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More Dominican Age Irregularities

If there was any question over whether the Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal would have a trickle down effect in baseball, we can now officially consider those moot.

According to this report from the Associated Press, Major League Baseball is investigating the reported ages of 42 different prospects from the Dominican Republic (42!). Each case originated out of the United States consulate in the Dominican, and the investigations began just a week ago.

The investigation was announced by Lou Melendez, baseball's vice president of international affairs and the general manager of team Puerto Rico in the ongoing World Baseball Classic.

Yes, you read the preceding two paragraphs correctly. In just a week, MLB found 42 suspicious age cases among a crop of potential "irregularities" that were brought to their attention. Just think what they might find if they investigated all the prospects signed from the D.R.

We all know how and why these age "discrepancies" happen; Barry explained that in rather vivid detail a few days ago right here. And let's all be honest: If we grew up pitching into a chain link fence next to our next meal, we probably wouldn't feel too bad for lying about our age, either.

Clearly, scandals about age and bonus payments among Latin players are the new/old steroids, and it's hard to avoid the feeling that the ongoing investigation -- and the likely ones that will follow -- will show that deception in the Dominican Republic has a much longer legacy than most realized. Now the question is just how deeply the damage will cut.

By Cameron Smith  |  March 12, 2009; 9:11 AM ET
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No, most realized that decpetion from the DR has been going on for many many years. Guys have been lying to be younger, lying to be older, for decades. Schemes have been elaborate as can be. This is not some revelation.

And there is no damage really. MLB has been suspicious about age claims from the DR forever, so the system incorporates that suspicion in the economics. Any team that plucks a DR youth prospect is taking some risk, they know that. This is just not that big of a deal. The DR has crazy problems, among the largest of them is not that it may be easy for a kid to unlawfully fake his age to fool rich MLB clubs into signing him.

Posted by: dfh123 | March 13, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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