By José Alejandro Rodríguez Zas
Over the last two weeks, the case with the elimination of the team of Yaguajay from the Little League National Championship due to a protest led by the team of Camagüey because of the use of an illegal player has brought a lot of debate on social media.
As we know, the National Commission decided to enforce the rules of the competition and strip the Sancti Spíritus team from the right of playing the eastern finals against defending champion Bayamo, despite having defeated Camagüey in the semifinals. The decision was recently made public in the TV Show Bola Viva, as we reported on our web site.
But this is not the only case in which a team gets disqualified from the event, as the Team of Las Tunas was also sanctioned after Luis Ulacia’s team was also “heard” by the authorities.
However, in the last few hours, two followers of the Facebook page of Swing Completo, revealed two other cases of disqualification that took place in the Havana provincial championship, with comments on the subject, which we share now. We do this because of the importance of such event, and keeping in mind that these are 11 and 12-year-old kids.
“Just look at what happened here in Havana with 4 children of the 10 de Octubre municipality, who have been practicing baseball since ages seven and eight in this municipality, spent the 10U category with 10 de Octubre and now with the 12U they are saying that for the Little League they have to live and study in the municipality.”
“The parents changed schools and municipalities, the tournament moved on and 10 de Octubre beat their zone opponents. Habana del Este, which lost to to 10 de Octubre, protested and the Provincial Commissioner and the National Commissioner said they had to live there for a year, something they did not explain in any meeting. As a result, 10 de Octubre got disqualified.”
“Then, Habana del Este went on to play with the other zone, which was Playa, and as they lost again, they protested and were favored again. Nobody said that the Provincial Commissioner is a “buddy” of the Habana del Este coach.”
“In Havana, the borders between municipality are a street, and the stadium of Centro Habana may be closer for a boy than the one in 10 de Octubre (where he lives), or there is a boy who lives in Plaza but the stadium of Cerro is closer for him. Parents take their kids to the closest field, without thinking of municipalities here in Havana.”
“It is unfair that an athlete that grew as part of a team because of his proximity or any other reason cannot compete for that team, and parents make an effort and change their address and their school, and later on, an official pulls out the card that they had to live in that municipality for a year, without having discussed the subject in any meeting. They do that without even giving an explanation to the parents, who are the ones paying for the field maintenance, the umpires, pay and buy baseballs, bats, gloves, uniforms and practice gear.”
“Even when the parents are the ones who guarantee everything, they had the decency or the courage to explain. Baseball does need a revision, but one that aims at its officials, who don’t explain, who don’t foresee, and who play foul to favor some people.”
“So, friends, we have to change baseball, but we have to shake the tree so the rotten fruit fall.”
“The Little League in Cuba has been a total hoax. In Havana, the champion team was SOBERANOS, representing the municipality of Playa, winning the competition undefeated…. After a series of “appeals”, they came up with a rulebook that was not the one they had discussed with the coaches, in which they didn’t specify that there could not be two or more children in the same address.”
“By the way, the players in this Playa team are coming together since the 7-8 category, and there were school movements made before the competition, with a lot of time in advance so as to prevent breaking the “official” rules of the competition.”
“The team was presented in due time, they participated in the discussion meetings, in which everything was supposed to be reviewed, and they were given the OK. The horrible work made by the provincial commission is what in the end brings damage in these situations. What happens is that it is easier to disqualify teams and strip them of the victory they got with their talents and efforts than to fire those who do a lousy job with impunity.”
“Little League in Cuba is far from being clean, and it has always been that way. What happens is that we have no idea of how these events function worldwide. If there is any irregularity, we simply don’t present the team and avoid these sour moments. Also, we cannot allow a player representing his municipality or province to show up with another team. That would be FRAUDULENT.”
“But all of Havana knows that these children or Playa have been together since they started, and there has never been any appeal, as their coaches are good enough to know that their results are simply a reflection of their sacrifice, and there is no merit in winning by cheating or making absurd appeals.”
“In the end? Habana del Este represented Havana in the tournament and ‘everyone happy’ in the Provincial Commission… A TOTAL HOAX. they should suspend Cuba from that event until all teams are revised and we will see what can be found.”