|Now, Nine Baseball Teams in Western Cuban Region|
|Written by ACN|
|Tuesday, 29 November 2011 10:26|
The 51st Cuban National Baseball Series is about to begin now with nine teams for the first time in the western region as the Metropolitans team was saved from disappearing though many people thought otherwise.
In view that this baseball party demanded an immediate change of structure for the sake of better quality, most connoisseurs considered the second team of the Cuban capital was on the verge of disappearing.
However, after meetings with sport technicians and authorities, and the specialized press, the National Direction of Baseball agreed to add a team and keep this squad in the front line.
Thus and as a result of the new political division of the former province of La Habana, now Artemisa and Mayabeque provinces, there will be nine teams fighting during 96 games for four tickets to the postseason.
These baseball teams aim at holding back the crown they have maintained in the western region for three years in a row: in 2009 La Habana defeated Villa Clara at the finals, the following year Industriales did the same, and in 2011 Pinar del Rio beat Ciego de Avila in six games.
The opening match of the 51 st National Baseball Series, on November 27, will take place precisely in the Cuban westernmost province, at the Capitan San Luis Stadium.
Pinar del Rio, this time under the aegis of former catcher Juan Castro, relies on a similar selection to that that gave them the title of champions during the past season; one that has already shown what it is capable of in the field.
Now it is on Castro's hands to make the most of players such as Donald Duarte, David Castillo, Lorenzo Quintana, William Saavedra and others, as Alfonso Urquiola did on previous occasions.
Urquiola quitted as manager of that team after leading the Cuban national team at the World Baseball Championship, in Panama, with silver; and the Pan-American Games of Guadalajara, with bronze; good results but Cuban baseball fans do not set for second best results, though it might seem a little bit unfair.
The squad of Iday Abreu, from Cienfuegos province, which won the Antillana de Acero Baseball Cup for the second time in a row, is also ready to join this party in the western region of Cuba.
Cienfuegos, which had a noticeable absence and a pleasant come back, is a strong aspirant for the crown as long as they are able to master this sport and play good games.
The main figures of this team are Jose Dariel "Pito" Abreu, "El Grillo" Arruebarruena, Osvaldo Arias, Norberto Gonzalez, Noelvis Entenza and Duniel Ibarr.
In the meantime, the manager of the team from Sancti Spiritus province, Ruperto Zamora, will rely on his team's offensive in the figures of four of the most bold baseball players in the national territory: Frederich Cepeda, Yuliesky Gourriel, Yenier Bello and Eriel Sanchez.
Havana's Industriales, the most loved and hated team nationally, also stands out in the western region with the significant incorporation of manager Lazaro Vargas, who will have to fill this squad with the spicewith which he used to defend third base.
This squad is now forced to go to postseason, though for the first time they did not nourished from the Metropolitans leaving some good players such as Jorge Luis Barcelan, Stayler Hernandez, Roberto Carlos Ramirez, and Yusef Amador, among others, to defend the other team from the capital.
All baseball fans are looking forward the inclusion of Industriales in the play offs as this team undoubtedly marks postseason with a special taste.
Batting and pitching are still pending matters for Artemisa and Mayabeque provinces, although these teams have shown some significant elements.
Mayabeque ended up the regular stages in the first place as to pitching in the Antillana de Acero Baseball Cup, with an incredible team average of 0.51 runs per nine innings.
As to batting, Artemisa threatens with some figures from the national team, but this troupe lead by Esteban Lombillo can lose if they don't hit the ball enough.
All eyes are also set on former star Victor Mesas, as manager of Matanzas, and on what he might be able to do at the head of a team that has gone unnoticed in the last baseball series.
The Metropolitans and the Isle of Youth teams are expected to shock fans, for the sake of baseball, the competitiveness of the event, and the structure many people criticize.
There are nine teams competing in the western region now. How many will become tough opponents in these play offs? Let's hope that more than we can imagine.