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Cuba Wins 1st ALBA Baseball Cup

A homerun by Alexander Mayeta "with full bases" and a previous one by Hector Olivera, and Cuba crushed Venezuela nine runs to one to win the first Alba Baseball Cup in the Venezuelan state of Carabobo.

Although each team got to the finals with two victories, the Cuban team won the gold medal match. Elier Sanchez, the opening pitcher, was replaced by Jonder Martinez in the fourth inning, who was followed by Norberto Gonzalez in the seventh, though Pedro Luis Lazo was the last to pitch and the victim of a homerun, which gave the defeated team their only run of the game.

The scoreboard should have been wider, but a hit by Giorvis Duvergel to the center of the diamond was decreed out by the umpires, with two runs having been made and the scores adding up.

Improving the work of the umpires "who were inaccurate in their ball and strike counting, as well as in their appreciation of illegal movements by the pitchers" should be included on the agenda for the next championship.

"Scarcely any publicity was given about the Cup in the Venezuelan media," complained the narrators on the Venezuelan TV network TVes. The ALBA Baseball Cup opened at the same time as the professional leagues in the South American nation and the media leaned towards the professional organization created in 1946.

Although Venezuela invited six countries to take part in this new tournament, only Colombias defeated team accepted to be the third competitor in this first series of the Cup. The other countries invited, but which declined, were Brazil, Nicaragua, Panama and Puerto Rico. The reasons for their non-participation are unknown and all the attempts from Havana to reach Edwin Zerpa, of the Venezuelan federation, were fruitless.

If the experience is repeated in 2008, it will be helpful to send guides with the names of the Cuban baseball players. Then, we wont hear strange names during the broadcast of the games, such as Lazo being called Vladimir Bajos or changing Jonders name to Yudel, or calling Glez to lefty Norberto.

Source: By Raul Arce, Juventud Rebelde

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