Cuba’s Villa Clara Loses Two Pitchers

Yasmany Hernández Romero y Diosdany Castillo no volverán a vestir la casaca naranja tras una "indisciplina grave".
Yasmany Hernández Romero y Diosdany Castillo no volverán a vestir la casaca naranja tras una “indisciplina grave”.

HAVANA TIMES — Two pitchers from Villa Clara were suspended indefinitely from Cuban baseball after an attempt to escape the island two weeks earlier, states the local Vanguardia newspaper.

Lefty Yasmany Hernandez and righty Diosdany Castillo were most likely hoping to reach another country and then begin the process of trying to get signed by a US Major League Baseball team, like dozens of Cuban players in recent years.

Both pitchers were on Villa Clara’s 2012-2013 league championship team.

Under the US embargo on Cuba, the island’s players, with residence in Cuba, cannot sign a contract with a MLB team. Instead, they must risk leaving Cuba illegally, which often implies risking their lives at the hands of people smugglers who charge hefty fees, to get them to Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic or Mexico, among other countries.

Villa Clara provincial baseball commissioner Jorge Luis Carvajal told Vanguardia that the suspension occured after a “serious indiscipline”. It was the newspaper that made it clear that such a wording means getting caught in an illegal escape attempt.

In cases like this, in baseball and other sports, the athletes, having their careers ended by the Cuban authorities, see their only alternative to continue trying the illegal exists until they are successful.

6 thoughts on “Cuba’s Villa Clara Loses Two Pitchers

  • Although I have already entered it on another blog, I shall repeat the experience of one Ron Hayter.
    In 2006, Ron Hayter a baseball enhusiast and at that time a member of the City Council of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was responsible for organizing an international baseball tournament. The day following the arrival of the Cuban team, four of them defected. The very next day, Ron Hayter when in his office, received a personal telephone call from then President Fidel Castro Ruz. Castro remonstrating with Hayter about the defections to which Hayter responded that Canadian law gave protection to political refugees and that it was not himself but the Cuban authorities who selected the Cuban team.
    President Fidel Castro Ruz hung up!
    In 2012, Hayter organised an international baseball tournament for women and Cuba entered. On the first day following arrival one of the team defected and two days later two more. Hayter waited in vain for a call from President Raul Castro Ruz who perhaps had learned from BIG brother being the biter bit!

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