Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez trashed the MLB, specifically the New York Mets organization, blaming them for keeping their players out of the World Baseball Classic.
“They take away the athlete’s right and duty … to represent Venezuela,” said Chavez, who spoke from a ceremony that honored a Venezuelan Soccer team.
Edwin Zerpa, president of the Venezuelan Baseball Federation, explained further:
“What’s most worrisome is that they attempt to stop the pitchers, who are in excellent condition, from playing. Without good pitching, you cannot win in baseball.”
Zerpa said that Chavez’s concerns with the Mets were stemming from ace Johan Santana’s withdrawal from the classic. What Chavez doesn’t understand is that these players have a job that they get paid a lot of money for. This is an important part of the season as far as assembling the team, and if a player decides not to play in the classic, it shouldn’t be a big deal. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t even think Santana really cared for playing on the Venezuela WBC team. He did not have a fun time in 2006, as he criticized the team for serving him fast food and forcing him to sleep in a car during the tournament.