The next World Baseball Classic is expected to be held in 2017. Cuba was a favorite in 2006, but fell to Japan 10-6 losing the opportunity to be crowned the first champion of the WBC.
Cuban native Yasiel Puig played for the Cuban National team back in the 2008 World Junior Baseball Championship, winning a bronze medal. Unfortunately, the possibility of Puig playing in the WBC won’t be happening in 2017.
Cuba won’t allow MLB players who defected to the United States to represent Cuba in the WBC next year, according to Spanish media Radio and Television Marti.
Translated by Bob Hille, writer for Sporting News:
“Cuba will continue with our athletes. That’s something we will keep as indissoluble principle … our athletes who are within the Cuban sports system and within our National Series are going to continue to represent in the international events,” said Antonio Becali, president of the country’s National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation.
So what does this mean?
It means Yasiel Puig won’t be able to participate, but he’s not the only one. Cuban natives and MLB players including Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu, New York Mets Yoenis Céspedes and New York Yankees Aroldis Chapman also will not be able to participate.
In the last WBC in 2013, Cuba was eliminated in the second round.
Do you agree with Cuba’s decision? Let us know in the comments below.