Dear Baseball Fans,
A quick apology for being out of the blogsphere for a while. But I’m back in time for the 2016 season, and that’s the important thing.
Firstly, congrats to the Tigres de Aragua for making the final of the Serie Caribe in the Dominican Republic last month. Once again, Venezuela was proudly represented at this historic competition, and only lost by a run in the final to the Venados (Deer) of Mazatlan, Mexico. But kudos to the Maracay-based side–six of the twelve tourney all-stars were Venezuelan, including Series MVP Jose “Cafecito” Martinez, and–hold on–Freddy Garcia on the mound.
Yes, Freddy Garcia. The 39-year-old righty from Guanare, site of religious miracles in Venezuela, apparently still has the faith. To play in Taiwan last season for the EDA Rhinos ( 興農牛 to those in the know). To play this season for the Olmecas de Tabasco, in the Mexican League (contrary to rumors, Freddy was not part of the original Olmec civilization that bumped heads with the Mayans). Apparently his passport is still valid. After 156 MLB wins, and a World Series crown with Ozzie Guillen’s White Sox in 2005, Freddy has the faith to move mountains. Or move to the mountains.
Garcia had a role in one of the great Venezuelan days in Major League history: on August 15, 2001, he, Omar Daal, Giovani Carrara and Kelvim Escobar all started and won their games. A VZ-four-fer.
Meanwhile, up north, we Met fans are nearly certain of one thing: we’ll have a Venezuelan shortstop to begin the season. The off-season acquisition of veteran Asdrubal Cabrera from Tampa puts him at the top of the depth chart, just ahead of “yes, they do cry in baseball” Wilmer Flores, the baby-faced Valenciano who stole fans’ hearts last season with a tearful display upon being traded (a failed physical in Milwaukee nullified the deal, and Wilmer went all the way to the World Series in a fairy tale ending). In an interesting infield, Wilmer could wind up seeing time at all four non-catching positions.