CUBAN BASEBALL 2019 SEASON
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
CUBA 59TH NATIONAL BASEBALL SERIES
Cuba’s 59th National Baseball Series opens on August 10, 2019 with a game between last year’s champion Las Tunas against second place team Villa Clara. The first phase of the season runs through October 7th, the second phase from October 20th through December 24th, with the playoffs and final championship series ending in late January 2020. Rumor has it that there are less practice and game balls this year than last, so stadium staff and the police will be hunting down fly balls and home run balls in the island’s stadiums.
In June three Cuban players abandoned the national team while in New Jersey to play a Can-Am game. The three players are Norge Vera Aldana, Orlando Acebey Gutierrez, and Yoelkis Cespdes. Cespedes is the brother of New York Mets star Yoenis Cespedes. Twenty-one-year-old Cespedes and nineteen-year-old pitcher Vera Aldana will likely be signed to contracts soon, with the major league future of 34-year-old Acebey Gutierrez to be seen. He is a good utility player and has batted over .300 most seasons, but he will have to work hard to make it onto a major league roster. The Cuban national team will continue to lose players after announcing a deal with MLB that didn’t become reality. Players on the island make less than $600 a year, plus benefits, like transportation to games on Cuban government buses, all the white rice they can eat, and nights at 1-star Cuban hotels.
This season opens with Rey Anglada committed to coach the Havana Industriales and the Cuban national team. Rey was the former star of Industriales and is admired by both fans and players, he's a good friend, and we wish him the best of luck.
By Frank Gonzalez
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