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Baseball From Cuba  

Havana, Cuba: Being here on our last day of our coverage of the 500th Anniversary of Havana and its relationship to sports and culture was as exciting as any trip one takes to Cuba. However, this one was a bit different as it was all focused on Havana’s 500th anniversary.

However, Cuba is a serious about its baseball. Some Cubans would tell you that the state might not have an official religion, but baseball is the closet thing to it. During our coverage we were able to diverge a bit from the game itself and did research some other very interesting issues that we will be reporting on in future articles.

However, for the avid baseball fan let me bring you up to speed on Cuban baseball.

Cuban fans root like no others. (Photo Latinosports.com)

They have already beyond half their season. The six Cuban teams are now defining themselves for the playoffs and in all they are all quite competitive. On this note, Cuba’s most popular team and one of my favorites, Los Industriales (Orlando “El Duque” Hernández former team) who are like the Yankees of Cuba is in last place while Camagüey is in first place. My other favorite team, Santiago de Cuba is right on the heals of first place by one game.

While many fans we spoke to stated that Cuba has been affected somewhat by the defection of many of their rising stars, some that we have been able to see in MLB’s post season games they still follow the games with the same passion. Another interesting comment I heard from many fans was how upset they were at the US

President for stopping the agreement that MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation had allowing Cuban players to be drafted to play in US teams without having to defect. They stated that all that would do is to continue the act of human trafficking of Cuba players.

Here are the most current standings as per my last day in Havana;

TEAM Won Loss Ave. Dif.
Camagüey 39 23 .629
Santiago 38 21 .613 1.0
Matanzas 37 25 .597 2.0
Las Tunas 36 26 .581 3.0
Cienfuegos 36 27 .571 3.5
Industriales 31 30 .508 7.5
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