Dominican baseball “a wasteland of crime and drugs,” Yahoo reports
Major League Baseball on Thursday called “a wasteland of crime and drugs” the country’s pastime and one of the main sources of hard currency, in a report published by news source


“Baseball in the Dominican Republic is a wasteland of crime and drugs. Big money turned one of the game’s richest and proudest cultures into a festering pond of sleaze,” it said, quoting Sandy Alderson, an MLB executive who came to the country two weeks ago to delve into rampant irregularities in the signing of prospects.

“For years, hustlers and pimps have taken advantage of impoverished and undereducated children while Major League Baseball allowed the entire racket to continue. Corruption metastasized. No one tried to stop it,” the news source reports.

It reports that Alderson, whose often heated meeting in the country made headlines, met with a group of Dominican “baseball powerbrokers” Early Thursday morning at the office of the nation’s Sports minister Jay Payano, to deliver a straightforward message, “and it was going to scare the living hell out of them: He is ready to fix Dominican baseball, and he hopes everyone else is, too, because it’s happening.”

“When Alderson accepted an offer to become commissioner Bud Selig’s new point man on the island nation of 10 million that has grown into the largest supplier of MLB talent outside the United States, he did not realize the depth of the problems. “Identity fraud is rampant,” reports, adding that “teenagers are injected with steroids meant for horses.”

The FBI investigated claims of team employees skimming money from signing bonuses paid to 16-year-olds. Hundreds of kids sign contracts every year, and each is prey for a Dominican baseball behemoth built on lies.

The report taints the consecutive tenures of the country’s former Baseball Commissioner Leonardo Matos Berrido, often criticized for lack of action against the rampant abuses Alderson was charged with fixing.

“Alderson met with scouts, Dominican officials and buscones – the Latin American talent brokers – for three hours Thursday. Prior to the meeting, the figure Alderson cut – a veritable Bill Hickok to this Wild, Wild Caribbean – worried some in the room who believed he would mess with their money,” it said.

It notes that while others feared the repercussions of the international draft Selig said he wants to implement. “Everyone was curious how someone with Alderson’s background – Marine in Vietnam, Harvard Law, Oakland Athletics general manager, MLB vice president, San Diego Padres president – could come into such an unwieldy mess and possibly remedy it.”

“The system as it currently exists can’t continue,” was his stock answer about Dominican baseball’s current state of affairs, but it “isn’t so much an answer but a statement of fact: And whether his mission succeeds or fails, Alderson will make sure of one thing: Very soon, Dominican baseball will look nothing like it does today.”

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Go back | Date: 26 Apr 2010
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