Travel, food, Lots of Photos


Thanks for all the new followers and supporters of the blog. I hope my articles are entertaining and please feel free to comment or ask questions below. I really enjoy doing this and sharing my experiences around the globe with friends, family, and of course the fans.

The Tigres are currently 9-9 and 3.5 games out of first place. On Monday which was our off day, we traveled to Maracaibo in two nice buses which took about 10 hours. I think we went over 100+ speed bumps. Venezuela definitely has the Guinness Book of World Records for speed bumps. The trip wasn’t as bad as it sounds because we stopped along the way every 2-3 hours for food. These guys can eat down here. Our first stop was to this farm type of restaurant. There were horses and cows roaming the field outside of the restaurant. It was a really beautiful site. I sat along with the locals and Alex Nunez ordered for the table. I’m not a picky eater so whatever they brought out I would at least try. We had onion rings, Cachapa’s (HUGE pancake like corn meal/bread), steak, and ribs. The meat was ordered by the kilo. We all demolished the food it was so good. I wish I had some pictures of the food, but I was too hungry to take them. Below are the pics of the restaurant.

Field at Caracas. Both the Leones and Tiburones share this field

Our security team with the team does a spectacular job. These guys travel with us on the road, on the plane, our in our dugout, and help us exit the fields safely. They come onto the field to overlook the crowd for any trouble whenever our manager makes a pitching change. This can be frustrating for the pitcher because when I’m walking back to the mound to get the next hitter out, I see out the corner of my eye that the security guards are coming out I know my time in the game is probably over. We also get a police escort through the city to and from the games to make traffic easier. Motorcycle police lead the way completely strapped with military firepower. I have made some good friends with the security guards who also say I look like Willie Chirino, the Cuban singer. Everytime I walk by one of them they start singing a Chirino tune. It is all in good humor.

Security after the game in Caracas

The Tigres are first class when it comes to everything in Winterball. Like I have said in earlier blogs this is my favorite team and country to play in for Winterball. We get two buses for travel so that everyone can be comfy and spread out and relax on the road trips. This past trip to Zulia we had a chartered flight back from Maracaibo. Although we got back to Maracay around 4am with a game to play the next day, it beats driving 10 hours back.

During our 10 hour voyage to Maracaibo we made plenty of pit stops along the way. One of my favorites was an indoor/outdoor plaza where they sold Arepas, candy, and random gifts. Guitars were a big seller on this road trip. I noticed a couple of guys strumming them on the bus ride. They had a cheese store where players and staff lined up in bulk to buy this freshly baked bread with different variations of cheese. The aroma of the two together was delicious. I wish my pictures were scratch and sniff. Some of the players helped me try out a bunch of the cheeses. Another big seller in Venezuela is chocolate. It is sold everywhere. Its pretty expensive too in some places.


Thanks for all the comments and new subscribers.

Ronny Cedeno has been working out with the team lately and hopefully will be playing with us soon. Ronny and his child were taking ground balls turning double plays at home the other day.

Now onto some questions from the last blog.

This is my first time in Venezuela. So far this is my favorite place to play since I have now been to all the Caribbean leagues.

Free agency for the MLB started yesterday. Myself, along with some of my teammates are trying to get picked up by an affiliated team. Hopefully I can get back with MLB or try to go to Taiwan, Korea, or Japan. I just love playing this game and hope to continue my career.

Most players organizations ask the players if they are interested in winterball around August. Some try to push it on players to get extra at-bats or innings. If you are in affiliated ball, your organization must also approve that you play winterball. Guys like myself who are free agents or played overseas usually have their agents contact these teams looking for any interest in extra players.

Lets go Tigres! Keep winning so I can enjoy watching the fans throw their beer in the air to celebrate.

5 Comments

Thanks for answering my question about how players hook up with these teams…. Always curious how that worked…. Enjoy your time there and hopefully you’ll land somewhere soon!

I enjoy your blog so much, thanks for the culture as well as the baseball talk. You have an amazing opportunity to see the world, I’m so glad you are taking full advantage of it. Best wishes!

Dear Scot

I’m a venezuelan really glad to read your kind comments here on our food, our country and above all our baseball, which as you may noticed is a huge passion shared nationwide. I’m a Magallanes big fan, the oldest and arguably the most popular team in the country, which we all hope will do a good job this year, Tigres however are my “alternative” team as they are based in Maracay just some miles from Valencia our home. So, I hope you will enjoy your stay in Venezuela, and have a wonderful play to help your team (not against us) and to your future career. Hope to see you pitching in Valencia anytime. All the best.

Venezuela is the most beautiful country in the world. food, people, landscapes, everything. simply this is the best country in the world. good blog and Lets go Tigres! we can be champions

You okay, Scot? I’m assuming you’ve worked with Ramos, so this must be hard on you and the team. Torrealba was here, playing for Colorado when his son was kidnapped down there. Thinking about you and praying for Ramos and you guys.

http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/9/wilson-ramos-kidnapped-nationals-venezuela/

-Matt

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