The Avilanian Yudiel González, one of the members of the national team of baseball U23 from Cuba to the World Cup recently held in Mexico, assured upon his return to the Island that did not leave the team, as did 12 others of his classmatesdespite being pressured to do so.
“I did not even know how they accessed my phone number. They wrote me messages that they were waiting for me in that place. In Obregón, at the hotel where we were, in the lobby they approached us so that we could go with them,” he said in an interview with the official station Radio Rebelde.
“One could not go crazy, because one is young and there are more opportunities. Now contracts are being opened and one can reach them”, he assured.
Nevertheless, according to the journalist Francys romero, who was at the tournament headquarters and reported from the beginning the continuous leaks of players, which ended up leaving only half of the players who left the Island in the squad, González’s story is missing essential elements.
“In the recently concluded U23 World Cup there was a player leaving after 30 minutes, according to sources confirmed to me and Cuban Ball. His name is Yudiel González, 24 years old. González got into a car, but he repented and asked to be returned to the hotel “wrote Romero On twitter.
According to the journalist specializing in Cuban baseball, this report was not published “so as not to damage the athlete’s image.” Nevertheless, Since González avoided mentioning his escape attempt to Radio Rebelde, Romero offered all the details of what happened.
“In the history of the emigration of baseball there are repeated experiences of regrets of ‘escape’ or of ‘returns’, but you cannot argue the pressure exerted, which could exist, and not speak of your own intent. It is unknown if the player will be forgiven, it seems that yes, “he said.
“The report of the possible escape of Yudiel González on September 29 was only minutes from being published (…) Hopefully and the official media clarify and give a version of what happened,” he concluded.
González, who decided the games of the Cuban squad against Taiwan and Panama, was one of those interviewed by Radio Rebelde in a report where the abandonment of players was described as part of a “soft coup”, a term that the regime uses so much to refer to the 11J demonstrations as well as the protests of civil groups such as the San Isidro Movement and the 27N.
According to Luis Daniel del Risco, Treasurer of the official Cuban Baseball Federation, an entity that hires Cuban players in foreign leagues and collects a percent of the salaries they earn there, something impossible with those who make their way on their own, such as the 12 fugitives in Mexico, what happened in the U23 World Cup seeks to “demoralize Cuban baseball.”
According to the official, “they did not shout things at us, nor did they raise signs, but they attacked us mainly through social networks. (…) What they want is for this achievement of the Revolution to disappear, on that we have to concentrate to have best results”.
According to the Radio Rebelde report, the athletes and more the players, will be “the only ones who have to give up being Cubans to reach the Major Leagues”.
The note avoided mentioning that it was Fidel Castro who imposed in Cuba the idea that playing in the Major Leagues was a betrayal of the country and that since then those who decide to make a career abroad without the approval of the authorities have been subjected to the punishment of al least eight years without re-entering Cuba.
The U23 World Baseball Championship became the event in which more Cuban players have left national teams. The highest number of dropouts during a tournament had occurred in 1996, when five players from the Industriales team fled the squad at the Champions Clubs tournament, also in Mexico.
The 12 players who took advantage of the championship to leave the national team and seek a better future in professional baseball are Geisel Cepeda, Loidel Chapellí Jr., Yandy Yanes, Bryan Chi, Miguel Antonio González, Luis Dany Morales, Ubert Mejías, Loidel Rodríguez, Reynaldo Lazaga, Dariel Fernández, Diasmany Palacios and Yeiniel Zayas.