Highlights from 2009 and Predictions/Wishes for 2010

This week on the pages of www.BaseballdeCuba.com  I am offering readers my list of 2009 memorable moments in the world of Cuban baseball, as well as my predictions for the calendar year to come, and some hopes and wishes for the next twelve months of Cuban League action. As a teaser, here are the dozen highlight moments, along with the dozen predictions and dozen wishes. Full commentary on each item will be available this coming week on the pages of Cuban baseball’s leading website.


Bjarkman’s Top Dozen 2009 Highlights in Cuban Baseball


1. Team Cuba’s World Cup Silver Medal in Nettuno

2. Alexei Bell’s Two Single-Inning Grand Slams on Opening Day

3. Alfredo Despaigne’s World Cup Record Home Run Performance

4. Alfredo Despaigne’s National Series Home Run Record

5. Pedro Lazo’s Career Victory Number 250

6. Team Cuba’s World Cup Win Over Canada in Florence

7. Yosvani Peraza’s Unprecedented World Cup Pinch-Hit Homer Against Spain

8. Yosvani Peraza’s Dramatic Pinch-Hit WBC Homer Versus Australia

9. Freddie Cepeda’s Unanimous WBC All-Star Selection

10. Habana Province’s First-Ever League Championship

11. Dramatic Final-Day Batting Race Between Michel Enri­quez and Yulieski Gourriel

12. Team Cuba’s Second Impressive WBC Tournament Showing


HabanaMound.jpgBjarkman’s Fearless Predictions for the 2010 Calendar Year


1. Alexei Bell Wins NS#49 Batting Crown in Biggest Comeback of the Year

2. New Cuban Baseball Commissioner Named for National Series #50

3. Entire National Series #49 Passes Without a Single No-Hit and No-Run Game

4. New Home Run Champion and New Home Run Record During National Series #49

5. Sancti Spiritus Reigns as Champion of National Series #49

6. Pedro Lazo Breaks Rogelio Garcia’s Career Strikeout Mark

7. German Mesa Replaced as Industriales Manager After Only Two Seasons

8. Norge Vera Successfully Returns for Second Half of National Series #49

9. Havana Metropolitanos Again Posts Worst Record of National Series #49

10. Esteban Lombillo Replaced as National Team Manager

11. Aroldis Chapman Eventually Signs with the Toronto Blue Jays (or Somebody)

12. Noel Arguelles Proves Biggest “Bust” Among Recent “Defectors” to MLB


BallCardSlide.JPGBjarkman’s Dozen Wishes for a New Year in Cuban Baseball


1. Slowdown in Departure of Young Cuban League Talent

2. Return of Night Games in Havana

3. Cuban Managers Finally Cured of Sacrifice Bunt Disease

4. Colorful Victor Mesa Returns to Manage in National Series #50

5. Roger Machado Gets His Shot at Managing Team Cuba

6. Jorge Fuentes Finally Named Cuban Baseball Commissioner

7. Current National Series Two-League Structure Remains Stable

8. Carlos Yanes Continues His Marathon Career

9. Cuban Federation “Retires” Uniform Numbers 10, 46 and 99

10. More Internet Viewers Experience Televised Cuban League Games

11. Expanded Knowledge Counteracts MLB Agents’ Overhyping of Cuban Talent

12. Cuban Baseball Remains Free of MLB Influence for Still Another Year


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