The WBC Gets Political: Team Mexico Player Stopped in Arizona and Chávez Moment of Silence in Puerto Rico

This week the 2013 World Baseball Classic moved to venues on this side of the world, with first-round games being played in Arizona and Puerto Rico. Besides the games, the WBC also got political.

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In Arizona, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported this week that Team Mexico player Marco Estrada was stopped by police for running a stop sign. It lead to revelations by fellow teammate Sergio Romo, whose World Series fame lead to a memorable t-shirt moment he wore at a victory parade in San Francisco.

“I actually got pulled over today on the way to the field,” said Marco Estrada, a Milwaukee Brewers pitcher who has lived in the United States for 24 years, whose wife and children are American citizens and who is representing Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. At a stop sign, he said he looked both ways and thought he stopped. A police officer disagreed. At least Estrada was spared the indignity of being asked for documentation.

Estrada was lucky.

“I’ve been pulled over numerous times, driving a nice car,” said Sergio Romo, the closer for the San Francisco Giants as well as the Mexican WBC outfit. “The first question is: What’s your citizenship? The second question: Is this your car? And then: What do you do for a living? And it’s like, ‘Bro, you’re Mexican just like me.’ ‘Ah, but I was born here.’ And I say, ‘So was I.’ “

Las night in San Juan, before the game between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, fans and players were asked by the Venezuelan baseball team to give a moment of silence for former president Hugo Chávez, who died earlier this week. According to reports, almost everyone complied, except for a small group of people who decided to mock Chávez’s death during this time.

The following video from Venezuela shows part of the moment of silence, where some shouts can be heard.

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