The truly momentous thing this afternoon at the Latinoamericano Baseball Stadium was the bridge that a simple baseball game could build
The truly momentous thing this afternoon at the Latinoamericano Baseball Stadium was the bridge that a simple baseball game could build. Photo: Abel Rojas BarallobreZoom
I imagine there is not a single media outlet on the planet that has not, however small, a space to talk about the baseball game held on Tuesday between the Tampa Bay Rays of the American Major leagues (MLB) and a Cuban team in the Latinoamericano Stadium.
Of course, among its thousands of spectators were Raul Castro and Barack Obama, presidents of Cuba and the United States, plus a significant group of personalities from both countries. It also was the last activity in the program of the visit of northern president to the island, and has had half a world pending.
So it was little of the press that focused on the analysis of the game, on the strategic assessments, on the performances on the diamond that, certainly, looked like they'd never seen before.
This does not mean to minimize what was done by the visiting nine who won 4-1. The slate was fair and, as such, a true reflection of individual and collective quality of both contenders, not at all abysmal, as one might think from the well-earned reputation of the MLB and the current state of baseball in our archipelago.
I do not intend to overlook the excellent pitching of lefty Matt Moore, after six complete innings spacing an equal amount of hits because, if there is something one cannot say it is that our hitters were "oppressed" from the mound. Another thing is the opportunity for connections, concentration and small details that, for various reasons, we are still lacking.
"We have the quality, Cuban baseball is good, but we need to improve on detail, both pitchers and position players," commented the skilled Vueltabajo, Yosvani Torres, who was charged with the loss, but nothing will stop hm from enjoying the strikeout that he gave the star Evan Longoria: "it is the best memory I take from this wonderful afternoon."
So I prefer to focus on the attempt to describe the amazing atmosphere that enveloped the Coloso del Cerro, its "booked solid" missed so much in our domestic classics. I think it would be better to use this space to pretend to reflect the degree of expectation generated before the entrance of Raul and Obama, the enjoyment of Michelle and his daughters to join the comings and goings of human waves that swept the bleachers, the lyrical beauty when the national choir performed the respective national anthems.
I am comforted to remember that memorable moment of silence we all spent in honour of the victims of the terrorist attacks which at our dawn rocked the capital of Belgium. Also, put a "little hole" in these lines to recognize the good that the ovation did us for two figures of the calibre of Luis Tiant and Pedro Luis Lazo, whose glorious sporting paths transcend by far the anecdotal, having launched the first ball in this historic game.
In the midst of everything, and believe me it is not chauvinism, I cannot help but note that we still have beisbolero pride and something of that stock that often saved us when the water reached our nose. Or how could we then consider that violent hit of Rudy Reyes in the goodbye chapter when he rescued us from a shutout that seemed imminent?
I can assure you all that will shape the story, as the Rays were the unobjectionable winners of this highly anticipated game, followed by millions around the world. But that same story, which always has a lot more life than you or I, will sooner or later show that on that truly momentous afternoon was the bridge that could be built by a simple game of baseball.
I am convinced that some would have preferred to dissect each move, an assessment of each decision, a summary of what happened on the ground. Even by those who appear to consider that this may be an attempt to minimize the loss to those who, for many years, we played as if the result was life or death.
A sport like this, which is passion or religion on both sides of the Florida Straits, can only serve to give us hope and much needed respect on both sides; to build the foundations of an agreement among its key objectives, to prevent our players risking their lives to fulfil a dream. After all, that is what was most talked about these days ...
Photo: Revolution StudiosTranslated by ESTI