Ariel Pestano on Víctor Mesa: “The decisions, the injuries, the things that happened hurt me”

By José Alejandro Rodríguez Zas

For many Cuban baseball connoisseurs and fans, the Villa Clara Ariel Pestano, has been the best receiver that has passed through our National Series. A hermetic defense, an enviable arm, intelligence to guide the pitchers, character to lead the strings of a game and a not inconsiderable hitting, although not abundant if very opportune, make Pestano a catcher, simply phenomenal.

Countless years in the Cuba team, silent architect of many successes of Cuban ball abroad, sometimes welcoming greats like José Ariel Contreras without signs During multiple innings or even deciding important games, they make Villa Clara a historical reference.

However, there is an unforgettable negative moment in Pestano’s career, in 2013, when he was left out of the Cuba team at the III World Baseball Classic. About that event and the feeling of sadness, frustration and disappointment that Pestano felt, we have already published a note on this website.

However, there is an important element around that fact: the director of that group was Victor Mesa, who also directed the provincial team of Villa Clara and then was a direct rival of the orange in the final of that same year 2013, as manager of Matanzas, with Pestano himself as the protagonist from the opposite trench, with that monumental home run that gave the championship to the Leopards.

“Several things were valued and we wanted to give way to young figures. (Yulexis) La Rosa and Frank Camilo (Morejón) can fulfill the tasks in the catcher, “Víctor told the Cuban press at that time, clarifying that the decision had not been unilateral, but was discussed among more than a dozen technicians and coaches the exclusion of Pestano from the team.

“There is no one who takes away his merits from Pestano, his quality and expertise we must acknowledge and congratulate ourselves for having him among the greats of Cuba,” added the then manager of the national team.

However, it is well known to Cuban baseball fans that relations between Pestano and Víctor Mesa were not good within the national team, the Villa Clara provincial team or in personal life.

“Is it true that your relations with Víctor Mesa were not good?” asked on one occasion the journalist Aurelio Prieto Alemán to Pestano in one of his popular Confesiones de Grandes programs.

“No, they weren’t good,” Pestano replied at the time. “But the people of Cuba covered all that, the admiration they feel for me covers all the wounds, everything that can happen inside of me. It is no less true that the decisions hurt me, the wounds hurt me, the things that happened, but … nothing ».

Pestano also made it clear at that time that his time in Cuba had ended and even if it was rectified and he was asked to return to the group, he would not do it.

«I have had a very hard time, since it has been many years of struggle, many years of sacrifice, many years away from my family, dedicating most of my time and life to the ball. Honestly, after so much disappointment, I don’t think so.

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Ariel Pestano on Víctor Mesa: “The decisions, the injuries, the things that happened hurt me”