Furious coaches from Cuba’s national baseball team tore into, bumped into, chased and surrounded umpires at the end of Thursday night’s game against the Rockland Boulders — a minor league squad from New York — leading the trio of officials to forfeit the game and quickly exit the field to safety.
Cuba was finishing up a month-long trip in the United States and Canada in which it played a series against each team in the Can-Am league, of which Rockland is a part, the New York Daily News reported.
At the top of the ninth inning, Cuba was at bat and trailing Rockland 6-5. With a runner on first and one out, the Cuban batter hit a grounder that the Rockland shortstop scooped up and flipped to the second baseman, who tagged the base to force the runner out.
But the ball fell from the second baseman’s glove and the runner was ruled safe.
After the umpires conferred, they reversed the call and ruled the runner out — and that set off the Cuban manager, along with all his coaches, the paper said.
They, of course, yelled at the umps and got in their faces — but it soon went beyond normal diamond disputes.
The Cuban coaches repeatedly bumped the umpires with their chests, surrounded them — and after a few ejections, the umps forfeited the game with one out to go.
But it wasn’t over.
The Cubans chased the umps down — all the way into the outfield, apparently accompanied by a couple of players.
And the clearly outnumbered crew of Tim McCaffrey, Alex Hardin and Lou DeLuise hastily exited the field to safety.
“They’re being ganged up on,” an announcer was heard saying on the broadcast, later adding that “if I’m the umpires right now, I run into the Rockland Boulders’ dugout and I grab a bat. I’m serious.”
Certainly doesn’t do much for waning U.S.-Cuba relations after so much hope and change under Obama.