Yankees pitching phenom Aroldis Chapman and Angels closer Raisel Iglesias, who both escaped communist Cuba, have made it clear they will not play for the Castro dictatorship on the Cuban national team.
Aroldis Chapman refuses to play for the Cuban dictatorship
In Major League Baseball, Cuban Yankee reliever and closer Aroldis Chapman said on the Swing Completo Show that under no circumstances would he be a part of a unified Cuban tem in an international competition.
“I understand and I feel the enthusiasm of the fans, but the truth is that when you play for the Cuban national team, you’re representing only one thing. I spent 8 years without being able to go to Cuba, without being able to see my family, my friends. State television never shows highlights of me playing or any of the other Cubans in the majors and now they want me to play for them,” said Chapman, who was recently seen wearing a shirt that said “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life).
“Those of us who play baseball here have been badly mistreated,” Chapman said in his interview with Swing Completo on YouTube. “How are they now going to come to me and others who are in the MLB and say they want us to play for them?”
The closer for the Angels in Anaheim, Cuban Raisel Iglesias, expressed himself in a similar way. In statements made to the same outlet, he said that “if you ask a 10-year-old in Cuba about Aroldis Chapman, he probably doesn’t know who he is. But if you ask them about Messi, they immediately know him as a soccer player for Barcelona. This is sad.”
“What reason would we have now to say yes, to tell them they can count on us to represent them at the World Classic? It’s better they take their own players, who I’m sure they’re preparing quite well,” Iglesias told Swing Completo.
Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.