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Monday Rockpile: Rockies and Venezuela - Kind of a Big Deal

The Dominican Republic has been one of the bigger hotbeds for baseball recruitment. Ubaldo Jimenez is the obvious member of this group of Dominican prizes, along with lesser-known bench players like Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez. But the source of new Rockies excitement seems to be Venezuela. I know, this is a new development and something we've never discussed before, but when I was listening to KOA during the game today, Jack and Jerry mentioned that Venezuelan news crews were in PIttsburgh interviewing any Venezuelan who could talk.

"I'm having a hard time," said Gonzalez, who nonetheless pulled himself out of sick bay to do television interviews with a crew from his home country of Venezuela

Thomas Harding,

See? They were there! I wasn't making it up!

This is a big deal in Venezuela, too:

Jhoulys Chacin, on what it will be like in Venezuela for the Rockies' opening day. "It will be like a national holiday," he said with a smile

Troy E. Renck and Nick Groke, The Denver Post

See, Smiling!

Jose Lopez even likes it:

Said Lopez: "I think it's the first time eight Venezuelans have been on one team, huh?"

Jim Armstrong, The Denver Post

The next big thing coming to the Rockies from the great Venezuelan Empire is Jose Tovar, a 6'2 lefthander who has pitched in the Dominican leagues. He's like 17 now. Don't hold your breath, unless you can hold your breath for a few years.

Ben Badler, Baseball America

So hurray for Venezuela, and the swarms of players it brings to the Rockies major league club!

Off Topic

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Oh, wait, wrong Rockies. Also wrong decade.