Tag Archives: Venezuela

Ca-raucous Outburst of Offense: Venezuela Takes Spanish Crown Down

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Spanish-Venezuelan tensions had cooled in recent years, as President Hugo Chavez and King Juan Carlos had become ballroom dancing partners.

Final Score: Venezuela 11, Spain 6.

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Venezuelan Declaration of Independence.

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If there’s one thing that pisses off Venezuela it’s, well, there are actually a lot of things that piss of Venezuelans. Let me just scroll through this 48-page Word document I have to make sure the one I wanted is there… George W. Bush, no… Jews? Really? I didn’t know that, but no… Ah, yes. Here it is. Spain.

Spain once controlled the area that is now Venezuela, and treated them quite poorly. After many years of oppression, the Venezuelans said enough is enough, which is coincidentally what Miguel Cabrera often tells Prince Fielder as to ensure some of the pre-game buffet remains for other players.

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The Rico Get Rico-er: Puerto Rico Adds to Wealth of Victories at Venezuela’s Expense

I'm not sure how the Venezuelans expected to win starting a dead guy...

I’m not sure how the Venezuelans expected to win starting a dead guy…

Final Score: Puerto Rico 6, Venezuela 2

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Venezuela feeling that Puerto Rico is the  base of the American Caribbean Empire against Venezuela

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Hugo Chavez was a crazy man who believed some pretty crazy things, which makes his passing a bit sad because we will now no longer hear him say any of those crazy things. His hilarious utterances will be sorely missed, if not the other aspects of his existence. In memoriam of his unfailingly creative turns of phrase, this post is dedicated to one of them in particular: his opinion on the island of Puerto Rico.

Chavez felt that PR was in fact being used by the United States as a base of operations for its imperial ambitions in Venezuela and the rest of Latin America. He went so far as to describe Puerto Rico as a “gringo colony” of the U.S., and promised to one day liberate it. He even alleged that the leading U.S. diplomat in Venezuela had met with anti-Chavistas in exile in Puerto Rico.

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Venez-wail-a: Dominican Republic Shows No Sympathy for Mourners

Final Score: Dominican Republic 9, Venezuela 3

World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Hugo Chavez cuts off oil supply to the DR in 2003

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The shadow of Hugo “Eric” Chavez loomed large over this game. A titan of Latin American politics, Chavez was an admired but flawed and kind of crazy leader. His long presidency was marred by such scandals as the kidnapping of Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos and also some other stuff.

A turning point in the reign of Chavez was the coup of 2002, in which he was briefly removed from power before leveraging his popular support to recover it. In the aftermath of the coup, Chavez was naturally paranoid about who had been involved in the attempt to get rid of him. One of the places at which he pointed his chubby finger was none other than the Dominican Republic.

In 2003, Chavez cut off Venezuela’s oil supply to the DR in retaliation for their supposed involvement. The move was a serious blow to the Dominican economy, and it was years before Venezuela-Dominican Republic relations “recovered.”

But they never truly recovered. For years, Dominicans let their resentment towards Chavez fester, mutating into a deep-seated hatred for the Venezuelan president. They bided their time, waiting for the opportunity to get their revenge. They kept biding. They bided some more. They thought about doing something, but then decided it was probably a bad idea. More biding. Years of biding.

They bided so long that Hugo Chavez died of natural causes. And only then did the Dominicans take the opportunity to strike, posthumously. They beat Chavez’s national baseball team, 9-3.

Hugo Chavez is dead, and the Venezuelan hopes at the World Baseball Classic are dying fast.

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Elvin Ruins: A Crumbling Ramirez, All That Remained of a Once-Great Met Bullpen, Falls to Nats in 12th

“Was the fifth bucket of gatorade really necessary, Mike?” (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Final Score: Nationals 7, Mets 6

Dame of the Game:

Bryce Harper: 2-7, 2 RBI, 2K, walk-off single in 12th. It would have been Harper’s first career walk-off, except that Bryce Harper doesn’t walk off. He  sprints off. Actually, he sprints everywhere. That serves him well on the baseball field, but it does tend to piss everyone off when he attends a Walk for Breast Cancer event.

Shame of the Game:

Jordany Valdespin: 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, K, 2 E. There was a lot of shame to go around this game, and there are many potential Shame of the Game winners who I hate to deprive of their rightful disgrace. But Valdespin’s two 10th inning errors, including a booted double play ball that would have won the Mets the game, easily wins the “most hilariously, predictably Met thing to do” award.

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The Nationals used a time-honored strategy of Met-beating on Tuesday night: “get behind and wait for the Mets to mess up.” It worked to perfection. After going up 3-0 early, the Nationals dutifully let the Mets take the lead three times. The first two times, the Mets only messed up enough to let the Nationals tie the game, but the third time was the “charm.” I put charm in quotes because I don’t believe in magic or superstition. I just believe in the natural law of the universe that the longer you keep playing the Mets, the higher the probability that they’re going to fuck everything up in hilariously catastrophic and soul-crushing-to-their-fans fashion. By the time the Elvin Ramirez delivered his 47th pitch of the inning to Bryce Harper with the bases loaded in the 12th, that probability had crossed the threshold to absolute inevitability. Sure, it’s easy to say that events were inevitable after they happened, but really. The Mets were always going to lose last night in a way that was funny and bad.  Continue reading

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Sandy Leon Sprains High Ankle, Carlos Maldonado Era Resumes

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The face that many pitchers see in their nightmares.

Nope, still not that day. But another backup catcher is on his way to Washington. In his debut, Sandy Leon suffered a high ankle sprain during a collision at the plate. I haven’t seen this bad a collision at the plate since I accidentally bumped my fork into my knife and it made a bad scraping noise.

With Leon to the DL, Carlos Maldonado is back in Natstown. You may remember seeing him here for 4 games in 2010. …I don’t. But he’ll have to do for now. He did get one HR in 11 AB back then, a pace that should likely remain that way.

A trend continues for the Nats, who seem to only allow Venezuelan-born catchers on their team. So if you’re a non-Venezuelan little leaguer in Washington who’s favorite team is the Nats and your dream is to catch for them someday, give up now. Give up baseball, give up your fandom, give up your dreams, unless you want Mike Rizzo to throttle them down the line.

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2012 Nationals Player Profile: Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez remembers the dark days

Henry Rodriguez throws hard. He throws hard even by the standards of Major League Baseball pitchers, who tend to throw harder than average people (Livan Hernandez excepted). His fastball has been known to reach 100mph, which means that if he stood on one side of the original 100-square mile-boundaries of Washington, DC and threw a fastball towards the other side, it would get there in…probably about an hour. Assuming no gravity and that it didn’t hit an office building, presidential memorial or homeless person on the way, of course.

Henry Rodriguez has always thrown hard. Henry grew up in Zulia, Venezuela, where there were plenty of things to throw. As a baby, Henry Rodriguez once threw a pacifier through a wall. When he was five, he threw a squirrel through a tree. When he was eight years old, he threw a six-year-old through a five-year-old. That was a very traumatic event in Henry’s life (not to mention the lives of the other children involved). After that, Henry stopped throwing living things and started throwing baseballs. Continue reading

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