Here's a new entry on the post-baseball jobs list: Ex-MLB slugger Magglio Ordonez has been elected mayor of his hometown in Venezuela, just a year and a half after retiring from MLB.
This is a little more complicated than local-boy-done-good coming home to be mayor, because Ordonez ran on the socialist ticket of president Nicolás Maduro, who won control of the country after controversial leader Hugo Chavez died in March. The recent elections in Venezuela were a show of force for Maduro, who called upon celebrities like Ordonez to help him win more support from the Venezuelan people.
From the Associated Press:
Ordonez's victory in the city of Sotillo in eastern Venezuela was announced by President Nicolas Maduro at a rally Sunday for pro-government candidates who won the majority of 335 races nationwide.
The socialist president has turned to celebrity candidates such as the six-time All-Star to overcome rising anger with his handling of the economy. Maduro prevailed in his first electoral test since narrowly winning the presidency in April following the death of Hugo Chavez.
Derek Jeter gets into publishing, Magglio Ordonez is the leader of a city of 250,000 people. Different strokes, ya know? Ordonez is hardly the first professional athlete to get into politics, but he made the jump quite quickly. He last played in MLB in 2011, and led the AL in hitting as recently as 2007. He officially announced his retirement in May of 2012. For his career, Ordonez hit 294 homers and hit .309.
Ordonez earned an estimated $133 million over 15 years playing baseball, including a five-year, $85 million free-agent contract from the Detroit Tigers. How you like that free market, Magglio?
Now, Ordonez is certain to get tsk-tsk'd from socialism-hating Americans who would happily lecture him on all the good capitalism did for him. Or, at the very least, they'll pretend to lecture him while clacking their keyboards in a blog's comment sections. (That's your cue, guys and gals, bring out the ethnocentrism).
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