Serie Nacional vs Professionals, who would win?

Photo (Yusseff Díaz): How would the Serie Nacional greats fair against the Cuban Professionals.

By Yusseff Díaz

Right out of a page of Field Dreams, today I’m going to present the ultimate fantasy matchup for all the Cuban baseball faithful.

The ultimate question is who would win this mythical matchup? Could a Serie Nacional team lead by Omar Linares beat a team of Negro and MLB players lead by the legendary Tany Pérez.

Imagine Luis Tiant doing battle with “The Giant of the Escambray Mountains ” Antonio Muñoz or Rafael Palmeiro standing in the box with the “The Skyscraper ” Pedro Luis Lazo  bearing down on him.

Picture a packed house in Havana’s Latinoamericano in ninth inning while Omar Linares comes to the plate with two men on base, Aroldis Chapman is staring him down. What would be the outcome? These events would all take place in front of 60,000 rabid fans playing conga and heckling the opposition.

Photo (Web Screen Shot): In 2006 World Baseball Classic Pedro Luis Lazo domination of a Dominican lineup chock full over major leaguers proved he was MLB worthy.

Serie Nacional :

The Serie Nacional team would have such fabled stars as Omar Linares, who was once considered the best amateur player in the world.  Sluggers like Antonio Muñoz, Antonio Pacheco, Orestes Kindelán and Luis Giraldo Casanova would provide power for this monster of a team. Also hidden in this lineup would be the toolsy Armando Capiro in the seven spot.

Speedsters like Victor Mesa (The Cuban Ricky Henderson) and Eduardo Paret would sit the table for this this Cuban baseball juggernaut that once won 100 straight games between the 80’s and 90’s.

Directing the pitching would be storied catcher Ariel Pestano, a guy Ivan Rodríguez once called a shortstop behind the plate. He would have the choice of either working with lefty Jorge Luis “Tati” Valdés and his 30-1 record in international competitions or Pedro Luis Lazo. Lazo once dominated the powerful 2006 Dominican Republic World Classic team that included Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre and Miguel Tejada in its lineup. The crafty Euclides Rojas would be called upon if necessary to put out any fires in the late innings.

Photo (Diario de Cuba): Legend has it that an unamed MLB ball club offer Luis Giraldo Casanova a blank check to leave Cuba.

My all-time team (Serie Nacional)

1. Víctor Mesa CF
2. Antonio Pacheco 2B
3. Omar Linares 3B
4. Antonio Muñoz 1B
5. Luis Giraldo Casanova LF
6. Orestes Kindelan DH
7. Armando Capiro RF
8. Ariel Pestano C
9. Eduardo Paret SS

RHP Pedro Luis Lazo
LHP Jorge Luis “Tati” Valdes
CP Euclides Rojas

Photo (Web Screen Shot): How would Rafael Palmeiro have fared in the batter’s box against some of the Serie Nacional’s top pitchers.

The Professionals:

Imagine having to face a lineup that included a murder’s row of Tany Pérez, Tony Oliva, Rafael Palmeiro,Jose Canseco and Jose Abreu. You had a five tool Cristobal Torriente as your lead off hitter and the secret weapon of Martin Dihigo in the number two spot, the native of Las Cruces, Cuba could also come in and pitch at anytime. The speedy Bert Campaneris would be your #9 guy.

Directing the pitching staff would be a crafty Yasmani Grandal, who can also go deep at any time. The righthander would be Luis Tiant the all-time leader in victories by a Cuban in MLB. The lefty would be Mike Cuellar, the ex-Cy Young winner and the closer would be Aroldis Chapman with his 100 mph heater ready to put out any fire.

My all time team (Professionals)

1. Cristóbal Torriente CF
2. Martín Dihigo 2B
3. Rafael Palmeiro 1B
4. Tany Pérez 3B
5. Tony Oliva RF
6. José Abreu DH
7. José Canseco LF
8. Yasmani Grandal C
9. Dagoberto Campaneris SS

RHP Luis Tiant
LHP Mike Cuellar
CP Aroldis Chapman

Who would win? Who would dominate? The ball is in your court. Give me your opinion.

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