Francisco Rodriguez arrives in Anaheim, September 15, 2002. The rest is baseball history.
Today’s Riverside Press-Enterprise has an excellent trio of articles by writer Jeff Eisenberg about Venezuelan ballplayers and how professional baseball in the United States may suffer if they’re forbidden from playing here.
The first article is about the rumor that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez may prohibit players from joining U.S. teams. The article focuses on Angel Castillo, a 17-year old outfielder currently in the Angels’ minor league training camp in Tempe.
The second article is about how established Venezuelan major leaguers have taken security steps in their homeland to protect themselves and their loved ones. Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez says he’s built what’s basically an armed fortress.
The third article is about the language and cultural programs major league teams create for Latin players once they reach the United States to help them adapt to this country. It’s a subject we’ve covered many times on FutureAngels.com, but this article tells you what other teams are doing.
These are three great articles worth reading. Hopefully the P-E gets an award nomination somewhere for Eisenberg’s work.