Cuba’s Baseball Champs in Trouble

Baseball fans at Havana's Latinoamericano Stadium. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 28 — Industriales is the baseball team of the Cuban capital and there come from behind route to the championship last season was big time in Havana.  Their traditional rivals, Santiago de Cuba didn’t make it to the finals.

Now, with only 20 games left in the 90-game regular season both Industriales and Santiago are struggling and in danger of elimination from any playoff action.

Going into the games on Tuesday, March 1, Cienfuegos has a commanding five game lead in the Western Division over Pinar del Rio and Habana with Sancti Spiritus six out of first. With four teams qualifying for the post season, Industriales, which lost all six of its games last week, finds itself in fifth place 11.5 games out of first and 5.5 behind Sancti Spiritus.

In the Eastern Division, Ciego de Avila has a slim one game lead over Guantanamo with Granma four games out of first followed by Villa Clara, last season’s league runners-up at 6.5 out.  Santiago de Cuba, like Industriales, is in fifth place, 10.0 games out of first.

Play resumes with a full schedule on Tuesday.  The same teams play on Wednesday and Thursday.

Villa Clara plays in Pinar del Rio; Ciego de Avila travels to San Jose de las Lajas top lay Habana; in a highly attractive series, Industriales hosts Granma; Holguin plays in Matanzas; Las Tunas hosts Isla de la Juventud; Santiago plays at home against Camaguey, and in what should be a tough series, Guantanamo hosts Sancti Spiritus.

Standings including games of Feb. 27, 2011

Teams (Western Division) W L GB
Cienfuegos 45 24
Pinar del Rio 40 29 5.0
La Habana 40 29 5.0
Sancti Spiritus 39 30 6.0
Industriales 34 36 11.5
Matanzas 28 41 17.0
Isla de la Juventud 26 43 19.0
Metropolitanos 23 46 22.0
Teams (Eastern Division) W L GB
Ciego de Avila 43 26
Guantanamo 42 27 1.0
Granma 39 30 4.0
Villa Clara 37 33 6.5
Santiago de Cuba 33 36 10.0
Las Tunas 31 38 9.0
Camaguey 31 38 12.0
Holguin 22 47 21.0