Fights in Venezuelan baseball generate messages of condemnation

CARACAS (AP) — The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League on Sunday condemned the acts of violence that occurred the day before, including one in which former Major League Baseball player Asdrúbal Cabrera assaulted Dominican Carlos Castro just after the Dominican theatrically celebrated his third home run of the night.

Castro, who went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, led the Tiburones de La Guaira to a 6-4 victory over the Caribes de Anzoátegui in Puerto La Cruz, about 250 kilometers west of Caracas.

In a statement, the LVBP announced that it has opened a procedure to determine the sanctions for those involved in the violent acts in Puerto La Cruz and Valencia. The most severe penalty is expected to go to Cabrera

After hitting his third home run of the night leading off the eighth, Castro took seven steps forward and theatrically tossed his bat into the air in front of the Caribes dugout as he headed for first base.

Castro also turned to look towards the Cueva de los Caribes and unleashed the fury of Cabrera, who knocked him down with a punch to the face, just after stepping on the first base. Immediately afterwards, a pitched battle broke out after which several players were sent off, including Cabrera and Castro.

Cabrera, who played from 2007 to 2021 in seven major league organizations, is no stranger to celebrations of that kind.

In September 2016, in the NL wild card race, he homered in the 11th inning as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8.

That time, the Venezuelan took the bat with both hands and raised his arms, causing the stick to fly. It is one of the most remembered boasts of this type in the history of the Major Leagues.

Now, Cabrera faces the possibility of being suspended for the remainder of the season, raging against a gesture similar to the one he made in the majors.

“Venezuelan professional baseball is a show that encourages family enjoyment, as this discipline is a fundamental part of our cultural heritage. For the LVBP it is its raison d’être and its fundamental mission is to provide fans with a quality show through sport,” the letter added, without giving other details.

Fans of the different teams often mingle in the crowd and it is common for families and friends to divide their loyalties, dressed in the jerseys and caps and carrying stuffed animals and balls alluding to their clubs. Unlike sports rivalries elsewhere, the passion of the fans is limited to verbal exchanges, which are often loaded with jokes and good humor.

Meanwhile, in the central city of Valencia, players from the Leones de Caracas and Navegantes del Magallanes exchanged shoves and insults for several minutes on the field after reliever Bruce Rondón got the third out of that inning.

The reliever repeatedly ordered the players on the capital’s bench to silence, inflaming the spirits between the so-called “eternal rivals”, the two most popular teams in this South American country, the only one where baseball and not soccer is the number one sport. one.

Among those expelled was Puerto Rican Yadier Molina, who after a laureate 19-year career in the Major Leagues, is venturing into the unprecedented role of manager with the Navigators. Also expelled by the Navegantes were reliever Bruce Rondón and infielder José Rondón, while Dominican Isaías Tejeda was sent to the showers by the Leones.

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