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06/30/2004 Archived Entry: "Latin Baseball News: The Road to Olympics"
By Carlos Fragoso
Baseball in the Olympic games have started as an exhibition sports, and becomes a qualifying sport since Barcelona games back in 1992, being Cuba the first Champions.After that, they have repeated in 1996 and 2000.
Cuba will represent the Latin Baseball in the games, and the other America´s team will be Canada.
Now, they´re preparing to strike back in Athens 2004, and called for they best 33 players in the country selected after their National Championship ,to train and be able to select their final team, after playing some preparation games, mainly against far east teams, considered the ones to beat, during this tournament.
Among those called up trying to hit a spot in the roste are:
Ariel Pestaño, Roger Machado, Eriel Sanchez
Antonio Scull, Loidel Chapelli,Yulieski Gourriel,Alexei Ramirez,Eduardo Paret,Luis Miguel Navas,Michel Enriquez,Rudy Reyes and Yoreluis Chavez.
Frederick Cepeda, Carlos Tabares, Osmani Urrutia, Yoelvis Fiss, Yoandri Urgelles, Roger Poll, Juan Miguel Miranda.
Jorge Luis Vera, Vicyondri Odelin, Adiel Palma, Pedro Luis Lazo, Yonder Martinez, Danny Betancourt and Luis Borroto,Frank Montieh
These players are training since June 3rd.
From the 33 players selected 15 has been called for the first time and some like Antonio Scull (1B), Eduardo Paret (SS) and pitchers Pedro Luis Lazo (RH) and Adiel Palma (LH) are veterans, and among those new arrivals are promising talent like, Denys Suárez (P), Frank Montieth (P) a 2004 Rookie of the year, Yulieski Gourriel (2B) y Luis Borroto (P).
"this is a great talented group, and we´ll prepare to gain the gold once again", quoted trainer Higinio Vélez.
The group is a combination of youth ( 26 years avg) ,speed, power and great baseball skills, good defense, pitchers who average 93 MPH, with great repertoire, and I am really happy , said Velez, a Manager who have conquered number of international series.
In next July they will fly to Japan, to start a series of preparation games.