Today, historic exhibition game between Cuba and Tampa Bay Rays
The Cuban national baseball team will play an exhibition game today against the Major League Baseball squad Tampa Bay Rays at the iconic Latinoamericano Stadium in Havana city, with the presence of US President Barack Obama.
After a 17-year impasse, from the Baltimore Orioles visit in 1998, another MLB franchise will play in Cuba, and this time it falls with the historical visit of Obama, the first US sitting president to visit the island in almost 90 years.
The honor to make the first pitches will fall in the top winner pitcher in Cuban Series Nacional, Pedro Luis Lazo, and Luis Tiant, a Cuban pitcher that shone in the Majors in from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Cuban manager Victor Mesa said yesterday that the national squad will play for victory, despite being a friendly match, and announced two probable line-ups, depending whether the opposing pitcher is right-handed or lefty
On the US side, manager Kevin Cash announced lefty Matt Moore to open the game. Moore had an impressive 2013 season where he won 17 games and lost only 4, with a remarkable ERA of 3.29, with 143 strikeouts in 150.1 innings, but the last two seasons he has barely pitched due to injuries.
For this game, a high level delegation of the MLB traveled to Cuba, headed by Commissioner Rob Manfred, head of operations Joe Torre and Tony Clark, executive director of the players association. Also stars like Derek Jeter, iconic shortstop of the New York Yankees, made the trip.