Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Venezuela's Baseball is a Casualty

The U.S State Department

issued a travel advisory

suggesting Americans

avoid travel to Venezuela.

The Venezuelan Winter

Leagues stopped their games

because of the turmoil

in the country.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezMany Venezuelan and American

baseball players are home early

for Christmas this year.

The reason ? Venezuelan President

Hugo Chávez (a clone of Fidel Castro

with his policies)is embroiled in

political turmoil since a general

opposition strike began against

him nine days ago.

Therefore, all games were cancelled

in the Venezuelan Winter Leagues

since December 2, 2002. Nobody

really knows when they will

resume, but it will NOT be prior

to Christmas. This could risk

the Caribbean World Series

to be held in Puerto Rico

from February 2-9, since

Venezuela is one of the four

countries that competes in

that Latinamerican classic each

year together with Mexico,

Puerto Rico and the Dominican

Republic. And If Venezuela

does not present a champion

come February 2, 2003, the

Caribbean World Series could

be cancelled.

The “Parallel League”of Venezuela

a league for minor leaguers was

also shut down indefinitely because

of the caotic situation in that

South American country.

From the start of his Presidency,

President Hugo Chávez of

Venezuela has been dictating

a series of reforms almost

identical to those of Cuba’s

Dictator Fidel Castro(for

the record, Castro has been

a Dictator in Cuba for 43

years and has outlived 9

US. Presidents) As a matter

of fact Chávez and Castro are

great friends. Castro has visited

Venezuela and Chávez Cuba in

numerous ocasions and are

very strong allies. Chávez

has made no secret that he

shares many of Fidel Castro’s

Marxist ideas and that has

not been received well by

the people of Venezuela,

thus this country is in the

middle of a civil war.

Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the

president of the Venezuela

Professional Baseball League,

said the season will resume

“when conditions in the country

permit it”.

A total of seven Pittsburgh Pirates

prospects were involved in the

Venezuelan Winter League.

Four of those are U.S. citizen.

The Oakland A’S have one

player from Venezuela, catcher

Ramón Hernández, the San

Francisco Giants also have a

player from Venezuela, also

a catcher, Yorbit Torrealba

who was having a great

season in the Venezuelan

league, but he is back at

home (in Venezuela)

not playing baseball.

As a person born in Latin

America(Cuba) I can tell

you that baseball ONLY

stops when the country

is in real caos. And that

is exactly the situation that

prevails today in Venezuela.

The lives of the fans and the

players are in present danger

today in Venezuela’s baseball

stadiums. Baseball is the


this country.

Of all South American countries

Venezuela is #1 with players

in MLB. Luis Aparicio one of

the great shortstops of all

time is in the Hall of Fame in

Cooperstown, New York.

Among the many Venezuelan

stars playing in MLB are:

Ramón Hernández,Yorvit

Torrealba,Magglio Ordoñez,

Andrés Galarraga,Omar Vizquel,

Edgardo Alfonzo.

South America are all countries

South of Panamá. This of course

doesn’t include: Mexico,Puerto

Rico,Cuba,and theDominican

Republic. But does includes

Colombia who shares a border

with Venezuela. However,

Colombia(unlike Venezuela)

only has a couple of players

in MLB.Edgar Rentería and

Joel Cabrera.

Let’s hope for the best in

Venezuela. People are dying

in the streets, fighting for

their own country in a civil

war between political parties

and between ideologies.

Baseball performs a great

service to the Venezuelan

people, but at this time is

not that important, or at

least until the political

situation is settled.

I just spoke with a friend

that is a Sports reporter

(specially baseball)in

Venezuela, he told me

not to mention his name

but that I could quote him

and he told me:

“ this time people in

Venezuela are praying

and the last thing in

their minds is baseball,

believe it or not, but

we all know here that

Hugo Chávez is not

going to stay as President”.

I believe it, I lived similar

situation as a young kid

in Havana,Cuba during

the middle of a revolution.

I feel for the people of





1 Anonymous { 12.12.02 at 4:11 am }

Chavez is not exactly like Castro. Chavez’s a populist, not a “socialist.” And like Fidel, it’s hard to say how much support he has, but it’s probably a lot. People in Venezuela, and other Latin American countries for good reason, don’t like the IMF/World Bank and US.

2 Anonymous { 12.17.02 at 6:12 pm }

Thanks having this article at this moment in time, because knowing that’s going on in Venezuela. Also, Ramon Hernandez of the A’s wants everybody to go to the beaches of Venezuela because there is no rule and hopefully this statement will be true for the years to come.

Thank You, Mr. Pi-Gonzalez

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