Yasmany Tomás: if the national team calls me, I’ll go to the Clásico

At the beginning of last September, Yasmany Tomás uncovered Pandora’s box. When many had already lost hope that the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) would call some of the players residing abroad and without ties to the national sports movement, the Havana slugger assured that they had contacted him for an eventual call for face to the V World Classic in 2023.

In a dialogue with colleagues Daniel de Malas and Yasser Porto, “El Tanque” was direct and revealed one of the news of the year: “that call is already there, and that proposal too”, assured Tomás exclusively for Swing Completo, when asked about his willingness to play the Clásico with Cuba if they demanded his services from the Island.

“I have always said that if one day they call me I would play, as long as it has nothing to do with politics. I am a baseball player, I am not a politician. I have always said it, in all interviews and anywhere. I play the ball wherever I want,” said the man from the capital, who left Cuba in June 2014 and five months later. signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $68.5 million.

Yasmany Tomás’ statements opened the debate on the possible Cuban call for professional baseball players, something that officially came to fruition in mid-November. The FCB confirmed in the first instance the willingness of Andy Ibáñez, Yoan López and Elián Leyva to integrate the ranks of the national team in the 2023 Clásico, and less than a week later they also added the names of Yoenis Céspedes, Onelki García and Yoan Moncada.

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From that moment on, other players such as Lorenzo Quintana, Luis Robert, Josuán Hernández, Miguel Romero or Roenis Elías also said yes to a hypothetical call-up, although the FCB has not made the call-up for any of these men official. In the same condition is Yasmany Tomás, who is bursting the league in Mexico.

The man from the capital, a member of the Cañeros de Los Mochis, has been one of the best hitters of the Aztec winter circuit, with an impressive offensive line of .328/383/.510. “El Tanque” leads the tournament in home runs (ten) and RBIs (57), is second in extra-base hits (27) and hits (85) and third in doubles (17). According to the specialized site Cuban Ball, he is the foreigner with the most hits in the Pacific League since Jerry Owens hit 90 in 2013.

With such a performance, Tomás has many spotlights on top and at every opportunity has shown his desire to wear the jacket with the four letters. Last Thursday, for example, the Havanan gave some very direct statements to the Mexican journalist Javier “Bambino” Sedano on this matter.

“When they asked me at the beginning I said yes at once. Since I left the country I was always willing to play for the national team if they called me. And it may be, I’m waiting for them to call me. There is already a proposal, but it has not been confirmed. If the national team calls me, I will go (to the Clásico). I went in 2013 and I think that ten years later it would also be a pleasant experience”, assured Tomás.

“El Tanque” recognized that “it would be a blessing” if all Cubans in the Major Leagues could go with the national team to be able to fight with the strongest teams. “We are all Cubans and we are going to play for the people, to represent the country. The Cuban fans deserve a team that is at the level of the others, that we can compete, ”he said.

If his presence and that of more professional players with the national team is confirmed, Tomás is clear about what the objective would be: “Cuba has passed the first round in all the Clásicos. On several occasions we have been close to reaching the semifinals. I think that this is the goal, to win game by game, to advance in each round and nobody knows, baseball is very small and a good game, a good play, anything, can make you go to a semifinal, to a final, or that you are champion ”.

At the end of the exchange, the man from the capital was asked if he was excited to imagine himself wearing the Cuban uniform again at a world event, and he said that this is a dream he has longed for since he was a child: “I spent two years with the national team, almost three , and it was a great experience. My first event was the 2013 World Classic. Playing with players from the Major Leagues, from Japan, from the United States, it was incredible. Going back now would be repeating a dream. My family would be very happy, ”he concluded.

Yasmany Tomás joined the ranks of the national team during the third edition of the World Classic in 2013. Led by Víctor Mesa, “El Tanque” did not disappoint and demonstrated all his skills as a power hitter.

After leaving Cuba and signing with the Dbacks, the West Indian debuted in MLB in 2015 with nine home runs and 48 RBIs in 118 games. The following year he managed to consolidate by hitting 62 extra-base hits, including 31 home runs and driving in 83 runs, but he did not have continuity and after 2016 he spent most of his time in the Minors.

After more than a year away from the diamonds, Tomás began preparing last August to join the Cañeros de los Mochis in Mexico. There he has managed to make his laurels green again and could be one step away from returning to the Major Leagues or signing with a team on the Japanese professional circuit.

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