It was not to be wondered at, although it was crested from a high peak. On the way up to the top he had to clear the brush, which he could not provide the slide, which would send him into the rock in free fall, rocks and three-headed snakes. It seemed impossible, but they, Team Asere, not only saw that it was possible in a moment of haste, but decided to join forces and set out on the road to the top.
It is not The Odyssey nor The Argonauts’ Golden Fleece, but it is similar to one of Jules Verne’s advanced novels, with the difference that it is not science fiction or Greek mythology; It is the family of Cuba, evenly dressed as a team in the v World Baseball Classic, about which we will discuss this Wednesday against Australia, their passage to the semifinals of the eminent tournament.
Having lost consecutively in Belgium and Italy, it was imperative to win the next two games (Panama and Chinese Taipei), otherwise everything that happened afterwards would have been the work of chance, afterlife or the grace of a mythological god. light
I remember manager Armando Johnson with a contorted face and a rustic body from the stress of answering the press after each lost game. The only one opinion from those days of burning adversity came out in the last questions. “I told them that they were patient,” he added, “so we had confidence that the leaders of the team would respond.”
As it was. The teams of Panama and Chinese Taipei were reduced to a minimum expression by the redundancy of total baseball: excellent shooting, enormous offense, hermetic defense, speed in the lanes of the diamond and attributes that are sometimes difficult to see, but which did not escape the fans, both. in headquarters and around the world, those who follow this World Cup mission: modesty, honor, respect for the rival.
VICTORY OF TAICHUNG
Cuba came out and was already winning in the second inning, led by their horse and captain Alfredo Despaigne, but Panama found four full of adrenaline. First, Carlos Juan Viera tried to stop the canalists from Las Tunas, but they did not stop from the isthmus, and Johnson sent the colossus from the town of Guantanamo to the trenches that called his name. Manuel Tames is Miguel Romero, there he threw the first balls, which he completed in the professional wing of the Major League Baseball, and the central American changed his speed and fastball.
Meanwhile the elephant Abrei, waking up, began to shoot the balls with his trunk. Yoan Moncada launching three rockets from the ramp of the Intercontinental Stadium; Ludovicus Robert, from Pina tigris, who was also born in the land of Guaso, but from Avila a ball player is born, two of several balls of fire; and from Pueblo Nuevo in Matanzas, Yadir Drake hit a record four hits in one game, as Team Asere fulfilled the first obligation with solvency: 13-4. In a press conference, Luis Ortiz, director of Panama, asked for an evaluation of the game. He was touched and jokingly expressed: “What can I say to them, they hit us with a stick, and with a pitch they hit me with a dart.”
The Chinese of Taipei, requesting, moreover, that they should not allow themselves to be only one nation, if it should happen. Again the shovel of Granma, Despaigne; pachyderm from Cienfuegos Moncada, Robert and Drake, plus a Yumurino player from Perla del Sur, Erisbel Arruebarruena, exposed dynamite from their bars to win seven scores, with home runs by Moncada and Arruebarruena.
Who else would be on the mound? Of course, Romero arrived, then the country of Onelkis García and Liván Moinelo and Raidel Martínez from Pinar del Río, leaving the host team in only one brand and Team Asere, now a legend, to the quarterfinals in Japan, leaving the leader of the group. A.
The peak was crowned, the Taichung Intercontinental’s sound capacity was muted, but at the same time he fell in love with the Cuban family, before leaving for the crucial match, in which they also tried to continue at home to the Japanese audience.
He loved the classic Caribbean
Meiling and Cheng arrived at the stadium in uniform, not a ball player, but very Cuban. On their shirts rested the image of Che and Fidel in a white mosaic with the flag of the Greater Antilles. With the national emblem in his hands, he seemed to be running to the fans like a bat. “Long live Cuba,” they cried without ceasing, in the midst of the local downtrodden support.
At the end of the match against Chinese Taipei, the two teams met on the mound, a gesture that was not planned, let alone thought: they saw themselves there because respect attracted them. The hosts congratulated the winners and first in the group, and they not only reciprocated the kindness, but also recognized the quality of the football from this island in the middle of the eastern Pacific.
It is not known in what language, it is necessary in baseball, to catch a wonderful thing, the dialogue between Drake and the star of Chinese Taipei, Ju Chang, a tall first man and an almost talented hitter.
The next day, when Granma and Jit toured the then-cold city of Taichung, which the sun had set as the first period of the World Classic drew the curtains, passers-by made us heroes because we were wearing the national costume. . Even Jack Chang, the hydraulic engineer, without question, gave us a bottle of Team Asere at the hotel, and kept it in the car the moment he became a taxi driver. The joy that we, the guests, saw from their eyes, and was expressed with a smile.
We ran into the departure of Panama, who did not have their heads down, because what they did in these classics was the best in their history, so much so that they managed to be one of the direct qualifiers of the next edition. . When they recognized us by our dress, they folded their arms across their chests as a sign of love and said to us: “Good luck, you will go far!”
But earlier, when the first defeat happened against the Netherlands, one of the players, an idol in his country in Japan, and also beloved in Cuba, Wladimir “Coco” Balentien told us in an interview: “I hope that we, my team, and Cuba, which Japan they reach, and then all the way to the semifinals. The ball you play is the most beautiful, and you never go out of your way in good times or bad.
The Asere team has already lined up at the Tokyo Dome. Tomorrow another story will begin.