By José Alejandro Rodríguez Zas
The 61st edition of the National Baseball Series is just around the corner. Little more than two months separate us from the voice of «Play Ball» and 16 teams will go out to the playing fields of the country in search of the national crown, in a contest agreed to start, officially, on January 22 of next year.
At the sports level, teams such as Granma, Matanzas, Las Tunas, Sancti Spíritus, Pinar del Río, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and Industriales come out as the main favorites to repeat their qualification for the postseason, as they did in the Series 60 and compete the title of Cuba. Other novenas like Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila will try to clear their doubts and place themselves among the eight, while Mayabeque will take the great leap announced for several campaigns and Villa Clara will return to stellar planes. Holguín, Artemisa, Juventus Island and Guantánamo will have to improve a lot if you want to be included in the playoff party.
But, beyond the competition itself, which will contemplate 75 games per team in the regular phase before moving on to the postseason with the top eight, without reinforcements at any time, the Cuban baseball authorities have announced several novel aspects that will be they are going to put into practice in the coming Cuban ball season.
On all these issues, the National Baseball Commissioner, Juan Reinaldo Pérez Pardo, spoke with the sports journalist Guillermo Rodríguez, according to a note posted on the website of the radio station Radio Rebelde, while reporting on the celebration “in style” of the 60th anniversary of the inauguration of the National Series, on January 14.
«On the 14th there will be the awarding of the last baseball contest, as part of the celebrations of this anniversary. We are working on the initiatives that we will have, we assure you that it will be a Gala different from the previous ones, “said the official.
Pérez Pardo reported that this Monday, November 15, the trainings of the provincial preselections for the Series 61 will officially begin, although some teams have already been working for some days, in a preparation stage prior to the event that will consist of 10 weeks for each campus.
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As a novelty for the next campaign, the installation of 20-second clocks in all the provincial capital stadiums of the country, which will be in charge of keeping control of the time between shipments of the pitchers and, in addition, will be able to count the number of launches made.
“In most of the provinces they have these watches in their hands and in the case of others they have not picked them up but they are already in Cuba,” said the Commissioner, before reporting on the case of Lisbán Correa, about which we published a note on this website.
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Likewise, the Cuban baseball director made it clear, once again, that the National Series has the doors open to receive players who are playing in foreign leagues without the support of the Cuban Baseball Federation while they carry out their repatriation procedures and comply with the requirements for this, in this case, “not having left an official delegation and not having spoken out against our revolutionary process,” wrote the journalist Guillermo Rodríguez in the aforementioned note.
«That in Series 60 worked well, all Cubans who want to return to the country and comply with the immigration procedures will be received. They will always have to comply with the requirements that we have made clear in the tour we had throughout the country, “said the commissioner, making the position of Cuban baseball on the subject very clear.
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The question that imposes itself: Is this the feeling of Cuban baseball fans, the true owners of their baseball and their spectacle, or is it just the position of those who have believed, for decades, the masters of the country and even of their village? Leave your comments, dear reader, you already know where …
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THE COMMISSIONER SAID IT AGAIN: “If they are against the revolution, we DO NOT want them.”