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Escobar spending idle time watching World Cup

Venezuelan infielder is pulling for Brazil on soccer's biggest stage

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ARLINGTON -- The quiet clubhouse was filled with dozens of Twins preparing for Saturday's matchup with the Rangers.

There were still three hours before game time.

Some were relaxing, listening to music. Starting pitcher Phil Hughes was enjoying a game of cards with a few of his teammates.

But on the other side of the room, a loud utility infielder Eduardo Escobar could hardly sit still.

The World Cup was on.

More importantly, Brazil was playing.

"Escobar, you're from Venezuela," one of his teammates shouted from across the room.

"No, I'm from Brazil right now," he responded.

Roughly 75 minutes into the matchup that it would eventually take from Chile in penalty kicks, Brazil narrowly missed a goal opportunity.

Escobar nearly flipped upside down on the couch, yelling at the TV in Spanish.

The same thing happened nearly five minutes later. This time he dug the bat he was anxiously holding into the ground.

"I like it," Escobar said of the World Cup. "All my life I've been a fan of fútbol, especially the Brazil team ...when I was a little guy, I saw Brazil ... this is my team."

Escobar said his love for soccer has never wavered, even though he doesn't have much experience playing it. One of his friends in Minnesota plays soccer, which has only furthered his interest.

When a teammate accused him of being a bad soccer player, Escobar let out a jovial laugh.

"No, no. I'm good," he said. "But I'm baseball. I'm baseball."

Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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