World Tour is not over yet

Being in 3 different countries this year hasn’t stopped me from going to one more. I arrived to Venezuela on Thursday evening around 8pm to play for the Tigres de Aragua. Deunte Heath was on my plane so we were able to catch up during the plane ride and find our drivers once we arrived. Deunte plays for the Chicago Whitesox in AAA and attended the University of Tennessee.  The ride to Maracay took about 3 hours from the airport. Its only about an hour and a half away but the traffic and construction prolonged it. While we stood in traffic, locals were in the street selling coffee, snacks, and phone car chargers.

We arrived at the Hotel Pipo which will be housing us for our duration here in Venezuela. The hotel is extremely nice and the pool is like a mini waterpark. Many locals come during the weekends with their kids to play at the pool which has 3 separate pools and water slides.

Once we arrived to the field we were greeted by the players and coaching staff. Buddy Bailey is the manager, and my friend from the Detroit Tigers, Greg Sabat, is the pitching coach. Everything in the clubhouse is run very professional. The clubhouse staff makes sure we get all brand new gear and they take care of cleaning our clothes and shoes. This winterball experience so far tops any of the other countries I have played in. Just the professionalism and way they go an extra step to make the import players feel comfortable means a lot.


The team has been having their spring training practices and tryouts for a week now. The coaching staff still needs to decide on final roster spots. My second day here I threw 3 innings to get my work in for the regular season. Everything felt good and went well. Following that practice we had a team caravan throughout the city for a parade in honor of the opening of the city and our team. This was a special experience to witness. Thirty plus teammates and their entourages jumped on the back of this huge truck and drove down the streets of Maracay. Fans swarmed the streets in Tigres apparel and cheered us on. This event went from 4pm-9pm.


Lastings Milledge and I got tired of being on the truck so we took to the streets to walk and interact with the fans. Our team security does an amazing job for us as well. Lastings was here last year and had a great season and the fans love him . Fans hounded him for pictures and autographs as if he was in a boy band. At one point security was getting overwhelmed by the mass of people and made us get back onto the trucks.

I’m really excited to get the season going here. The fans seem to be very interested in the game and the team. We open up at home on Wednesday October 12 against the Cardinales. I will try to find if you can watch the games online somewhere.

Thanks for all the support and checking out my blog. As always please leave comments and ask questions.

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  1. Bryan

    hello, Lamigo Monkeys had just won a championship few days ago, and we wonder if you know this news or not, whatever, thanks for your contribution to Lamigo, we all admit that you were one of the most important role for us to get the championship, hope you can have a better experience playing in the brand new environment.

  2. Nick Maibroda

    Really enjoy the dispatches from other parts of the baseball world. The different perspective is really interesting. Good luck in the winter ball season and keep the blog posts coming!

  3. BH

    I look forward to a great Winter Ball as you prepare for Spring Training and taking the next big step in your career.

  4. Liz

    Bienvenido a Venezuela!!! Tu blog esta muy bueno, es interesante leer lo que piensas de tu estancia en mi país, me enorgullece que te guste. Espero que pases agradables momentos por acá, la gente te siga tratando muy bien, tu juego sea excelente y nos ayudes a ganar.

  5. wide wayinc

    Hi ! Lamigo Monkeys had precisely won a contest hardly some years ago, next we phenomenon but you be conscious of this intelligence or moreover not, whatever, recognition designed fashionable arrange of your donation on the track in the government of Lamigo, we the complete declare so like near you were single of the as a decree of profound weight responsibility designed representing us en transmit meant in partiality of persuade the championship, faith you preserve control a enhance come crosswise in execution in the kind innovative environment.

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