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Cuban player still missing

Cuban player still missing

By Kevin Maimann, Edmonton Sun

First posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012 02:59 PM MDT | Updated:

Thursday, August 16, 2012 03:04 PM MDT

The governor of the Edmonton International Baseball Foundation said

little can be done about the Cuban team's missing player.

The team, in town for the 2012 Women's World Cup of Baseball, reported a

player missing Tuesday.

"We put every precaution and security on that we can," said Don Clarke.

"There's nothing that I see that we can do other than a chain-gang

making sure they're all chained together to get from one place to

another. There should be no reflection on Edmonton or Canada or anything

like that."

Three male Cuban players defected while in Edmonton during the

International Baseball Federation World Junior AA Championships in 2008.

Clarke has heard through the grapevine that the female player has

already made it safely south of the border.

"We are a free country. And if the girl decided to walk away, even if we

knew, what could we do about it? We can't hog-tie her," he said.

Police said earlier this week they are not calling the woman a missing

person because she came to Canada legally and appears to have left of

her own accord.

Clarke said the case should not impact the tournament, and hopes it

doesn't hurt the Cuban team.

"Baseball is still being played, and as a matter of fact, some pretty

good baseball. I just hope it doesn't hurt the morale of the Cuban

players," he said.

In August of 2008, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro slammed the Alberta

capital over the two baseball players who defected during the junior

tournament in the city. In a column on Cuba's daily Internet newspaper

Granma, Castro said the actions of pitcher Noel Argueilles and shortstop

Jose Antonio Iglesias, both 18 at the time, should be classified as a

"despicable betrayal."

"Edmonton has become a dumping ground," Castro wrote. "The Cuban

athletes were badly taken care of. That city has the privilege of

hosting that championship every year. We should analyze whether it is

worth attending that tournament."

Castro also insinuated Canada "stole" their athletes and blamed the rich

paycheques in the U.S. for luring them over.

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