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?
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.