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MLB players killed in Venezuela crash may have been robbery targets, authorities say

Venezuelan government have arrested 4 other folks suspected of robbing former Primary League Baseball gamers Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo after the pair had been killed in a automotive crash Thursday.

Police are investigating whether or not the coincidence used to be staged via a gang of thieves looking to rob the gamers, the Los Angeles Occasions reported.

Government suspect the gamers could have been centered via legal teams identified for throwing rocks at the roadways to disable vehicles after which rob the occupants, the Castle-Price Megastar-Telegram reported. The 4 suspects had been discovered with Valbuena’s and Castillo’s property, Julio Leon Heredia, the governor of Yaracuy in Venezuela, mentioned on Twitter.

Valbuena, who grew to become 33 ultimate week, and Castillo, 37, had been enjoying within the nation’s iciness league and had been teammates at the Cardinales de Lara ball membership.

Within the automobile with them had been iciness league teammate Carlos Rivero and a driving force, either one of whom survived the crash. Footage from the Caracas-based information outlet El Cooperante confirmed the white automobile on its facet with its grill and hood smashed.

A staff legitimate mentioned Valbuena and Castillo had private industry to wait to and selected to commute house one by one from the staff after Thursday’s sport.

“That they had appointments of a few type at the USA Embassy,” Gustavo Andrade mentioned in Spanish. “They departed via their very own manner after [Thursday’s] sport.”

Players from the Cardenales de Lara baseball team carry the caskets of teammates and former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela on Friday.

Gamers from the Cardenales de Lara baseball staff raise the caskets of teammates and previous primary league gamers Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela on Friday.
(Related Press)

On Friday afternoon, Cardenales de Lara gamers carried the coffins of Valbuena and Castillo on the staff’s stadium in Barquisimeto, the place they toured the bases, in step with the Venezuelan regional newspaper El Impulso.

The Venezuelan Skilled Baseball League introduced that flags can be flown at half-staff in all its stadiums and all 3 video games scheduled for Friday were canceled.

Valbuena performed 11 seasons within the majors. He used to be launched via the Los Angeles Angels in August and completed his occupation with a .225 batting reasonable, 114 houses runs and 367 RBIs. He additionally performed with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.

Castillo performed from 2004 to 2008, together with stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Astros. He ended his occupation with a .254 batting reasonable and 218 RBIs and 39 house runs.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted on Friday: “I sign up for within the mourning that has beaten the Venezuelan baseball circle of relatives and all of its fanatics.”

In a commentary, Primary League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned it used to be “an excessively unhappy day for our game as we mourn the deaths of Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo.”

“It’s transparent via the entire tales these days that they liked baseball and made an have an effect on on their teammates and the golf equipment they represented. On behalf of Primary League Baseball, I prolong my inner most condolences to their households, pals and fanatics, in particular the ones of their local Venezuela,” he endured.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout tweeted “We’re fascinated by Luis Valbuena’s circle of relatives these days. Our ideas cross to them. RIP to a teammate and a chum…”

A number of primary league groups and gamers additionally introduced their condolences.

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