“This is a great team that always goes out to win, not because they’ve gotten used to it, but because they always seek victory. Once again we came very close to reaching the final and once again we played a great championship but, just like in any competition, you can lose it all. What they can’t say is that we gave up.
The team was much more rounded; the selection of reinforcements was good, giving us other options, if a player was injured, say, or if the circumstances of the game changed.
Despite the fact that a good portion of the full Granma team that started the 57th National Baseball Series isn’t here right now, with many serving as reinforcements for other teams, the entire team has been present here in spirit ever since the start of the competition, helping us to achieve this third place spot.
We were a family out here, and like you said: A country. Unity was the key and like I said, we lost it all in one game; it’s the same for everyone. However, we were pleased with what experts had to say about our performance as a team.
This, according to an emotional Carlos Benítez, second baseman and captain of the Granma team in the National Series and at the recently concluded Caribbean Classic in Guadalajara.
HIGHLIGHTS OF GUADALAJARA 2018
1.February 2, Cuba debuts with a win in Guadalajara against Venezuela, sealing its 60th victory in the history of the Caribbean Series, also coinciding with the 60th edition of the event.
2. For the first time Cuba leads going into the second round of the tournament.
3. Having never played each other before in the Caribbean Series, Cuba and Venezuela face off on two occasions during the most recent edition of the competition.
4. The Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation (CBPC) announces the countries to host the next four editions of the games: Venezuela (2019), Puerto
Rico (2020), Mexico (2021) and the Dominican Republic (2022).
5. Cuba expressed its interest in hosting the 2020 tournament, however to date the island has not been included on the roster of potential host nations as it is not a member of the CBPC, given the U.S. blockade which prevents Cuba from maintaining a normal relationship with the body, under the control of the MLB.
6. Dominican player Junior Lake hit the one thousandth home run of the Series thrown by pitcher Yoalkis Cruz. The first home run of the championship occurred in Havana 1949, by Dalmiro Finol of Venezuela; then Dickie Thon, playing for Puerto Rico’s Cangrejeros de Santurce, hit the 500th in Mazatlán, 1993; while Cuban Roel Santos was responsible for home run number 1,001 during this year’s competition.
7. Venezuela’s Balbino Fuenmayor, with the Caribes de Anzoátegui team, became the seventh batter to make five hits in a single game in the series, doing so against the Dominican Republic with two home runs, one single and a double.
8. The Dominican Republic’s Águilas Cibaeñas finally broke the country’s 11-game losing streak in the Caribbean Series.
9. Venezuela’s Daniel Reyes was ejected after protesting the strike and balls count.
10. Twenty home runs were scored in the preliminary phase of the competition, fewer than expected.