Throwing strikes and worrying about your family back in Venezuela

Every major league team these days has its share of Venezuelan players.The Texas Rangers have a couple of good ones, young lefty Martin Perez and All Star shortstop Elvis Andrus.  They are torn between events back home and getting ready for the baseball season, according to The Dallas Morning News:

"Just as spring training camps were about to open last week, the country was rocked by a wave of student protests and police retaliation. In the days since, it has only ramped up. On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, under fire for rising inflation, food shortages and sharp increases in crime, ejected three U.S. diplomats for allegedly helping to fuel the protests, which have turned deadly in some of the country's biggest cities.   

It is against this backdrop that Perez and six other Venezuelan-born players on the Rangers' spring roster prepare for the season. With the exception of Elvis Andrus, who is arriving from Dallas on Tuesday, all the players made it to camp safely. Before Monday's first workout, the Venezuelan contingent, all close, congregated near Robinson Chirinos to talk baseball, but the state of their homeland also came up. 

"It is hard for us," Perez said. "We call every day, and people don't have food for eating, things like that. We have a great country, and you look at the situation and things are just terrible. It's bad. I love my country, but things are bad. People want and need things, and they don't have it."   

It is one of the reasons Perez and Andrus were so willing to sign long-term contracts with the Rangers within the last year. The financial security gave them both the ability to buy homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Perez, who signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract over the winter, closed on a home in Arlington only two weeks before coming to camp. His wife is there, but his parents remain in Guanare in the central part of the country.  

It has also led the two players to become unlikely political activists. Perez and Andrus have taken to actively tweeting and retweeting to bring awareness to the situation."

Venezuela exploded last week and it's hard to see what happens next, as Daniel Duquenal reports:

"The regime is paralyzed, it has no idea what to do so it threatens, kicks out a few USA embassy personnel, accuses Uribe of planning everything. As if Uribe, or anyone for that matter could convince groups to riot from San Cristobal to Puerto Ordaz which surprisingly has had some of the largest gatherings in spite of having one of the worst climate for such rallies."

Spring training will have a new meaning for many Venezuelan ballplayers, who must get in shape and keep an eye on the news back home.

 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


Every major league team these days has its share of Venezuelan players.The Texas Rangers have a couple of good ones, young lefty Martin Perez and All Star shortstop Elvis Andrus.  They are torn between events back home and getting ready for the baseball season, according to The Dallas Morning News:

"Just as spring training camps were about to open last week, the country was rocked by a wave of student protests and police retaliation. In the days since, it has only ramped up. On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, under fire for rising inflation, food shortages and sharp increases in crime, ejected three U.S. diplomats for allegedly helping to fuel the protests, which have turned deadly in some of the country's biggest cities.   

It is against this backdrop that Perez and six other Venezuelan-born players on the Rangers' spring roster prepare for the season. With the exception of Elvis Andrus, who is arriving from Dallas on Tuesday, all the players made it to camp safely. Before Monday's first workout, the Venezuelan contingent, all close, congregated near Robinson Chirinos to talk baseball, but the state of their homeland also came up. 

"It is hard for us," Perez said. "We call every day, and people don't have food for eating, things like that. We have a great country, and you look at the situation and things are just terrible. It's bad. I love my country, but things are bad. People want and need things, and they don't have it."   

It is one of the reasons Perez and Andrus were so willing to sign long-term contracts with the Rangers within the last year. The financial security gave them both the ability to buy homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Perez, who signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract over the winter, closed on a home in Arlington only two weeks before coming to camp. His wife is there, but his parents remain in Guanare in the central part of the country.  

It has also led the two players to become unlikely political activists. Perez and Andrus have taken to actively tweeting and retweeting to bring awareness to the situation."

Venezuela exploded last week and it's hard to see what happens next, as Daniel Duquenal reports:

"The regime is paralyzed, it has no idea what to do so it threatens, kicks out a few USA embassy personnel, accuses Uribe of planning everything. As if Uribe, or anyone for that matter could convince groups to riot from San Cristobal to Puerto Ordaz which surprisingly has had some of the largest gatherings in spite of having one of the worst climate for such rallies."

Spring training will have a new meaning for many Venezuelan ballplayers, who must get in shape and keep an eye on the news back home.

 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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