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2 players thrown off Cuba baseball team for "indiscipline"


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HAVANA -- Cuba said Friday that right-hander Yadel Mart?, who was named top pitcher at the inaugural World Baseball Classic, and hard-hitting outfielder Yasser G?mez had been thrown off the island's top team, Havana's Industriales, for committing ``a grave act of indiscipline.''

 

The one-sentence announcement in the Communist Party newspaper Granma offered no further details, but two people close to the team said the action came after the pair was caught trying to defect to the United States. They did not elaborate or wish to be quoted by name, fearing it could lead to problems with Industriales.

 

Mart? was 1-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA in four games during the 2006 WBC, when Cuba finished second, losing in the finals to Japan. The team was welcomed home as heroes, climbing aboard a convoy of green military jeeps and parading through Havana's streets.

 

Mart? talked publicly about how Cuba would seek revenge during the 2009 WBC and he was expected to again be one of the national team's stars. But Friday's announcement virtually guarantees neither he nor Gomez will play baseball for Cuba again in any capacity.

 

Marti, 29, began his career with the island's top baseball league in 1999 with the Metropolitanos of Havana, the capital's second-tier squad. He was a short, thin prospect who scouts thought did not have the physical stature to become a star, but his excellent control and craftiness on the mound helped him win a spot on Industriales in 2002.

 

The 28-year-old G?mez is a left-hander who batted in the key third slot in the Industriales lineup and posted a .394 average in 2007. He began playing in Cuba's top league as a teenager and was part of the Olympic team at the Sydney Games in 2000, which took the silver medal. He was left off Cuba's 2006 WBC squad.

 

Both G?mez and Mart? failed to secure spots on the Cuban team that finished second at the Olympic Games in Beijing, absences that surprised many in baseball circles.

 

G?mez had lived in a Havana apartment building adjacent to the aging stadium where the Industriales play. The building is full of players and their families and painted in the colors of Industriales, blue and white, with a script 'I' logo. He moved to a new apartment in the capital's Vedado district sometime ago, however.

 

Mart? has a home in another part of the city, but did not answer his home or cellphones Friday. The Industriales refused to comment.

 

Like many elite Cuban athletes, baseball players draw small salaries and often travel by bus, but have some perks the general population does not, including the use of a state-owned car or the right to purchase their own vehicle. The government does not consider its baseball players professionals, but the island's National Baseball League is far-and-away the most-followed in this baseball-mad country.

 

Industriales is the class of the league and the closest thing Cuba has to the New York Yankees. The team wears pinstripes, has first choice of the top baseball talent born in and around Havana and vies with Santiago, the island's second-largest city, for possessing the largest and most-devoted fan base.

 

It was the team of Orlando ''El Duque'' Hern?ndez, who was the most-famous player on Industriales and in Cuba when he defected to the United States, eventually winning a World Series with the New York Yankees in 1998. Livan Hern?ndez, World Series MVP for the Florida Marlins, was also a star of the team before fleeing the island. Rey Ordonez was an Industriales backup shortstop before becoming a three-time gold-glover with the New York Mets.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-n...ory/782171.html

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sign them!!!! Cuba! Cuba! Ciba!his team needs some cubans!!

 

This team has only had one Cuban produce anything for it. Besides Livan everything else has been a waste

Tejera was kinda average for a while. Did we have any other Cubans in the organization?

 

Umm Alex Fernandez was our best Cuban player hands down!

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sign them!!!! Cuba! Cuba! Ciba!his team needs some cubans!!

 

This team has only had one Cuban produce anything for it. Besides Livan everything else has been a waste

Tejera was kinda average for a while. Did we have any other Cubans in the organization?

 

Umm Alex Fernandez was our best Cuban player hands down!

Mike Lowell is up there. (He's a Puerto Rican born Cuban, for those who don't know.)

 

And Orestes Destrade too!

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sign them!!!! Cuba! Cuba! Ciba!his team needs some cubans!!

 

This team has only had one Cuban produce anything for it. Besides Livan everything else has been a waste

Tejera was kinda average for a while. Did we have any other Cubans in the organization?

 

Umm Alex Fernandez was our best Cuban player hands down!

Mike Lowell is up there. (He's a Puerto Rican born Cuban, for those who don't know.)

 

And Orestes Destrade too!

 

Lol I forgot about those dudes. And I didn't count Mikey because he's half Cuban :D

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sign them!!!! Cuba! Cuba! Ciba!his team needs some cubans!!

 

This team has only had one Cuban produce anything for it. Besides Livan everything else has been a waste

Tejera was kinda average for a while. Did we have any other Cubans in the organization?

 

Umm Alex Fernandez was our best Cuban player hands down!

Mike Lowell is up there. (He's a Puerto Rican born Cuban, for those who don't know.)

 

And Orestes Destrade too!

Alex Fernandez is basically a Miami native, Mike Lowell is just Cuban descent I believe his mother is puertorican. To be precise Carl Lowell pitched on the puertorican national team for many years, he may have been Cuban but he adopted Puerto Rico as his home. I was referring from those like Livan who left Cuba as adults to play baseball in the states

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