During the regular season Matanzas broke a record for most wins. At the beginning of the season they looked unbeatable, but chinks in the armor were beginning to show during the playoff round. The Granma Stallions advanced to the finals taking the last two games of the seven game series to eliminate the Crocodiles from the championship round, slaying the giant of the regular season. It is not the first time Matanzas has won the regular season with the best record but lost in a playoff series.
Ciego de Avila won their best of seven series over Villa Clara four games to two to advance to the Cuban finals. In the four games they won the team scored 8 runs or more, winning the last game 9-3.
BOXSCORE: Vcl 3, Cav 9
The Cuban League is now down to the last four teams for the playoffs. Matanzas, Ciego de Avila, Villa Clara and Granma appear to be the final four teams with Holquin and Camaguey being eliminated. The four teams will then play it off to see who represents Cuba in the Series del Caribe, though the winning team can add players to their roster to enhance their lineup or rotation. If Granma does not make it to the finals expect Alfredo Despaigne to represent the winning Cuban team in the Series del Caribe.
One of the better pitchers out of Cuba, Norge L. Ruíz signed with the Oakland Athletics. Not a big pitcher, standing less than 6′0″ with a pedestrian fastball, he will need to rely on his location to get major league hitters out. Myworld watched him pitch in the Series del Caribe in Puerto Rico. While he did not give up a lot of runs he always seemed to be working out of jams. Myworld expects him to end up in a relief role if he makes the majors, though the Athletics are short on starting pitchers.
Below is the calendar of events for baseball in many different geographical areas.
February 1-7 - Serie del Caribe in Culican, Sinoaloa,Mexico - Home of the Tomateros
March 6-10 - World Baseball Classic, Pool A Seoul, Korea
March 7-11 - World Baseball Classic, Pool B, Tokyo Japan
March 9-13 - World Baseball Classic Pool C, Miami, Florida, United States
March 9-13 - World Baseball Classic, Pool D, Jalisco, Mexico