Daily Distractions: Dodgers infielder Miguel Rojas has a message for the protesters in Venezuela.

Miguel Rojas

Dodgers infielder Miguel Rojas is a non-roster invitee to spring training. He is closely monitoring the political protests in his native Venezuela. (Associated Press)

Miguel Rojas is watching the news reports from his native Venezuela closely. His wife, Mariana, lives about five minutes from the capital of Caracas. At least five have died in the course of the political protests that began Feb. 12 and turned violent not long thereafter. Here are some videos of the gunfire that erupted last night in Caracas.

“That stuff is pretty scary,” Rojas said Thursday, “because all my family is there.”

Rojas has seen the videos. He said his wife is fine, and she’s planning to fly out tomorrow morning.

“She told me in the afternoon is when things start getting bad,” Rojas said. “At night is when the motorcycles go out because they (the citizens) can’t recognize them.”

As much as anything, Rojas is frustrated by his own feelings of helplessness. At a time when independent news outlets have been muffled by the Venezuelan government, Twitter is soaring in popularity as a medium for protest. The government is trying to block images posted to Twitter from within the country.

Rojas isn’t on Twitter, but he has a message for his countrymen.

“I want to get my word to every Venezuelan guy in the street to keep doing that,” he said. “Make us feel like we can be proud of them, that everything’s going to end in a good way. I send my thanks to them because I can’t do anything right now.”

Some bullet points for a World Social Justice day:

• FanGraphs.com ranks Dan Haren’s contract as one of the 10 best this off-season.

Baseball America’s top 100 prospect rankings are in. Joc Pederson (34), Corey Seager (37), Julio Urias (51) and Zach Lee (95) all made the list. DodgersDigest.com created a composite ranking of the Dodgers’ Top 100 prospects.

• MLB Network is televising more than 200 games this spring, including 20 Dodgers games. All of the Dodgers games will be blacked out locally.

• Via BeyondTheBoxScore.com, data suggests around 80 percent of stolen bases don’t directly lead to a run being scored.

• The two men suspected of beating Bryan Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot pleaded guilty to assault charges today.

• In 1996, Don Mattingly gave George Steinbrenner some important advice about Derek Jeter, and gave Jeter some important advice too.

The Diamondbacks’ lineup is malleable.

• The Phillies reported one of their own 2013 draft picks to the NCAA for committing a rules violation by consulting an agent.

• The Cuban baseball player who came charging out of the dugout, swinging a bat, has been suspended for one year.

• Can we all agree that this Kate Upton anti-gravity photo shoot amounts to a colossal waste of money on par with Bobby Bonilla‘s contract with the Mets?

• Triple your pleasure today. “Where Do You Go To My Lovely?” is a song about a girl from Naples who moves to Paris, and was originally written and performed by Peter Sarstedt, a Briton:

It was later covered by Right Said Fred (who are famous for the song “Too Sexy”):

Right Said Fred got its name from this song, which was a hit in the UK 1962:

Share this post ...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page