Venezuelan people excited for Classic

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Over the winter, Luis Sojo's team won the Venezuelan Winter League championship.

But fans didn't want to talk about the victory. They asked him who would be playing for Team Venezuela during March's World Baseball Classic.

"It's crazy," Sojo said. "People are just talking about [the Classic] day in and day out. It's amazing how people love this game."

Right-hander Francisco Rodriguez said it's added pressure at "another level" playing for a country, because it's considered a responsibility.

With recent news of president Hugo Chavez's death, Rodriguez hopes the team can provide positive energy to his country over the upcoming weeks.

"Right now, I would say probably 30 million people will be watching this tournament, so we'll do our best to not let them down," Rodriguez said. "I believe the best thing we can give them is just be able to put on a good show for them."

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.