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Report: Cuban umpire Diaz defects to U.S.

Nov 30, 2009, 6:24 PM EST

El Nuevo Herald is reporting that Nelson Diaz, an umpire for 26 years in Cuba, has defected to the U.S. and arrived in Miami on Sunday.
Diaz was behind the plate when Cuba sent a team to Baltimore for an exhibition against the Orioles in 1999. He also worked in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and the 2008 Olympics, but Cuba didn’t pick him for the 2009 WBC because of fears he would defect.
Based on his experience, Diaz is obviously qualified to join MLB’s umpiring roster, though it’s unclear if any spots are opening up over the winter. MLB has incredibly little turnover when it comes to umpires.

  1. T Moore - Dec 1, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    Cuban baseball is one of the finest leagues in the world…
    It is still a people’s game there… That cannot be said about corpo MLB baseball any longer…
    I wonder how long it will be before Diaz regrets his decision to leave a baseball heaven for the Cuban ghettos of S Florida??..
    You have it right.. He’s not a young stud like Despainge, Olivera or Bell… If he were get a blue gig in MLB – it would be a major middle finger raised to the umpires here by MLB…

  2. Charles Zanchi - Feb 19, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Nice post. Keep up the good work

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