Ivan Prieto Gonzalez, Group Cuba’s bullpen catcher for the Entire world Baseball Classic, defected in Miami on Monday, a working day after his crew shed to Staff Usa in the semifinals at loanDepot Park.
Prieto did not show up for the team’s flight to Havana, Cuba, at Miami International Airport, according to the Miami Herald’s Jorge Ebro.
Prieto was preferred by the Cuban Baseball Federation to be the team’s bullpen catcher when the staff was picked to head to Taiwan for initial pool participate in.
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The 26-yr-aged, who plays 1st base and catcher, experienced been taking part in with Alazanes de Granma as properly as Sabuesos de Holguin in Cuba’s Nationwide Collection League. He was with Holguin for 5 seasons just before relocating to Granma for the 2020-21 marketing campaign.
Prieto also located himself actively playing for Agricultores in the Cuban Elite League in 2022.
The Cuban national team returned to Havana subsequent a 14-2 rout by Workforce United states, and they were being greeted with “an formal reception by the authorities,” according to the Miami Herald. It was a victorious watch in their eyes for the attempts that have been exhibited in the WBC.
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“Congratulations admirable #TeamAsere,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel wrote on Twitter. “You’ve won three periods: when you teamed up, when you ranked 1st, and when you performed to the past out in opposition to a good workforce and despise of the worst form. They built record. #Cuba appears to be at them proudly.”
Nonetheless, the choice by Prieto to defect from Cuba is just one that numerous baseball gamers have performed right before him. MLB is riddled with gamers who found a way to get about to the United States in buy to reside out their dreams as a qualified baseball player, as Cuba nevertheless does not permit it to come about.
Adhering to the Cuban Revolution, when Fidel Castro rose to energy, U.S. and Cuba relations were strained and Castro finished skilled baseball in the region.
Although leagues have considering the fact that returned, many gamers who want a shot at actively playing in MLB make their way to the United States because of to the high salaries. But Cuba has considered defectors as disloyal to the region, which sales opportunities them to practically disown their ties to each and every other. That, nevertheless, led to extra defectors over the many years.
A well-known instance was Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who rose to fame with the New York Yankees in the course of their dynasty operate in the late 1990s-early 2000s. He was banned from the Cuban nationwide crew subsequent the defection of his 50 percent-brother, Livan Hernandez.
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El Duque was devastated that the place he was loyal to banned him, which led to his possess defection to the United States to carry on participating in the recreation.
These days, gamers like Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman, Yordan Alvarez, Randy Arozarena and extra, are among the MLB stars who defected from the Communist region. Arozarena also begged Team Mexico to make it possible for him citizenship to enjoy for them rather of his household country, as he in the beginning defected there just before commencing his journey in the U.S.
This 12 months, the Cuban Baseball Federation built the announcement that MLB gamers who wished to participate in for the group could if they have been invited. Gamers like Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert Jr. and Yoenis Cespedes had been on the roster.
Sunday was the 1st time Crew Cuba has performed baseball in Miami, and that was met with a large amount of protesters at loanDepot Park. A single ran onto the discipline with a flag that study “Libertad Para Los Presos Cubanos Del 11 de Julio.”
In accordance to the AP, the concept intended “Independence for Cuban Prisoners of July 11.” The information known as for the liberty of protesters who had been arrested in 2021 to protest the shortages of products, ability blackouts and financial hardships.
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“It feels bad, but I really do not choose,” Workforce Cuba supervisor Armando Johnson said, via AP, when questioned how it felt that Cubans did not affiliate with his staff. “Like I mentioned, all people has his or her way of contemplating. We are on the area and we come listed here just to perform baseball and the activity. That’s what we preferred to do right here.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Involved Press contributed to this report.