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Cuba Newsbeat

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Leaving Cuba: Why Pirates bullpen coach Euclides Rojas risked everything for freedom | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Euclides Rojas.

Yes, Euclides. He was the first closer in the history of the Cuban national team, a good friend and teammate.

“Euclides was intelligent,” de la Torre recalls. “To be a good reliever, you should have the nerves of a surgeon and the control of a robot. With these qualities, you can do what you want.”

They have not spoken in more than 20 years, since Rojas’ desire for freedom pushed him into the ocean on a makeshift raft with his wife and 2-year-old son. De la Torre does not know what became of Rojas — that he is now the bullpen coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates, teaching professional pitchers some of the same lessons he learned right here at the field of his childhood.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2015 at 10:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, euclides rojas

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Commissioner Rob Manfred wants international draft

New Commissioner Rob Manfred, who visited Indians players Tuesday morning, said the situation has convinced him for the need of a worldwide draft. Manfred talked about that and several other subjects Tuesday.

Manfred believes MLB leveled the playing field regarding the amateur draft in the last negotiations with the players association when a slotting system was introduced for the first 10 rounds of the draft.

“It re-established the principal purpose of the draft, in that the weakest team had the ability to get the best talent at an affordable price,” said Manfred. “Frankly, we thought we made progress on the international side in terms of caps and penalties we put in place.

“Two years into the deal we felt pretty good about where we were. So what happened?”

The thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba happened.

“With the relaxation that’s taken place with respect of Cuban players it has put a stress test on that international system,” said Manfred. “Frankly, it’s proved wanting. I am of the view that at some point, for the good of the game, for the good of competitive balance, we are going to have an international draft.”


 

 

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