Comments on: All-Dominican Team This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Arturo Ruiz Fri, 06 May 2011 00:25:27 +0000 @20

That would be the coup de grâce for an already crippled Dominican Winter League, by all the restrictions put in place by MLB.

The DWL cultivated a lot of talented players, where they would be showcased and then signed by MLB clubs. Now it's the other way around, where a player first needs to be signed by an MLB team and be in there system before entering the DWL draft.

I'm not sure how including a spot for DR players in the MLB draft would help a league strugling to keep up with MLB demands.

By: NoChanceforPettitte Thu, 05 May 2011 00:48:37 +0000 @52
I know... was a bad joke... ill timed and ill-er conceived.

By: Andrew Thu, 05 May 2011 00:39:10 +0000 @37

Off-topic, but Obama didn't grow up in Kenya. He grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia and went to Kenya for the first time at the age of 26.

By: TheGoof Wed, 04 May 2011 00:27:07 +0000 Best outfield: the three guys of Donora, Pa. DR's not even close.

By: Alberto Tue, 03 May 2011 02:03:06 +0000 @45 Rafafel Palmeiro is not Puerto Rican, he is Cuban.

By: John Autin Mon, 02 May 2011 18:05:27 +0000 NoChance, this is what I still don't understand in your statements:

You continue to cite, over and over again, corruption among D.R. scouts / agents / academies.

Nobody is denying the existence of said corruption.

What you have yet to do is to explain what how that corruption is relevant
to the question of which country has a better claim to "producing" Manny Ramirez.

I'm not asking whether Manny would have been more in danger of exploitation had he stayed in the D.R. I'm not asking whether he might have committed some kind of immigration violation, date-of-birth subterfuge, or other illegal act if he had stayed in the D.R. I'm not asking if he would have missed out on schooling if he had stayed in the D.R. (and by the way, he left George Washington High without graduating).

What I'm asking is: If he had stayed in the D.R., would he still have developed into a talented hitter who signed with a MLB team? Would his MLB career arc have been significantly different?

These are questions that I see as relevant to the question of which country "produced" Manny Ramirez.

By: NoChanceforPettitte Mon, 02 May 2011 14:19:03 +0000 @45 comes up with an intelligent classification system which I agree with more or less.

It's simple: Manny Ramirez did not come through the DR system. He came through the US system, which inclusive of PR and Canada, has strict rules regarding amateur athletes.

Though one could argue that the US amateur system is flawed and rife with corruption (see Newton, Cam); it is inarguably less corrupt than that of Central and South American 'baseball academies'.

Baseball is a way of life in the DR partly because it is a 'way out'. Because it is a 'way out', players in the DR are subject to, and victims of, extreme exploitation. That exploitation would exist here however is reduced significantly due to in place collective bargaining agreements (which include the amateur draft).

Players are squirreled away in 'training academies' as young as 12-13 with no protection; players 'sign' with 'scouts' who's primary responsibility is to keep talent flowing to the MLB. Their responsibility is not to the player, but to maximize returns.

Players are subject to, and victims of, significant amounts of fraud and exploitation primarily because 'baseball is a way out.' Steps have been taken to ensure violations are reduced, but these steps were introduced over the past few years only.

You can ascribe to the pollyanna view that baseball is clean and pure and that boys in the Dominican Republic play for the love of the game and recreation. You can similarly say that reason lottery tickets sell better in lower income areas is because people in lower income brackets love games of chance more than those in higher income areas. Honestly, though, if you think this, you're delusional.

Manny Ramirez, Carlos Pena, Albert Pujols, et al. were not subject to, or products of, the DR system (which MLB essentially dictates). They were born there, may have first fallen in love or lust with baseball there, but were not products of its system. They were products of the US system.

By: John Autin Mon, 02 May 2011 03:52:50 +0000 Here's my argument that, by any reasonable understanding of the term "product," Manny Ramirez is a product of the Dominican Republic.

(1) Manny was born in the Dominican Republic and lived there until the age of 12 or 13.

(2) Baseball is extremely popular in the D.R., and playing baseball is a primary recreation activity of most Dominican boys.

(3) Thus, it is very likely that Manny played a lot of baseball before he moved to the U.S. -- more than most American boys who wind up in MLB.

(4) Playing a lot of baseball as a child greatly improves one's chances of becoming a MLB player.

(5) It is likely that Manny Ramirez's ambition to become a MLB player was formed while he still lived in the D.R., and this ambition shaped his behavior after he came to the U.S.

(6) The great majority of Dominicans who make it to the major leagues have never lived outside the D.R. before signing a pro contract.

(7) Although Manny played in a good baseball program in the U.S., it is likely that, even if he had stayed in the D.R., a player of his talent up to age 12 would have continued to develop that talent through his teens, and likely would have been discovered and signed by a MLB team

(8) If Manny had been born in the U.S., his odds of becoming a MLB player would have been lower. In terms of becoming a MLB player, the sum of the advantages he gained by living in the D.R. for his first 12 years outweighs the advantages he gained by living in the U.S. afterward.

By: John Autin Mon, 02 May 2011 03:11:42 +0000 NoChance, if you weren't so quick to sarcasm, you might have a better chance to understand what I said -- or at least not to misrepresent it in paraphrase.

Your opening line makes no sense; it certainly isn't a logical reply to anything that I said. As for the rest of your argument, I don't get it, and I'll leave it at that.

By: DoubleDiamond Mon, 02 May 2011 01:53:00 +0000 Over the years, I've tended to place foreign-born players into three categories:

1. Players who were born to American parents (or one American parent and one non-American parent, such as Danny Graves) while they (the parents) were living outside the U.S. but did most of their growing up in the U.S. or on U.S. military bases overseas. Other examples include Steve Jeltz and Dave Roberts (the one who was with the Red Sox in 2004).

2. Players who were born outside the U.S. to non-American parents who were brought to the a child and signed their first professional contract while living in the U.S. There were a number of such players in the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century who were born in Europe. Examples include Bobby Thomson, Moe Drabowsky, Bert Blyleven, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, and Jose Canseco (and his twin brother Ozzie).

3. Players who were born outside the U.S. who did all of their growing up outside the U.S. and either signed their first professional contract or were recruited to play in a U.S.-based college baseball program while living outside the U.S. or after defecting to the U.S.

There are a few complicating factors, such as how do I classify Canadians, Puerto Ricans, and players from other U.S. territories?

Where would Reno Bertoia have been placed? He was born in Italy and brought to Canada as a young child. I would tend to put him into category #2.

What about Rafael Palmeiro, a Puerto Rican who came to the U.S. to play college baseball? I would tend to put him into category #3.

Now that foreign adoptions are fairly common, in which category would a child born overseas but adopted at a very young age by an American couple fit? I would tend to put him into category #1 because of the American parents aspect. I don't know of any major leaguers who were adopted in such circumstances. (Jim Bouton adopted a son from Korea. Based on what I read about him in "Ball Four" and/or a subsequent book, possibly including his ex-wife's "tell all" book written with pitcher Mike Marshall's ex-wife, this son was more interested in playing hockey than baseball.)