béisbol, Clásico Mundial, peloteros, Cuba

Opinions divided among Cuban émigré baseball players before the call of the FCB

MADRID, Spain.- During the last months, the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) has been contacting emigrant Cuban baseball players who play in professional leagues so that they can be part of the Cuba Team that will compete in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Due to the fact that in previous editions of this tournament and in the rest of international competitions the Cuban authorities had not even considered this possibility, this year’s calls lead us to believe that it is due to a necessity, due to the high number of casualties of baseball players against the constant exodus, which in the last year has recorded record numbers.

When contacted by the FCB, some athletes have given a resounding “No”, and others, before being called, have publicly expressed their refusal, because in Cuba, including sports, “everything has to do with politics”.

While some have decided to play for Cuba, almost always pointing out that they have nothing to do with politics.

“I will not play with the Cuba team directed by the Federation”

Among the players who have rejected the call by the FCB is the outfielder from Villa Clara Leonys Martin Tapanes.

As reported by the sports media Full Swingthe island’s sports authorities contacted Leonys Martín’s agent.

“I will not play with the Cuba Team directed by the Federation. My decision is one and it will not change”, said the player, current player of the Japanese team Chiba Lotte Marines.

For his part, Dayan Viciedoalso a Japanese baseball star, answered “no” to the approach of the Cuban federations,” according to sources close to the journalist. Frances Romero.

While the snake from Pinar del Río Yuniesky Maya, whose results in the current season place him among the main candidates for the best pitcher of the year in the Professional Baseball League of the Dominican Republic (LIDOM), declared: “I am not going to represent Cuba in the World Classic. I will see it from home, I will support them from there, I do not wish them harm either, I will support my teammates wherever I am”.

“I respect everyone’s opinion. I was called too. I said no, that I did not agree to participate,” Maya explained.

the matancero Randy Arozarena, current outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, recently nationalized Mexican, will play for Mexico in the World Classic.

“They (the players on the Island) are going to realize what it’s like to play with professionals. They have the bandage off, but they have to take it off more. That will help them, who are well behind in baseball in Cuba. I hope that the Government changes the policy with the sport and the players”, said Arozarena in an interview with the media Cuban ball.

The left-handed pitcher Cionel Pereza player for the Baltimore Orioles, assured Full Swing that he would not accept the call of the FCB, because “even though people say that politics has nothing to do with sports, in Cuba everything has to do with politics and we all know it.”

Pérez explained that he planned to play the Classic with the national team independently, through the Association of Professional Cuban Players (ACPBP), “but I would not go to Cuba to do any pre-selection due to the political situation that There is now”.

Players who have said “Yes”

Among the players abroad who have agreed to compete for Cuba are Andy Ibanez, Elian Leyva Y joan lopez.

About these three players the Cuban Baseball Federation, quoted by the official media Cubadebate, announced: “We are pleased to announce that Andy Ibáñez (Texas Rangers), Yoan López (New York Mets) and Elián Leyva (Hermosillo Naranjeros) will be part of Cuba’s preselection for the Fifth World Baseball Classic.”

While Yoenis Cespedesoutfielder for the Dominican team Águilas Cibaeñas, declared Luis Tomás Rae of the Dominican radio program Great in Sports: “I know that there has been a lot of controversy regarding the Cuban baseball players who are in the United States. There was a lot of fuss about it. I left Cuba, not because of political problems, but looking for a dream, after a dream. I always said that if ever when I ended up in the United States, I could represent my country again, I would do it with great pleasure. They called me to represent in the Clásico and of course I said yes and here I am”.

The Guantanamo pitcher Roenis Elijah He argued that he would compete for Cuba to “give joy to the Cuban people and their families” because of “all those ugly things that are happening in Cuba.”

While yasmany tomas made known to Full Swing that “they wrote to him and asked him if he wanted to play the Classic for Cuba.” “I said yes, as long as there was nothing political,” he said.

Team Cuba will debut in the Fifth World Baseball Classic on March 8, 2023 against the Netherlands, both from group A. The group is also made up of Panama, Italy and Taiwan.

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