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Henderson Alvarez organizes Venezuelan peace protest among Marlins players (w/photo)

JUPITER -- It's not often that major league players take part in political protests, but Henderson Alvarez organized a photo session Saturday morning with a group of his teammates, calling for peace in Venezuela, the pitcher's home country. They stood outside the Marlins' spring training clubhouse and posed with the Venezuelan flag while holding up signs reading "Paz" (peace).

"With the picture I'm hoping to send a message to Venezuela to have peace and to leave the violence behind," Alvarez said through an interpretor. "As baseball players our message has more of a potential to be reached."

Members of the Detroit Tigers, including Miguel Cabrera and Omar Vizquel, sent out a similar picture from Lakeland on Friday. Anti-government factions in Venezuela have been protesting against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Large-scale protests were expected Saturday in Caracas.

The unrest has become so great that Alvarez sent for his family, which arrived in the U.S. on Thursday.

"My family in Valencia is fine," Alvarez said. "It was my daughter who was affected. She was affected by tear gas, twice. I brought her and my wife to Miami."

It wasn't only Venezuelan players who posed with Alvarez in the photo. Others, including Cuban-born pitcher Jose Fernandez, also participated, as did A.J. Ramos (born in Texas) and Arquimedes Caminero (Dominican Republic).

"We're always supporting one another," Alvarez said. "It's not just a country thing. We always want peace and for the violence to end."

Alvarez, who was obtained by the Marlins in their blockbuster trade with Toronto in November, 2012, is best known for the no-hitter he threw on closing day last season.

In the photo, Alvarez is fourth from right.

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Comments

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Dionysus Thelxinoe

Clark, I'm genuinely disappointed in you. Politics on a sports blog??? And not even our own country's business. It's right up there with Manny's sweatshirt in the inappropriate category.

And just for that, I'm going to voice my own dissension!!! I now declare myself a supporter of all socialist Venezuelan Jewish-Catholic bus drivers who are followers of deceased Brillo-headed Indian gurus and were named after Santa Claus.

Go gogo

That is nice, however taking into consideration the candela going on right now in Venezuela, I seriously doubt anyone in that country would give a rats ass that a few. Ballplayers living the good life in us are taking a Paz picture

Wanna help? Get on a plane and go support your cause from inside Venezuela

I bet that would be an empty plane taking off

Dionysus Thelxinoe

(and for those of you not up on current events, that would be Nicolas Maduro)

Carlos Mencia

ha ha ha ha ha !! Man, this Dionisio guy is hilarious! Amazing jokes....should write this funny material to Yakov Smirnoff!

Yakov

He fits right in with the other 3rd world julios in Miami that complain about their country, talk a bunch of crap but dont go back to do anything about it.

Camera Mike

DT, While I do agree with you that in most situations politics should not be in a sports blog, I must disagree with how you voiced your dissent. A sports blog without passionate opinions would be astonishingly boring and I do appreciate the fervor and devotion you bring to both this blog and Marlins' fandom. As well as the knowledge and well thought out baseball strategy I am used to reading in your posts. However, I believe your passionate opinions got the best of you and allowed disagreement to turn into insults and an attempt to publicly shame those you disagree with.

I most sincerely hope it does not come across as I am trying to do the same to you as I also can be passionate and I'm guilty of the same actions far more often then I care to admit, so if that is how this post comes across I do apologize. It is only my hope that all disagreements here can be kept civil and free if insults.

Max

I have to agree with Camera Mike on this one, DT. I value your comments on most occasions, but this was not your finest hour.

miguelmaricon

next time ask Henderson for Maduro recipe

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Camera Mike and Max, I appreciate your opinions.

It can be a very thin line between sarcasm or humor and insults. I suppose it has a lot to do with the writer's intent. There are also certain topics that are very sensitive subjects to some people. Which is one good reason why politics does not belong on a sports blog.

Truth is a common ingredient in humor. What I wrote above happens to be all true: Maduro is a former bus driver with a Jewish father, a Catholic mother, he's a socialist, and he's a follower of an Indian guru with a hairdo that won't quit.

As for any insulting comment, it was not my intent. Two things that are important, at least to me, in voicing our opinions is that, 1, we should be able to laugh at ourselves from time to time and, 2, we have to understand that our opinions are subject to scrutiny.

Passion is always a good thing to have. But politics and a sports blog don't mix very well. Some (like me) consider this a haven and an escape from the lunacy of the world. Hence my comment.

Max

DT...I know from reading your previous comments that you are sincere in your opinions, but come on. This was a little blog item about a minor gesture by a young ballplayer far from home who was worried about conditions in his country and the safety of his family. To call it a political story is really reaching. Anyway, what the hell else is Clark going report on at this stage of ST? You have a right to express your opinion and to me, some of the other comments here were more offensive than yours. But after reading the daily dialogue here, I just thought your comment was a little out of character for you.

Norton

Hey Ralphie Boy...ask Alice to get the Maduro plantains for Trixie to make for me

Camera Mike

DT, humor is a tricky thing and not just because we all have different senses of humor. Humor works best in person because how a person intonates and emotes a comment can go a long way in expressing the joke, and the lack of that in a written statement can lead to misinterpretation and misunderstandings. I think because of this your post read differently to some people then you intended.

Also I do agree with you on your reason for why a sports blog should not include politics in most situations. However there will be times when the sports and political worlds collide and in those times a blog should make note.

I have read this blog more often then I have posted to it and I do overall find your voice to be one of knowledge and reason. I look forward to talking baseball with you this coming season.

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