Will Germán Mesa Manage the Cuban National Team to the WBC?

Former Industriales' and Cuba's shortstop Germán Mesa could be given the wheels to lead WBC team

By Pablo Pichardo

Eight months before the start of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, there are countless questions surrounding the Cuban national team. One of the most common ones is linked to the manager who will take the reins in the most important international baseball event.

The only thing that the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB for its Spanish acronyms) made official is that none of the managers who will take part in the First Elite League will be chosen for the next cycle. This could reduce the number of candidates with more probabilities, although it has been leaked that the responsibility could even fall on someone without recent presence in the National Series.

And that applies precisely to the newly appointed Vice President of the FCB Germán Mesa Fresneda. Sources close to the authorities of the sport let us know that the former star shortstop is one of the names that make the most noise among those who influence or make the final decision.

There are several elements in German’s favor, such as his good results in Cuba and in foreign professional baseball. He was the last to lead Industriales to the domestic title, in 2009-2010, and in Nicaragua he led Tigres de Chinandega and Gigantes de Rica to the crown.

He has plenty of knowledge, but there are other totally antagonistic reasons that make not few have a bad criterion as a strategist. His character, that is the big problem, which brought him huge differences with most of the most important players in the Havana team.

In any case, nothing extraordinary transcended against him after his successful tenure in terms of results in Nicaraguan baseball, where he had to manage much more complicated players in general due to their status as professionals.

If Germán were to be elected manager of the Cuban team to the 2023 Classic, it would not be the first time that an official has assumed that role without resigning or being replaced as such. In 2009 Higinio Vélez was appointed manager when he was already Commissioner and President of the FCB, and in the 1970s Servio Borges had all the power of baseball in his hands.

Because of his extremely close ties with Cuban institutions, his conditions and intelligence, in addition to being completely reliable for the island’s authorities in sports and politics, it would not be surprising at all if he ends up as the chosen one.

German Mesa has never led the Cuban team to a first level event. In 2010 he broke the rule of champion managers who then received the award of being in charge of the national team, because at that time it was the Villa Clara manager Eduardo Martin who was selected for the World University Games and the Intercontinental Cup.

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