There is an Underdog Team That Could Win the 2013 World Baseball Classic

By Scott DelleFave
Cuban National Team
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In every sport there are always some teams in tournaments that are the clear-cut favorites and there are also underdogs. While in most baseball related events,The Cuban National Team are often heavy favorites due to their machine-like precision of pumping out powerhouse teams. This is especially true with their pitching staffs. The Cubans are the most decorated team within the International Baseball Federation history. That being said, in 2009 the Cubans got handed the worst upset in their international competition history as they were defeated in the second round of the second World Baseball Classic by the Japan. The Cubans didn’t even get a chance to place in that year’s tournament and Japan went on to defend their WBC title.

The Cubans are considered underdogs due to them having to travel nearly a third of the way around the globe, roughly 8,000 miles or a 16 and a half hour flight from Havana, Cuba to Fukuoka, Japan. Meanwhile there are games being played in San Juan, Puerto Rico which is only roughly 1,100 miles or a two and a half hour flight. One would think that if Cuba was playing in Puerto Rico, they would be a much stronger and well-rested team. Depending on when the Cuban team arrives, there could be some desynchronosis or jet lag as it is more popularly known as due to distance traveled and and the time difference between point A and point B. In this case it is Japan that is 14 hours ahead of Cuba, while teams like China and Japan can expose this as a weakness in their two opponents in their pool with Cuba and Brazil.

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