The balls that Cuba bought from the Italian company TeamMate to use in the National Baseball Series are of poor quality, denounced Luis Daniel del Risco, treasurer of the Cuban Baseball Federation. The balls, which bought at $12 per unit“they do not have the same nucleus” and some do not even have it, which causes the ball to have an irregular bounce, lament.
Del Risco explained that the box of Italian balls that were sent to Ciego de Ávila, for the matches to be held in that province, was not the same as the ones that were delivered to Havana. Motivated by the difference in results in the matches, the sports authorities decided to start opening the balls “to see their composition and verify their quality.” The manager said that the Italian company sent them three types of ball: models 190, 150 and 120.
The Federation took seven months to verify what several journalists had denounced last January. Among those who exposed the irregularities was the collaborator of the portal Cuban Baseball, Yirsandy Rodríguez. The use of the Teammate 120 ball in the Elite Baseball League “seriously influenced the production of home runs and extra-base hits,” said the communicator. “The numbers show that the few flashes of power weren’t really due to frequent pitching dominance,” he observed.
San Marino-based company TeamMate is linked to Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and close to Antonio Castro
Players had to adjust to the shortcomings of the balls. “Pitchers began to become familiar with the slight spin of less weight on the TeamMate 120 ball, while smarter hitters gave up in an effort to try and get the ball up with high frequency,” Rodríguez added.
TeamMate was informed of the “rustic” composition of the balls, which Cuba claims to have overpaid and, even so, they arrived late on the island. The Italians were “astonished because this had never happened to them,” Del Risco explained.
San Marino-based company TeamMate is linked to Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and close to Antonio Castro, son of Fidel Castro, the man who moves the strings of the ball in Cuba.
The Italian brand has been a constant headache for Cuban baseball. Before the incident with the balls, TeamMate had made a bad impression on Cuba with the delivery of uniforms for the Cuban teams, which also caused a delay in the Elite League last October.
The Federation had to buy balls from a supplier that agreed to put the Batos brand on the product, the name of a state company belonging to the Ministry of Industry.
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