Venezuela cheers for record 9 World Series players

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Games feature firework displays, Venezuelan snacks such as arepas _ corn cakes filled with meat, chicken or cheese _ and plenty of beer and whisky.

As for the World Series, Venezuelans appear divided, with many simply proud to have so many of their own headlining the series.

The Venezuelans playing for the Tigers and the Giants came up through a well-organized system of youth leagues in the country, where major league scouts often identify standouts as soon as they hit their teens.

The big contingent from Venezuela will give young players a motivational boost, said Manuel Suniaga, who played decades ago as a teenager and now sells hot sandwiches from a stand in downtown Caracas.

He said Scutaro’s hitting streak has been especially thrilling because it shows that a player who might not have Cabrera’s slugging numbers can still pull off a superior performance if he pours in enough spirit.

“The Giants are inspired. In the end that can give them a better chance,” said Suniaga, adding that he won’t miss a single game.

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Jorge Rueda can be reached at: http://twitter.com/jorgeruedaap

Ian James can be reached at: http://twitter.com/ianjamesap

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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