The 2015 WBSC Premier12 international baseball championship is over for Cuba. Losing against South Korea has left the Cuban team out of the competition for medals.
The result had been predicted by many, given the current state of this sport on the island.
The Cubans saw setback after setback the minute they went out to the filed. It was agony, inning after inning. They looked hopeless before their rivals, and couldn’t put up a fight.
Now they come back home knowing that things have taken a radical turn: Cuban baseball is not what it used to be.
Attributing these results to bad decisions made by Victor Mesa, the manager of the team, or to the performance of the pitchers, or to the weak defence exhibited by the national team would be unfair and reckless.
We all know that, unfortunately, this is part of a bigger problem, one linked to the way in which baseball officials and sports officials understand and manage baseball in Cuba.
That the Cuban team did its best in each and every game in this championship and still lost shows that the players and the manager are not to blame. And it also shows that, if we do nothing to change this situation, soon we’ll get used to defeat.
The final game finished with South Korea scoring 7 runs vs 2 by Cuba.
“We are very sad, but they were superior,” said Alexander Ramos, a member of the managerial staff of the Cuban team.
Many of the players are so discouraged that most of them refused to comment after the game.
Mesa met with the team briefly after the game. He told the players that these things happen, and that they should learn from the experience and try to improve their game.
Winning was out of the question with such a bad line-up: the catcher was mediocre, the man covering second base had no experience in that position, the short stop’s abilities were very limited, and the man in the center field was too slow for that position.
A large number of the best Cuban baseball players lives and plays in other countries, and their participation in these tournaments representing their country is almost impossible due to not only the restrictions of the U.S. embargo, but also to the rules and regulations imposed by Cuban sports authorities.