All analysis, all criticism; All preparation, all possible changes; All the Olympic dreams towards Tokyo and all the applause came to an end in the first minutes of June 2 as Lisbon Korea swung against the deadly fastball of nearby Canadian John Burton Oxford.
It’s pointless to say we’ve lost at least twice and with the same score (6-5) if the important thing in sport is to win, because effort, desire, talent, drive, claw, courage, all the more extended qualifications are the same for winners as for losers. Fans may have waited for what raised us many times over for years at the World Championships, the American Championships, or the classic tournaments: a hit hit, a decisive run, a country rocking baseball bliss.
Start eliminating potential reasons for rushing to bid farewell to the Olympic ball event and strikes (since we’ve only been in Japan for the previous five years), that would give reasons very similar to what was discussed at the 2017 World Classic, the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games or the Pan American Games in Lima 2019.
There seems to be only one difference thriving now. We’re taking back the team that didn’t give up until the end, able to track scores to hold on to the board, with inspirational players (Ruel Santos, Yadel Mujica, Lispan himself with Homer hitting against Venezuela or Yaril Rodriguez of Brazil. Box against Canada) and a great burden of shame in the face of defeat.
We have now built a squad with the best of our professional contracts in Japan (only Yurispel Graciel and Ariel Martinez were absent through injury). We added others with experience in the high-profile professional leagues (Arruebaruena, Drake and Mujica) and completed the list with our National Series highlights. Even so, we could not return with the goal.
What can other players call? Maybe. That the up-and-coming players weren’t treated well in this match against Canada? (Dayán García is allowed to hit and then the game’s best hitter (Cepeda for Mujica) is substituted.) Could it be, that the starting pitch missed both times with an expensive set of three runs in the same first? the half? Maybe. That there was impatience in the batter box and so many went into pitches one and two meaningless? Maybe.
Each one will have its version with more or less details, with specific examples and even with thousands of questions. Did the rules go well? Was enough running and racket plays made? Did you leave some jugs too long…? However, from any angle you look at it, the exact and honest answer would be: This is the level of Cuban baseball we have today, with loopholes and veterans, with so many revolutions to be made yet, and of course with so many debts to our city.
It has always been known that the pre-Olympic Americas was a mountain as high as the Himalayas for a Cuban team filled with competitive and sport-plus tensions, from the team’s honorary bartender’s quick run to the insults, shouting, posters and songs they endured in every lawsuit, something not even Colombia faced, on the Despite having the most complex political and social situation on the continent today, with protests and deaths in the streets for more than a month.
There is one match in particular against the coffee growers, and although it is the most crossed match since the two teams have already been eliminated from the second stage, it will be necessary to play it and leave again with a smile. Namely, ethics and respect for the opposite and physical activity in high performance.
If I can ask for any applause in this comment, it is for the shame and dedication of our players. Defending these four letters on the uniform today is an honor many would like few to take and achieve. There was no indifference or early surrender. Our quality is that. We’re not the indomitable people in baseball we were until the ’90s, there are a thousand reasons why; Many other solutions. Networking and making the jump cost us more than six years without international titles, as the 2015 Caribbean Series crown is the closest gold offering.
Our exclusion from the Olympics for the first time can be seen in our national passion, although there are optimists and dreamers in the distance. The pain goes inside. Sadness in the city. The work ahead of us is enormous. We hope it will be the last swing Korea vs Canada Just this, the last, the farewell, as well as the rebirth.