Matanzas Crocodiles: when being the runner-up tastes like a championship

Matanzas Crocodiles: when being the runner-up tastes like a championship
Fecha de publicación: 
30 June 2022
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We lost game seven. Four to nothing, according to the umpires’ performance and two to nothing, according to everyone else watching the game. But there is no doubt: we lost. You cannot win if you do not score. That is clear.


Granma won. They played hard and well. They overcame difficult situations in both game six and game seven and managed to overturn the series at home. They won and there is no doubt about it. They just played better.


However, this second place earned by Matanzas Crocodiles tastes like championship to me. They endured the loss of nearly 20 baseball players who were out all season long due to different reasons, some went out to play in foreign leagues…Some of them were key to the teamwork. For instance, the ace of the pitching staff, Yoanni Yera and Eduardo Blanco, the outfielder with strong arm and the team captain.


I am not happy, but I am not disappointed either. And I believe Cuban baseball runners-up deserve a round of applause and the warm welcome of fans. The team gave us months of emotions and hope. How many times a hard fought win made our day? Those who love baseball know what I am talking about.


The finals portrayed a strong rivalry, but healthy and close, and where respect prevailed. We enjoyed both managers talking in postgame press conferences. And both referred to the opponent with due respect, or that hug between the pitcher and the hitter after the latter was hit by pitch, or the different messages from players of both team who are playing baseball abroad.


Winning is important. Of course, I wanted to win again like two seasons ago. But nothing compares to the emotion of watching Noelvis Entenza recovering from the loss of someone very close to him and stand on the mound strong, doing his best, as always, or when Yadir Drake traveled from Mexico just to play for the Crocodiles, as if his life depended on it.


Matanzas did not lose. Against all odds, the Crocodiles earned the second place of Cuban Baseball.


Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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