Cuban sports authorities (which tend to smell professionalism everywhere) were very skeptical when the World Series of Boxing kicked off. Three series were held before Cuba decided to enlist in the tournament. In a sense, it didn’t have much of a choice, as the competition was going to be the main way to qualify for the Olympics.
Cuban baseball player Yoan Moncada received the largest bonus ever for the signing of an international amateur player for signing with the Boston Red Sox for a total of about US $30 million, said MLB.com on Monday.
Marathon runner Alberto Cuba Carrero, a Cuban athletics and track legend, decided to steer his life in a new direction and requested political asylum in Holland during a stopover in the country made during his trip back to the island.
The US $102,000 that should have gone to Cuba’s Pinar del Rio team, champions of the Caribbean Series 2015, will not be collected by the players. And no bonuses will go to the four Cubans on the tournament’s All-Star team, prizes that they won fairly at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The big political excuse used so far by the US institutions to avoid paying Cuban teams was that the money would end up in the hands of the government, not in the hands of the players, something no longer true.
If it’s possible to pull off on rather short notice, both the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles would like to play an exhibition game in Cuba this spring.
Yulieski Gourriel hit a solo homer in the top of the eighth for the run that gave Cuba a surprise victory in the Caribbean Series over Mexico. After going 1-3 in the qualifying the Cubans turned the tables in the semifinals 8-4 over Venezuela and tonight’s big win against Mexico.
Frederich Cepeda went 4-for-5 including two doubles and a triple and drove in five runs to lead Cuba to a come from behind 8-4 win Saturday over Venezuela in the semifinals off the Caribbean Series. Cuba faces Mexico in the finals on Sunday.
With Friday afternoon’s 4-2 victory over Mexico, Venezuela wrapped up the qualification round undefeated and thus will face Cuba in the Saturday evening second semifinal game. The earlier semifinal faceoff will feature the DR (second place) and Mexico (third place). Game times Saturday are noon and 7:30 PM EST.
The Dominican Republic defeated Mexico 3-2 Thursday night in San Juan, Puerto Rico, giving Cuba a back door entry into semifinals of the Caribbean Series to be played on Saturday.
After a brief resurrection on Wednesday with an extra-inning win over Puerto Rico, Cuba returned to its losing ways on Thursday afternoon, defeated 6-2 by the Venezuelan team at the Caribbean Series.