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Sojo: 'This group of guys, they want to win'


JUPITER, Fla. -- Hopes are high for Team Venezuela as the club approaches pool play in the World Baseball Classic, and if the crowd at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday night is any indication, so are expectations. The majority of the fans in attendance for the team's exhibition against the Miami Marlins were decked out in Venezuela gear.

None of that is unfamiliar to manager Luis Sojo, who is managing Venezuela in the Classic for the third time. Still, this may be the best team the country has yet put forth, with stars up and down the lineup.

"This group of guys, they want to win," Sojo said. "They know what to do to get that goal. In our meetings, we see guys, it's all about winning. There's nothing else.

"I would say it's a great team, but on paper, it doesn't mean anything. You've got to perform on the field. We've got the guys who know how to play the game."

Venezuela's team features the reigning American League Most Valuable Player (Miguel Cabrera) and the MVPs of the World Series (Pablo Sandoval) and National League Championship Series (Marco Scutaro), along with stars such as Carlos Gonzalez, Elvis Andrus and Martin Prado.

Matthew Leach is a writer for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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