By Migue Guerra
News about the non-inclusion of an Independent Cuban Team for the World Baseball Classic were recently made official. The Cuban Baseball Federation, the only entity allowed to field a team, will have the rights to do so, as they have the recognition of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC), one of the two bodies that sanction the WBC.
Mario expressed his feelings about how they received the news in the association when they found out that the Cuban team sponsored by the Cuban baseball federation is the one that will participate in the next World Baseball Classic.
“We didn’t hear from the media, as we were following the developments very closely. However, having said that, I am going to be very honest, we did not receive official information from Major League Baseball, perhaps in this type of thing it is not common to receive official information, but several members believe that we should have at least received a letter stating that we were not in the WBC or that the Cuba team is there, etcetera.”
“I say that to be quite frank and also because I said that for me the option of the World Baseball Classic is not dead, why? Because they have not said ‘No’ to me and if they have not officially denied…, death is something we cannot escape from. If I have not been rejected, we are still in the battle.”
How did the members of the Association take the news?
“I am a person who always prepares for the worst, because the worst produces discouragement, mourning, many negative things. I also have to lead and being discouraged is a luxury I can’t afford.
“So I try to prepare for the worst, mourn beforehand and when the bad moment comes be the one who is more attentive than the others because the emotions are gone, the emotions are over, that allows me to be very attentive to everything that is happening, to see the movements of all those involved in a much cooler way.
“I have always believed that this is a very complex project, very difficult, not only because of what we are asking for. There are so many difficulties we face and we try to have a strategy for each one of them.
“We have generational differences among the members of the association, there are four identified generations, those who are in the big leagues today are the big players, we have those who retired recently who have put a lot of drive, we have a third generation of those who retired longer ago as Tony Oliva, Tony Pérez or Luis Tiant and also those who are entering who are in the minor leagues and have not yet reached the MLB, they are the largest group.”