SURPRISE, Ariz. – A handful of Texas Rangers players made posters and waved flags in support of Venezuela and posed for pictures that many of them circulated on Twitter.
It was an idea proposed by left-handed pitcher Martin Perez, who came in with the posterboard and helped make the signs.
Those in the picture, as tweeted by Perez, included Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Jose Contreras, Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus (among others). One of the signs noted how many players on the Rangers’ roster are from different countries.
— Martin Perez (@MartinPerez33D) February 22, 2014
The civil unrest in Venezuela was on the minds of many players, including Andrus, who has two brothers with families still in Venezuela. He checks in with them every day to be sure they are OK.
Political violence is blamed for at least eight deaths and more than 100 injuries in just the last 10 days, according to an Associated Press report. The Rangers have six players on the 40-man roster who were born in Venezuela. Besides Perez and Andrus, Wilmer Font, Joseph Ortiz, Robinson Chirinos and Luis Sardinas also hail from the country.
“I think as a human being, you always get angry when you see what’s happening with the military back home, doing stuff to the civilians and the students,” Andrus said Saturday morning prior to workouts. “I’m not a political guy. I don’t know about that. I’m not on any particular side. I just hate when you see somebody walking and they get hit or hurt.”
Andrus told some reporters after the players took the picture following workouts in Arizona that they weren’t trying to send a political message, but rather just show support for those in Venezuela. Andrus was pleased that players from other countries joined the photo.
"It means a lot, you can see the support that we have, not just from Venezuela, from all parts of Venezuela, the Dominican, and Mexico, and Japan, see the support that we have from all those countries," Andrus told a few reporters after the photo was taken. "It’s trying to bring the peace, trying to get to a point that they can sit and talk and just figure it out the best for the country."