV), Andrys Pérez (MTZ) and Yunior Ibarra (SSP) are listed for the catchers’ shot to second base.
In the field shot, Yusniel Ibáñez (CFG), Juan C. López (VCL), Eliseo Rojas (IJV), Yasiel González (HOL), Carlos Gómez (SSP) and Leonel Moa (CMG) will test power and aim.
Yasiel Santoya (IND), Yasel J. González (PRI), Andrés Hernández (IND), Yasniel González (MAY), Alfredo Fadraga (CAV), Rafael Viñales (LTU), Over L. Cremet (GTM) and Pedro P. Revilla (GTM).
The presence at the skills festival of Yunior Ibarra (SSP), Andrys Pérez (MTZ) and Yasser Julio González (PRI) is due to the fact that they received invitations.
Luminaries of Cuban baseball will meet again at the Victoria de Girón Yumurino, an excellent setting for players of different generations throughout our National Series to exchange experiences and relive emotions around the diamond, and hand in hand with one of its great passions. By the way, the Yumurian authorities revealed that some 8,000 fans will be able to witness the show at the stadium, with a capacity greater than the 20,000 spectators that the so-called Palace of the Crocodiles has.