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Venezuelan Royals show support for home country

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Venezuelan-born players in the Royals' training camp are expressing concern and showing support for their countrymen during the current unrest there.

"It's hard for us when we see all the video from our country. You feel a little sad for that," catcher Salvador Perez said. "We can't do anything about that. We have to take care of our job and the other players have to take care of their jobs. The season's about to start. All we can do is send a picture to show we're proud to be from Venezuela."

There are six players from Venezuela in the Royals' Major League camp, and Perez took a photo of them with many of their teammates in a show of support for family and friends in their country. Players from other teams were tweeting similar photos with the Venezuelan flag and signs.

"Everybody in my family is there -- my mom and my brother, my son, too," second baseman Omar Infante said. "We feel sad, we feel bad when we watch on TV. Everybody has their families there. Texas did that [sent a photo], too. That's good for the Venezuelan people; they know we are feeling bad, too."

Catcher Ramon Hernandez was another Royal concerned about the situation.

"My family is away from Caracas, so in my hometown it's not as bad as it was in the central, Caracas and Valencia and other places," Hernandez said.

"I talk to them almost every day. They're doing good, but the situation is bad. I never thought I'd see something like that, especially in Venezuela. The people over there are very calm, but I guess people got tired, they didn't have anything. They go to the supermarket and can't find anything to eat;. If your car is broken, you have to wait months because you can't get replacements."

The players are hoping the situation improves quickly.

"It's a great country. We go there to play winter ball and it's a fine country. We have a lot of fun," Hernandez said. "To see it like this -- there's no reason for it and it hurts us a lot."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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