Hugo Chavez is digging this World Series

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Pablo Sandoval homered three times on Wednesday. Anibal Sanchez gets the start tonight. Miguel Cabrera, Avisail Garcia, Omar Infante, Marco Scutaro, Gregor Blanco, Jose Mijares and Hector Sanchez are on rosters.  Venezuela is well represented in this World Series.

And someone is very happy about that: Hugo Chavez:

He referred to President Barack Obama as he joked: “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.”

That’s well and good, but who is he rooting for?

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.