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Chavez jokes about Venezuelans in World Series

In this July 2, 2001 file photo, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, left, welcomes Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez joked that so many Venezuelan players are in this year's World Series that next year it should be played in the South American country.

This year a record nine Venezuelans are on the rosters for the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers. Chavez remarked during a televised Cabinet meeting on Friday night that if the two team's starting lineups are taken together, Venezuelans account for a third of the players.

He referred to President Barack Obama as he said: "I think the next World Series, Obama, you're going to have to play it here in Venezuela, because it's Venezuelans all over the place."

The Venezuelan president praised Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval for hitting three home runs in Game 1.

"What would the major leagues do if Venezuela didn't exist? They'd get bored," Chavez said, recalling that the homers hit by "Kung Fu Panda" sailed "to right field, to left field, to center field."

Chavez also pointed out that a Venezuelan pitcher, Anibal Sanchez, is due to open for the Tigers on Saturday.

Other Venezuelans playing in the series include Miguel Cabrera, Avisail Garcia and Omar Infante for the Tigers, as well as Marco Scutaro, Gregor Blanco, Jose Mijares and Hector Sanchez for the Giants.

 

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