By José Alejandro Rodriguez Zas
To say that Cuban baseball is in crisis is not an absolute truth in these times. In fact, I would dare to say, that it is false. One thing is that the level of baseball that is played within the island, in the National Series and other individuals associated with the Cuban Federation, has dropped considerably and another is to enjoy daily the brilliance that Cuban baseball players give to the different leagues of the world, whether in Europe, Asia, Latin America or the Big Top itself.
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On this occasion we are going to refer to seven Cuban baseball players who play in the old continent, specifically in Spain and are part of the plans of the authorities of that country for the World Baseball Classic. They will participate as members of the Spanish team in Prague Baseball Week to be held from June 22 to 25 in the capital of the Czech Republic.
A total of eight teams divided into two qualifying groups will participate in said contest, including two local teams and one per capita from the United States, France, Greece, Europe and Canada, in addition to the Spanish.
The Paid Baseball Week is part of the preparation of the Iberian team for the 2023 Clásico qualifier, which will take place next September in Germany.
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According to the official website of the event and some reports provided by the Cubalite website and the journalist Francys Romero, the seven Cuban players who are part of the Czech team and the pre-selection for the Classic are Santiago catcher and outfielder José Abilio Ferrer, Guantanamo infielder Yoel Caballero, as well as infielder Aníbal Medina, outfielder Eduardo Blanco, catcher and first baseman Yan Alejandro Pérez, and pitchers Royd Hernández and Armando Dueñas, the latter five from Matanzas.
All the players mentioned had experience in the National Series, except for Caballero from Guantanamo, who left Cuba at the age of 19, before making his debut in the U23 National Championship, while the cases of Dueñas, Medina and Blanco, played part of the 61 Series with the Matanzas Crocodiles, so their situation with Cuban baseball seems to be unclear.
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These players currently play in the Division of Honor of baseball in Spain, six of them in the San Inazio Bilbao club, with outstanding results in their respective positions, so they could make the grade to the national team, if the migratory conditions of each who allow it.
Faced with the difficulty of having opportunities in a Cuban team, they have sought to carve out a path in Spanish lands and could achieve some of their immediate objectives shortly.
World Classic 2023,
Jose Alejandro Rodriguez,
Santiago de Cuba,