A couple of weeks ago the news that Yulieski Gourriel will play next season in Industriales was known. The rumor is now official; the player himself has put the stamp on what for months ran from mouth to mouth.
The reason: the health of Papa Gourriel. The family decided to end the frequent comings and goings to Havana for medical treatment that Lourdes needs and installed in the capital for who knows how long.
The suspicious part is that of the Gourriels, the only one who will pack the bags along Dad will be Yulieski, the other two brothers (Yunieski and Lourdes Jr.) will remain in their native Santi Spiritus. From that family decision we can draw two conclusions. The first: out of the Gourriel trio, Yulieski, is closer to Daddy. And the second: that without doubt, he’s the one with enough quality to carry the heavy burden the Industriales jersey entails.
The ambiguity of the matter causes thousands of reflections we assume the National Baseball Commission has analyzed before approving the request. Higinio Velez and company have accepted what for many of the greatest stars of the baseball in Cuba was a longing, while Yulieski Gourriel has received on a silver platter by mere “chance”.
For years there were talks of Pedro Luis Lazo wanting to go the Latinoamericano stadium’s mound in the blue dress and make those thousands of people who always insulted him in every game to finally worship him. Victor Mesa also wished that one day his juggling in the centerfield would not have as a victim Industriales and even Lourdes Gourriel who played as reinforcement in one small tournament coffesed his desire to stay in the capital. However, neither they nor others were able to fulfill their dreams.
I don’t know whether for Yulieski this was a cherished dream or if he dislikes idea and has taken it with complete serenity to protect the health of their father. But perhaps, if Orlando Lavandera, Camilche Veloz or Alexis Durruthi had filed for a change of teams under similar circumstances, the solution might have been different.
The truth is that next season the legendary Industriales stadium will receive Yulieski Gourriel dressed in blue. The question is how the Latino will welcome its new tenant. This site doesn’t go around the bushes, it slaps at anyone what it thinks of it. The Santi Spiritus player is one of its favorites, is thousands of mouths white instigators. The relationship between them is not for none of the best; on the contrary, his misfortunes at international have made him persona non grata here.
Another implication of the transfer, and for me the most complicated of all, is his relationship with his new teammates. Yulieski will arrive to a dugout full of heavyweight players that although qualitatively not exceed him in anything, have for years been part of the backbone of this squad and are fully used to dealing with their demanding fans.
The landing of Yulieski Gourriel, no one has the slightest doubt, will consequently cause movements in both the line-up as in the blue defense. We talk about the most talented player of Cuban baseball and therefore, the capital city infielders should already be crossing fingers.
He wears the 10 on his back, the same number as Rudy Reyes, one of the Industriales leaders and also the third baseman. In this and other dichotomies the mentor Lazaro Vargas will have to work on.
Journalist Reinaldo Taladrid, who declares himself senior advisor of the blue team said in a recent radio broadcast that the Director of Industriales and Gourriel already met and talked on a very possible change in position of the player.
That complex is the debut seen, with Industriales, of the most media ballplayer in Cuba. Although he has an extraordinary talent, the Santi Spiritus player must prove his true worth to prevail in a new habitat.