Admit it, if I’d told you earlier this year that Magglio Ordonez would be the subject of a spirited defense by a fiery despot, you’d have thought I was referring to Jimmy Leyland.  From the CBC :

President Hugo Chavez came to the defence of Ordonez on Sunday, lambasting the pro-Venezuelan crowd in Miami that constantly jeered the politically vocal outfielder at the World Baseball Classic.

During the 3-1 victory over the Netherlands on Saturday, Ordonez was booed at every plate appearance, and cheered amid a fourth-inning strikeout and later when he was replaced in the game.

“Everyone has a right to think about politics,” said Chavez. “This is shameful. [Those fans] have no shame.”

Many Venezuelans living in South Florida oppose Chavez and his communist beliefs. The taunting toward the Detroit Tigers slugger comes following recent political appearances in support of a leader who has recently won the right to stay in office for life.

“They may have their own reasons for booing me, but I’m a person that they should respect on the team because I am not Venezuela,” said Ordonez.

“Venezuela is the entire team. And when they boo me, they’re booing everybody.”

In a television ad aired last month, Ordonez appeared in support of a proposal by Chavez that would eliminate term limits for the president and other elected officials.

Hopefully LaTroy Hawkins — currently on the hill for Team USA — is taking notes.   Remember Astros fans, when you boo LaTroy next summer, you’re booing AMERICA.