Reflections by Comrade Fidel
THE MORAL IMPORTANCE OF THE BASEBALL CLASSICS
In the early days of the Revolution, the Olympics were an event for amateurs.
When the concepts of developed capitalism managed to infiltrate the Olympics, sports stopped being a health and education issue, which had been its main goals throughout history.
The only country in the world where that character
Our best and proudest athletes, those who do not get corrupted, sell out or betray their people and their homeland are the ones who represent us with honor at international competitions.
Countries going through new revolutionary processes such as Venezuela, where the practicing of sports is considered a people’s sacred right, can not participate right now in the most prestigious events with their professional athletes because these require the authorization of the private companies that acquired such rights over those athletes. Athletes are bought and sold as if they were some kind of merchandise. Many of them are serious people who love the country where they were born, but they are not allowed to take their own decisions.
Leonel Fernández, the President of the
The team that was put up is no doubt the best that has ever represented our country, judging by the records, the qualities and the merits of each and every one of them. The opinion polls show that, based on the high level of satisfaction expressed in the whole country over the team’s performance, with few exceptions.
Now we have to stick to facts.
The Baseball Classics have been sponsored by the ones
who manage the exploitation of sports in the
The three best teams in the Classics and the
Olympics, namely Japan,
why in between today and tomorrow in
The Japanese team beat us on March 15 because, no doubt, mistakes were
made in the way the team was directed there, thousands of kilometers away,
where it is almost impossible for
Today, although our population’s opinion is divided, most people believe
that the best thing would be for
They have, like all Asian players, a high dose of sangfroid. This is how they have beaten us twice: in the last game of the former Classics and in the first game between both teams of the present Classics.
On the other hand,
They know every pitching from our pitchers and the reaction by every one of our batters to every pitching. They are the main adversary, because they are also methodical and they bat harder than the Japanese.
Neither of them, despite the aforementioned adverse circumstances, is invulnerable to our team. Several Cuban players are new to the team. We have worked more on the weaknesses of our stars. There is a principle, though, that can not be violated: whoever the adversary is tomorrow Wednesday, we can not continue down our traditional well-trodden paths.
We have both a line-up of sluggers –almost any of them could hit a home-run and they have shown they can- as well as a line-up of light, fast and self-confident batters; together combined they can cause great damage to the opposite team, as it was the case yesterday when playing against Mexico.
Almost all pitchers are free to pitch on Wednesday. It is necessary to bear in mind the characteristics of each of them, their ability to control their own pitching at every concrete situation that may come about. One inviolable principle is that there can be no hesitation whatsoever when a pitcher needs to be immediately replaced after showing signs of wild pitching when playing against the Japanese or the Koreans.
Our seasoned experts who advise INDER should indicate beforehand the priority order in which a southpaw or a right-hander should go to the mound. There could be one starting pitcher or several who could work excellently as a starting pitcher, for we have the necessary raw material for that.
something each and every player should bear in mind. They should not feel discouraged not even for
a single second. They should not try to
desperately swing at any type of pitch, as it happened with some of our batters
during the last game with
Unfortunately, in our country the bad habit was entrenched to wait for the first strike, and old habit that was instilled in all Cuban baseball players, a habit known by the rival teams pitchers; that is why they easily pitch the first strike right through the center of the home plate. They must be forced to engage in hard work from the very start.
team we have an example to follow: the incredible peace of mind and
self-confidence of Cepeda, whom I would like to pay tribute in this reflection
for the feats he has accomplished. He has not changed in the least his athletic
proficiency since he was first at bat in the Classics. Four of the 5 runs we scored against
my greetings to all members of the excellent team that represents us in
Homeland or Death, We Shall Overcome!
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 17, 2009