On Tuesday March 17th I wrote: “The Classic was organized by those who administer the exploitation of sports in the United States…” I immediately added: “The three best teams in the Classic and the Olympics, Japan, Korea and Cuba, were placed in the same group so that they might eliminate each other. Last time, they placed us in the Latin American group; this time in the Asian group.
Therefore between today and tomorrow in San Diego, one of the three will be irremissibly eliminated…”
On the subject of players on the Republic of Korea’s national team, I stated in that very same article: “They are the main adversary because they are also methodical and their batting is stronger than that of the Japanese.”
Two days later on March 19th, I explained: “In the game between the teams from Japan and Cuba that finished today at almost 3 in the morning, we were unquestionably defeated.
“However, I doubt that any team from the west can defeat Japan and Korea in the group of competitors who will be playing in Los Angeles in the next three days. With its quality, only one of the two Asian countries shall decide who will take the first and second spots in the Classic”.
Regarding the Japanese, I provided details:
“Training sessions are incredibly tough and methodical. They have devised technical methods to develop the reflexes each player needs to have. Every day, batters practice with hundreds of balls thrown by left and right-handers. As for the pitchers, they are made to throw four hundred balls every day. It they make any mistake in the game, they must then throw one hundred more. They do it with pleasure, as if it were a form of self-punishment. Thus they acquire notable muscle control which obeys the orders sent by their brains. That’s why their pitchers amaze everyone with their ability to land their throws at the exact spots they choose. Similar methods are applied to each of the activities each of the athletes must carry out at the positions they are defending and in their batting activities”.
“Athletes in the other Asian country, the Republic of Korea, are developed with similar characteristics, thus turning it into a powerhouse in professional world baseball”.
Events have been happening exactly like that:
Yesterday, after 12:30 at night Cuban time, the Korean team defeated the Venezuelan team by 10 to 2, in spite of the magnificent professional qualities of that country’s national team. They didn’t have a chance of winning in the face of the Koreans’ sophisticated preparation methodology and their rigor.
Carlos Silva, the opening pitcher for Venezuela, could have been spared an unnecessary humiliation when, after walking the first batter and two consecutive errors in the defense, there were three hits one after the other, thus making it one to zero with bases loaded and no outs in the first inning. The Koreans were deciphering Silva’s pitching and he had to be replaced with no hesitation. Korea hit a grand slam giving them a 5 to 0 advantage all within the first inning. With a team like this Asian one, the game had already been decided in the first inning even though it is fair to point out that the Venezuelan national team fought hard and didn’t lose heart throughout the game. At the end their aim was to avoid a knockout score.
The game tonight between Japan and the United States is a mere formality.
On Monday spectators both inside and outside that country will be able to watch the encounter between the two Asian powerhouses of professional baseball.
It will be a rough road to reestablish Cuba’s supremacy once more in that sport where patriotism, national pride and our struggle for healthy and educational sport has attained the highest of levels.
Many are the lessons we must learn from the last Classic.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 2, 2009