Several Mets players are participating in winter baseball this year, and Josh Thole and Lance Broadway are in Venezuela where there is incredible political unrest and fear of war with Colombia.
Johan Santana is from Venezuela, but does not want to participate in winter ball and Francisco Rodriguez is expected to begin play there in a few weeks.
Baseball related injuries are, to a certain extent, accepted during the games and workouts. However, putting players in a war torn country or hostile political environment for baseball activities is not acceptable .
Being in the midst of political and cultural warfare should not be a role of a visiting professional baseball player, regardless of their age and experience.
The reason these players participate in winter ball and other such tournaments is for development of existing or learning of new skills and for the love of the game.
Last March, the Mets sent a large contingent of their roster to participate in the World Baseball Classic, which was held in several different cities and venues.
Several players went to either Japan, Mexico, or Puerto Rico, and a few went to Toronto.
There was some reason for concern in Mexico, but the only Met to go there was Oliver Perez and that is his native homeland, so he was not in immediate danger.
However, being in a foreign country that is about to enter into a war with neighboring Colombia is unwise, and Thole and Broadway should return to the United States as soon as possible.
As Americans in a foreign land, they are conspicuous, and even though they may be shielded to a degree by baseball coaches and officials, the risk of their safety does not outweigh the benefits of their baseball growth.
Both players are having a good time and have been offered the chance to go back to the United States but they have declined and intend to stay there for the remainder of the schedule
The Mets will not insist that they return because they are adults who can judge for themselves, but as fans, we are and should continue to be concerned for their safety.