Venezuela’s Tiburones de La Guaira Hitting Their Stride At the Right Time

Photo: Getty Images

By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network

For some teams, there’s a game or a series where everything comes together, where the players gel into a cohesive unit that turns out to be unstoppable.

For the Tiburones de La Guaira, this happened during the round robin stage of the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional playoffs. The Tiburones chomped their way to a 10-1 start in the 16-game round robin, and easily clinched a spot in the LVBP championship series, where they swallowed the Cardenales de La Guaira whole, beating them four games to one.

Former Major League Yasiel Puig hit .383/.442/.681 with a 1.123 OPS and four homers during the round robin. Five Tiburones – Puig, Wilson Garcia, Maikel Garcia, Alcides Escobar, and Leonardo Reginatto – all batted over .300 during the round robin, and Danry Vasquez hit .291 with 14 RBI in 16 games.

The big question, though, is which Venezuelan players will be able to get visas to enter the United States and play in the Caribbean Series?

Puig, Escobar, and Regginato are on the official roster for Venezuela at the 2024 Caribbean Series, but Maikel and Wilson Garcia are not.

Multiple Tiburones players had difficulty obtaining visas to enter the United States, as currently there is no U.S. diplomatic mission to Venezuela, forcing the players to go to other countries to seek the necessary paperwork to enter the country from the U.S. government.

That is likely why both Garcias aren’t on the roster for this Caribbean Series, and losing those two powerful bats will likely hurt the Tiburones chances at a title.

2024 Caribbean Series Schedule
All times Eastern Standard Time.                                                                                                               

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024
8:30 p.m. – Venezuela vs. Dominican Republic

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024
10:30 a.m. – Venezuela vs. Curacao

Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024
3:30 p.m. – Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela

Monday, Feb. 5, 2024
3:30 p.m. – Venezuela vs. Mexico

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024
8:30 p.m. – Panama vs. Venezuela

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024
8:30 p.m. – Nicaragua vs. Venezuela

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024
3 p.m. – Semifinal No. 1
8 p.m. – Semifinal No. 2

Friday, Feb. 9, 2024
3 p.m. – Third-place Game
8 p.m. – Championship Game

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