US AGAIN KNOCKOUT CUBA TO ADVANCE TO WBC FINAL
(This article was written with information of Yahho!News)
MIAMI — Team USA’s lineup is hitting its stride, which should terrify its next opponent just 48 hours away from the World Baseball Classic final.
USA flaunted its ridiculously deep lineup to overpower Cuba, 14-2, in the WBC semifinal on Sunday night at loanDepot Park. This marks the second time USA has advanced to the WBC final, as the defending champions are just 27 outs away from repeating. The dynamic red, white and blue offense now awaits the winner of Monday’s semifinal between Japan and Mexico.
“They’re swinging the bats good, they’re having fun being around each other, they’re passing the baton, they’re not having selfish at-bats, constant pressure,” Team USA manager Mark DeRosa said. “I think the first couple innings it was, like, two runs, one run, two, two, two, two. Constant on the attack.”
It’s intimidating to think this USA lineup is just beginning to come together, having produced 23 runs in the past 24 hours. The team’s 14-hit effort against seven different Cuban pitchers was the most complete performance we’ve seen from the Americans thus far. USA scored at least one run in seven of the eight innings it batted, including in each of the first six frames. With a lineup this loaded, Cuba’s mediocre pitching staff never stood a chance.
Protesters slam Cuban national team
The tension was palpable outside the ballpark as some carried protest signs, featuring expletive-heavy messages directed at Cuban dictator Díaz Canel. One included a José Martí quote: “Cuando un pueblo emigra, sus gobernantes sobran,” which roughly translates to “When a country migrates, their rulers are leftover.” It even made its way to the field, with a man rushing the field carrying an anti-Cuban government sign.
Police stood around the ballpark Sunday afternoon, directing traffic and monitoring crowds. Ramón Saúl Sánchez, the president of Democracy Movement, a nonprofit that advocates for democratic changes in Cuba, thanked them for protecting his freedom of expression.
It’s not the first protest centering the Cuban national baseball team this weekend. Dozens of Cubans of all ages demonstrated against “Team Asere” Saturday in front of the emblematic Versailles restaurant in Little Havana.
Alex Otaola, one of Miami’s most popular influencers, also joined forces with protesters. Otaola, who has Youtube show with about 300,000 subscribers, carried a megaphone with him.
“This is the moment to demand liberty for Cuba,” he said, energizing the protesters.
As he was entering the stadium, Andy Gimenez said he was stopped by staff and asked to change his shirt, which had a derogatory remark aimed at Díaz Canel.
Gimenez, 41, had paid about $300 for his tickets so he opted to turn his shirt inside out.
“I felt like I was back in Cuba, not in a free country,” said Gimenez, who moved from Cuba to Hialeah about two years ago.