Feb 10, 2010, 10:58 AM EST
The New York Times reports that Major League Baseball is looking to get proactive in an effort to combat OhMyGodHesReally25 disease:
Major League Baseball is studying a series of initiatives, including
the fingerprinting of youths under the age of 16, as it attempts to
gain control of the age and identity problems it has encountered in
signing players in the Dominican Republic according to several people with knowledge of the situation.
Those same people said Major League Baseball also planned to establish
its own youth baseball leagues in the Dominican Republic to serve as an
alternative to the current unregulated system for young players that is
dominated by talent-finders known as buscones.
The fingerprinting seems . . . odd. I mean, what good are fingerprints if you don’t have something to check them against? The article says that baseball is “reviewing whether the fingerprinting of players, perhaps as young as 11 or 12, would be legal,” but it’s not like people down there haven’t been passing off teenagers as 12 year-olds for years. The only way you could really have confidence in a fingerprinting program is if you had prints of every boy under the age of, hell, ten years old. And once you start doing that, the whole international scouting business starts looking more like factory farming than it does talent development.
Color me similarly dubious about the MLB-run little leagues. Yes, I’ll grant that the problem of buscones may very well be legitimate, but I can’t help but think that there’s an ulterior motive at work here: bolstering baseball’s plan to impose an international draft. If such a thing comes to pass, there’s little incentive for individual teams to set up and operate training academies like they do now, and there will be a need for some other reliable talent-identification system like, say, an organized league.
This doesn’t make it a bad idea, but it does make the claim that the leagues’ purpose would be to protect the kids from buscone-exploitation something less than the full story.
- Mets sign 40-year-old Bartolo Colon for two years, $20 million 13
- MLB rules committee decides to eliminate collisions at home plate 17
- Mariners sign Corey Hart to incentive-laden deal 27
- David Price would not consider an extension with the Mariners if he’s traded there 33
- Media paying for athlete interviews? Not likely. But watch this stuff closely anyway. 20
- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners (260)
- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- Report: Yankees have agreed to a three-year deal with Carlos Beltran (125)
- Brett Gardner is drawing “significant” trade interest (113)
- Managers, GMs to meet today to discuss the abolition of home plate collisions (113)