Cuba’s Top Shortstop Booted from Team

Erisbel Arruebarrena will not be playing for Cienfuegos

By Adrian Romero (Café Fuerte)

Erisbel Arruebarruena
Erisbel Arruebarrena

HAVANA TIMES – Erisbel Arruebarrena, the starting shortstop on Team Cuba, was excluded from his team, Cienfuegos, for the 2013-2014 Cuban baseball season, manager Iday Abreu announced Tuesday .

Arruebarrena, 23, was a key player for Cienfuegos teams during the six seasons in which he participated after his debut in the National Series 2007-2008.

No official explanation was offered on the decision about Arruebarrena, punished for “serious indiscipline in training,” noted sources close to the Cuban Baseball Federation.

The meeting on Tuesday to present the Cienfuegos roster for the upcoming season was led by Higinio Velez, president of the Federation. While no details were given, it appears the disciplinary action was because Arruebarrena was absent from practice and was caught in late September in an attempt to leave the country illegally with a group of 14 people.

A team in tatters

Cienfuegos also lost in August their top slugger, first baseman José Dariel Abreu, who just signed a $68 million dollar contract with the Chicago White Sox.

The result of the sanction on Arruebarrena is that he will most likely end up escaping the country, if his intention is to try to obtain a Major League contract.

Without even mentioning Arruebarrena, the official Cubadebate website said that “forced by various circumstances,” manager Iday Abreu is obligated to give prominence on the team to several young talents. As a result, the chances of Cienfuegos in the upcoming National Series will be considerably diminished.

Another recent loss to Cuban baseball is the young pitcher Raicel Iglesias, who finally escaped from Cuba after a failed attempt. The sports authorities had already announce his suspension from Cuban baseball. He played for the Isla de la Juventud team and was a shining prospect on Team Cuba.


3 thoughts on “Cuba’s Top Shortstop Booted from Team

  • He should be allowed to emigrate legally. After all, the $$$ he will be sending back to family and friends, as remittances, will benefit the national economy. In this era of “globalization,” labor, including baseball players, ought to be allowed to go to wherever they can receive the highest price. OTOH, Cuba has probably invested in him through sports training programs, so this ought to be eventually be repaid. I suspect these constant “defections” to major league teams of the North is one of the prime reasons for Cuba’s turn towards “futball.” Still, if Cuba starts producing world-class soccer players, they too will “defect” to Europe. If anyone can remember that far back (even before my time) does anyone know what the record on Cuban players going North was during the pre-Revolutionary “Havana Sugar Kings” era?

  • On the contrary, nearly everybody could, if allowed, “sling it” like official Cuba. It is just that no other nation could get away with it like the Castros do. Anywhere else, people take to the streets when they get fed up with the official B.S. I can’t figure what it is about Cubans IN CUBA that makes them seem so gullible. Heck, my wife still whispers Castro’s name in Havana and yet here in San Francisco, she is ready to fight if someone cuts her off on the Bayshore Freeway. Go figure.

  • Cuba does excel in one thing. I know of know other nation that can sling it like they can. I have never heard so many ambiguous, garden path statements in my life as I hear from “official Cuba”

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