Until When the Intrigue in The Ball?
If someone wants to put Cuban television sports journalists in a real bind, it will no longer be necessary to mention a “defector”, or even the actions of a Cuban in the Major Leagues (including the signing of contracts).
They could even talk about the need to insert Cuban baseball players in other foreign leagues and to provide better remuneration to those who stay here… however, ask them what is the starting date of the National Series and the only thing you will get is as many answers as journalists (very shrugged shoulders) there are in the television program Al Duro y sin Guantes.
And the fact is that times change, the Cuban sports press has changed to the point of doing and saying things that might have seemed crazy about six months ago, but that now form – fortunately – part of a daily routine that must go forward by its own force and not stay in the same place because it has already been proven that it does not bring anything good.
However, the National Baseball Commission has not yet learned that planning, seriousness, and respect for the press, the fans, and even the athletes themselves are the first step they must take.
A few months (not sure how many) before the start of the National Baseball Series, something that many call “the greatest socio-cultural spectacle in the nation”, it is inconceivable that no one knows when it will start… whether it is in early October, mid-October, late October, or early November.
Will the 53rd SNB be held, or is it in jeopardy?
Well, I believe that not enough ballplayers have left the country yet to jeopardize the development of the national championship, although its quality has been suffering little by little with the massive and unprecedented exodus of mediocre, good, and super-stellar players.
In other words, there is no reason for at least the date when Villa Clara and Matanzas will meet for the first time since the final Play-Off at the Augusto César Sandino Stadium. Worse still, there is NO justification for not saying anything about the national championship, the design of the uniforms (or the redesign, which is what should happen with almost all of them), the number of matches (because apparently, it is going to change with respect to last year)… the lack of respect, seriousness and commitment is too much.
They have not yet realized that athletes and coaches make action plans to face a championship in certain conditions or following certain parameters… only the players understand that, and they are exposed to injuries, losing their shape before time, or not arriving in optimal conditions at the call of “Play Ball”.
There have already been prices to pay for misinformation, such as that of Yordanis Samón, completely unaccustomed to trips abroad, and who was not informed in a timely manner of his possible contract by the Piratas de Campeche. As a consequence, Samón did not perform according to what was expected of him (and what he can really give), as he was not in shape and failed to adapt, mainly due to the lack of training.
So, how long will the intrigue last, and how long will we have to wait for timely information about the start of the National Series?
The first thing to do is to take a cue from the Major Leagues. Yes, because since they are admitting that it is the best league in the world, they should take examples of the things that are within reach and imitate them. We are not asking that on Mother’s Day, the batters show up with pink bats, or that the seams of the balls be pink… but set a FIXED date for the start of the national championship so that there can be a good atmosphere leading up to the moment.
The economic shortage is not a justification either, since the duty of the national baseball management is to start organizing the championship once the previous one is over. We are tired of being given the justification for the blockade and shortages to hide the indolence, irresponsibility, and foolishness of a group of people who hide behind a heavy bureau.
The promised and expected changes in Cuban baseball are coming too slowly or have not arrived at all. The worst thing is that at times they make Cuban baseball fans, who are quite a few, wonder if, in the midst of all the turmoil caused by the recent departures of different players, the celebration of the island’s domestic tournament is not in danger.
To put the lid on the knob, I quote Radio Rebelde commentator Roberto Pacheco in the aforementioned program: “There is a team preparing to leave for Colombia. Do you know anything about that?”