Due to a massive governmental restructuring in 2010, the Cuban province of Havana was divided in two. As a result, two new teams have been added to the Cuban National Series for its 51st season.
Effective January 1, 2011, the province of Habana that surrounded the city of Havana was divided in half. The two new halves are now known as the Mayabeque province and Artemisa province. This restructure allows for the city of Havana to be known as simply “Havana” or “La Habana” without any confusion as to whether one is referring to the city or the province.
As is customary in the Cuban National Series, every province is represented by its own baseball team. With the elimination of the province of La Habana comes the elimination of the La Habana Vaqueros. It their place will be the Mayabeque Huracanes (Hurricanes), playing out of the province’s new capital, San Jose de las Lajas. The Mayabeque team will play out of La Habana’s former ballpark, Nelson Fernandez Stadium.
Artemisa has been named the Cazadores (Hunters) and they will play out of the capital of Artemisa in 26 de Julio Stadium. They will also play out of different parks within the province, similar to what happens in Japanese baseball.
Interestingly, the players for the La Habana team have been equally divided among the 2 new teams… somewhat. Artemisa gets the entire La Habana pitching staff (including staff ace Yadier Pedroso), while the positional players go to Mayabeque. Artemisa will field 14 rookies this season; Mayabeque will field an unprecedented 15.
Slowly but surely photos of this year’s Cuban National Series are beginning to trickle onto the internet. Unfortunately, the decision-makers when it comes to uniforms are decidedly unimaginative. The uniforms for Artemisa are red and white, almost identical to that of Santiago and the Metropolitanos.
Mayabeque, on the other hand, has chosen to stick with the same colours and uniform design as their predecessor, La Habana Vaqueros. Boring.
In other news…
Matanzas the only team in the Cuban National Series who has not been to the playoffs in the past 19 seasons. So far it seems to be working, Matanzas reeled off 4 straight winsto open the season and are tied with the Industriales for 1st place in the Occidental League.