Two star Cuban baseball players, including the brother of World Series MVP Livan Hernandez of the Florida Marlins, made their escape from Cuba and were being held Tuesday at a refugee camp in the Bahamas.
Pitcher Orlando Hernandez, 28, his 20-year-old wife Noris, and catcher Alberto Hernandez, were among eight Cubans picked up by Bahamian authorities, said Rene Guim, a spokesman for agent Joe Cubas, whose office received a call from the pitcher.
Orlando Hernandez and Alberto Hernandez, who are not related, have been banned from the game on the communist island for over a year, partly as a result of Livan's defection while on a 1995 team trip to Mexico. Cuban officials accused them of aiding the defection of several athletes. Orlando Hernandez was more heralded as a pitcher than Livan Hernandez before the defection.
Ninoska Perez, of the Miami-based Cuban American National Foundation, said she spoke to the two men, who seemed in good shape. The group was working with Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., to ask Justice and State department officials to intercede on their behalf.
Elsewhere, New York Mets pitcher Jason Isringhausen likely will undergo reconstructive surgery on his pitching elbow, according to a published report. The decision will be made by Dr. James Andrews, who had recommended Dec. 16 that Isringhausen rest the arm, the suburban New York newspaper Newsday reported. Isringhausen, a 25-year-old right-hander, would miss all of next season if he needs surgery.