By Guillermo Sánchez
The Cuban team that takes part in the World Baseball Classic qualified to the second round as the winner of what has so far been the most evenly matched group, Pool A (a.k.a. the pool of chaos).
After the protocol matches were completed, all the teams had a 2-2 record.
The tournament’s tiebreaker criteria had to be used to determine the places. This ultimately gave first and second place to the teams of Cuba and Italy, respectively.
During all these celebrations (and disappointments, as the case may be), it was announced that Yoenis Céspedes left the Cuban national team coached by Armando Johnson, and headed for the United States.
Although it was complicated by the distances involved, the player was expected to return to training camp between March 15 and 16. On that date, Team Cuba would face Australia in the next round.
But that will not be the case, Yoenis Céspedes is out for the Cuban national team for the World Classic, at least for the second round.
In the best case scenario, the former New York Mets would join the team in Miami if the team representing the largest of the Antilles goes through the tournament.
Without further ado, here is the official communiqué from the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB, for its Spanish acronyms).
STATEMENT BY THE CUBAN BASEBALL FEDERATION
YOENIS CÉSPEDES CASE – CUBAN NATIONAL TEAM
The Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) confirms that upon his request, in order to solve personal problems that cannot be postponed, player Yoenis Céspedes traveled this Sunday night to the United States, his country of residence.
His will is to rejoin in Miami, if the hoped advance to the segment assigned to that city is achieved, something that will be assessed by the technical staff, in accordance with the regulations for the process of additions and deletions established for the tournament.
We consider it appropriate to specify that our dialogue with the athlete allowed us to clarify that the need to respond personally to the personal matter in question was not part of his plans when he responded positively to the call made by the FCB for this event.
Taichung, March 13, 2023