Starting pitcher Yadel Marti and outfielder Yasser Gomez likely will not play at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The two members of the Cuban national team got thrown off their club, Industriales, in Havana due to “a grave act of indiscipline”, which probably ends their career with the national team too. Rumors say that both were caught trying to defect from the Caribbean Island.
Marti already was left off the Olympics roster this summer apparently because of similar fears. Cuba had to settle for silver in Beijing after losing the final against Korea. The right hander was 1-0 with two saves and an ERA of 0.00 in 12 2/3 innings at the 2006 WBC and honored as one of the premium pitchers in the tournament. The 29-year-old also pitched for Cuba in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, when they lost to Team USA in the title game. A few weeks ago he made public his desire to play in the WBC next March and said that Cuba is seeking revenge for the defeat in 2006.
The 28-year-old Gomez batted third for his team in the national baseball league, hit .394 last year and was a member of the 2000 Olympic squad in Sydney. He was not on the roster of the 2006 WBC and in Beijing. According to Jim Molony’s preview on MLB.com he was not expected to be on the roster for the upcoming 2009 WBC, Marti was. Cuba is slotted into pool B in the preliminary round in Mexico City with Australia, South Africa and Mexico.