Venezuelan fans salute former GreenJacket Pablo Sandoval

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Venezuelan fans celebrated the selection of San Francisco Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval as the first Venezuelan to win the World Series MVP award.

Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio sent congratulations on Twitter, calling the former Augusta GreenJacket’s performance great in the series that ended Sunday with the Giants sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games.

Aparicio also referred to the possibility of the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera winning AL MVP, saying: “We should have two MVPs this year... don’t you think?”

Others congratulating Sandoval or the many Venezuelan players in the series included ex-major league pitcher Wilson Alvarez, golfer Jhonattan Vegas and Venezuelan Professional Baseball League president Jose Grasso Vecchio.

Grasso said on Twitter that all of the Venezuelans who competed in the series were “proof of the greatness of Venezuelan baseball.”

Nine Venezuelans were on the rosters for the World Series.

RATINGS: The Giants’ sweep of the Tigers set a record low for the World Series’ television ratings.

The four games on Fox averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. The previous low was an 8.4 for the 2008 Phillies-Rays and 2010 Giants-Rangers series, which each went five games.

FREE AGENCY: Baseball’s business began Monday with the New York Yankees exercising $15 million options on second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder Curtis Granderson, two of the disappointments in their AL Championship Series loss.

Oakland, the surprise AL West champion with a major league-low $59.5 million payroll, exercised a $4.5 million option for closer Grant Balfour and declined its half of a $10 million mutual option for shortstop Stephen Drew, who receives a $1.35 million buyout.

In other moves:

• Minnesota declined a $9.25 million option on right-hander Scott Baker.

• The Dodgers declined options on first baseman Juan Rivera ($4 million), right-hander Todd Coffey ($2.5 million) and catcher Matt Treanor ($950,000).

• Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez , a former Atlanta Brave, became a free agent after coming off the 60-day disabled list.


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