A sad news strikes these days to the lovers of the national pastime. The suspension of the national tournament for children under 23 years of age is a decision that is due to the complex economic situation facing our country and sport is not a line that escapes this scourge.
Undoubtedly, baseball is not the only sport whose competitive calendar has been curtailed as a consequence of the difficult situation. Tournaments such as the National 9-10 or the National Women’s Baseball Tournament also saw their competitive action cut short.
Baseball is part of the Cuban idiosyncrasy. The foundations of any sport are fostered from the base, but if the base does not develop events and the athletes do not feel motivated, discontent takes hold of the young bastions that will swell the ranks of the senior teams.
Since I was a child, I have heard that ballplayers should reach the highest level without deficiencies in technical and tactical thinking, since they should be polished with daily training and competition. But if they do not compete, there is no possibility of any development, because as the saying goes: man does not live by bread alone.
The U-23 is considered an event where young players can develop and have more games than in the National Series, since many of these players are not starters in their teams, which means that they do not reach a high number of at-bats or defensive innings necessary for the development of the athlete and polish the tools they have.
It is common to find in official and unofficial media headlines that highlight the departure of young talents from the Island in search of signing a contract with a baseball organization that guarantees them a better future for them and their families, because being as realistic as possible, a salary of three thousand 500 pesos per month that a National Series player receives, is not enough in view of the difficult situation that is happening in our country.
The so-called «flight» of talent is an evil that bleeds the national pastime because the baseball player is a human being just like any other with the same needs, motivations and aspirations, who needs to feel motivated and for an athlete there is no greater stimulus than to see rewarded so many hours of effort, training, tears and sweat with a competition at the height in which he can develop.
One of the measures to mitigate this havoc are the presentations to scouts from different leagues that took place at the Latin American stadium, which gives the possibility to the future Germán Mesa, Omar Linares or Pedro Luis Lazo to sign with a professional baseball organization.
For the time being, to my dissatisfaction and that of many lovers of the sport of balls and strikes, the sports giants will make a mute at least for the athletes of the under 23 category, who see their hope of playing baseball weighed down.
Written by George Carlos Roger Suárez, Journalism Student