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Fausto Carmona and Leo Nunez might be pardoned for falsifying their identities

Feb 1, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

Fausto Carmona, Roberto Hernandez Heredia

Good news for the men formerly known as Fausto Carmona and Leo Nunez, as Dominican Today reports that “the U.S. State Department could pardon the Dominican baseball players caught with a false identity.”

That apparently comes from some remarks consul general William Weissman made during an event yesterday, although he declined to address any specific cases and also noted that players turning themselves in should result in much different treatment.

Carmona (now Roberto Hernandez Heredia) and Nunez (now Juan Carlos Oviedo) did not turn themselves in and are currently having difficulty securing visas, putting their status for spring training and perhaps even Opening Day in question.

Dominican Today reports that the country’s sports minister, Felipe Payano, asked United States officials to pardon the players, saying: “For those baseball players who are in difficult situations, we ask that you consider what they represent for the Dominican Republic and their families.”

  1. Jonny 5 - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    If these guys can do this to get a visa, so can our enemies. I don’t think US officials will take this as lightly as the players and teams hope.

    • Old Gator - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      Our enemies, the really dangerous ones, are lot more sophisticated about this sort of thing. Viewing these guys within the same overall framework of deception is like comparing apples and carborundum ball bearings. These were just a couple of kids looking too hard to make good.

      And anyway, when was the last time you saw a relief pitcher call time out, unfurl a prayer rug, and prostrate himself towards Mecca twice a game?

    • akismet-7f480b8ccf6964a3aee368cd147ea89a - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:01 AM

      I’ve wanted to comment on a lot of topics over the last several months, however, I didn’t want to waste the time trying to recover a password and/or creating new login. While many times I found myself clicking the button to try and reply, I quickly decided that it wasn’t important enough for me to spend the approx 10 mins to attempt a login in order to comment on an article or another user comment. However, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, and I did indeed was countless minutes recovering a username and password so that I could log in just to comment on your comment….and tell you…. that you are a complete moron, that is all.

      • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:52 AM

        You took how long to figure out how to log in here?

        What a moron.

      • akismet-7f480b8ccf6964a3aee368cd147ea89a - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        Had to find out username, receive email links, change a couple passwords. Then post. Time does move forward when performing actions, I’m sure you must be aware of this. The whole idea that our borders are somehow less safe from our ‘enemies’ because of a few Dominican kids/young adults swapping identities to play baseball and/ or receive more pay seems a little silly to me. Plus I was drunk.

      • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        That’s was Suttree‘s excuse. Okay, you’re forgiven for taking so long. I have a teaspoon of cough syrup and I can’t find my way to the commode in the morning so I can afford to be forgiving.

        However, You can’t call my friends “morons” for the sin of mere hyperbole and get away with it.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I understand that the DR has few ways to get out of poverty, but these men must be held accountable for identity theft and plagarism, and for deceiving their teams and fanbases altogether. Pardoning them sets the tone for future players to do the same thing and not have to pay any penalty.

    These are serious crimes, it’s illegal, and we as fans deserve to know who the hell our actual players are as well.

    • Old Gator - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      It wasn’t identity theft. It was identity swap and/or purchase. As far as plagiarism is concerned, I refer you to the great Tom Lehrer’s song “Lobachevsky:”

      • Old Gator - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        Edit function!
        Edit function!

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        It’s identity theft if he signed ‘Fausto Carmona’ on anything. I’m sure he didn’t sign ‘Roberto Hernandez Heredia’ on those nice contracts and checks of his.

    • akismet-7f480b8ccf6964a3aee368cd147ea89a - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:03 AM


      • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:53 AM

        Quite a vocabulary you’ve got there.

      • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM

        PS – you definitely can’t call Tom Lehrer a moron here. Pick some other genius to call a moron. Stephen Hawkings? Go for it!

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Funny thing is the teams don’t really care what their real names are if they perform on the field. The only time the teams care is when the players sucks and they can use it as a reason to void the contract. Bottom line is while I don’t consider these guys to be terrible people if officials are looking to stop this from continuing to happen pardoning them isn’t going to help.

  4. trevorb06 - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Frankly, I think players who do this need to be banned from baseball. If they’re going to ban Pete Rose for betting on baseball, why should this be any different? The Indians probably wouldn’t have given Carmona all those years or all those millions on a contract had they known his real age. IMO this harms the integrity of baseball a lot more than betting on it. If they let these guys off easy it’s going to tell other DR players that it’s okay to do this and if you get caught, well it’s not that big of a deal. That isn’t right. Tougher standards on this crap, now.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Frankly, I think players who do this need to be banned from baseball. If they’re going to ban Pete Rose for betting on baseball, why should this be any different?

      Come on, is this ridiculous hyperbole day? The Indians probably have a case to void the contract, and possibly get money back. What Carmona and others did was wrong, but was it really as bad as a guy who blatantly ignored the one major rule of MLB, lied about it for years, and only came clear after writing a book about how he broke the rules?

      • Francisco (FC) - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        I honestly think that if Pete had immediately come out clean from the get go, sincerely chastened and admitted to a gambling addiction problem, he may have been handed a lighter suspension and given an opportunity to redeem himself through future coaching/managerial opportunities. Alas, he is not that kind of man.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Possibly, I do know it would be a lot easier to take him at his word that he only bet on the team to win. How people possibly believe he could be telling the truth after all these lies is beyond me.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      Trevor, the game of baseball’s integrity isn’t challeneged in these situations. The players from the DR and some organizations operational practices are though. The fact is whether his name is Leo Nunez or Juan Carlos Oviedo his results on the field aren’t in question.

    • paperlions - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      Can we ban owners that use deceptive practices? If so, I guess we need 30 new ones….good luck finding 30 people with enough money to operate a MLB franchise that haven’t done things 100 times worse than what these guys did.

    • akismet-7f480b8ccf6964a3aee368cd147ea89a - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:03 AM

      Moron also.

      • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:55 AM

        Ah! You do know another word! Bravo!

  5. The Baseball Idiot - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    The State Department can’t pardon anyone. Not within their jurisdiction. The United States can’t pardon them either, as they haven’t been convicted of any crimes inside the United States.

    While it’s a crime to use false identiy for purposes of entering the US, they haven’t been arrested or charged in the United States.

    The State Department or Justice Department first has to press charges (if they so choose, and there would have to be a hearing or a trial). If they are convicted in the US, théy’ll won’t get a visa for at least 10 years.

    I know a South African who had a legal visa, but overstayed his visit by 2 years. He was deported and told to never come back.

    Should be an interesting decision.

  6. El Bravo - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Call yourself what you want. Age yourself however you want. Don’t worry, if you get caught, you’ll just be pardoned. My oh my what a precedent this will set…

    • akismet-7f480b8ccf6964a3aee368cd147ea89a - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:05 AM

      Half moron cause you can’t even complete a whole moronic thought.

      • Old Gator - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:58 AM

        You’ve added so much to this discussion, and contributed so richly to the cause of understanding and intercultural communication. Please don’t be a stranger in the future.

  7. Barb Caffrey - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I think the US State Department should give these men new visas and let it alone. It’s obvious why these guys did this — to put their age _down_ (I’d do the same thing in their place) and get their chance to play major league ball.

    What MLB really should do is stop making knee-jerk decisions about when it’s supposedly “too old” to find a prospect or player. My favorite player, Vinny Rottino, is still trying to break into the majors (he’s had three or four “cups of coffee”) and he’ll be 32 at the start of this year — he’s a utility player and catcher with good speed; a contact hitter with gap power but _no_ HR hitter. I think it’s about time that MLB started giving people a break and taking people case-by-case — it’s obvious in a guy like Rottino’s case, where he’s in great physical condition, that he’s done everything _he_ can do.

    So stop with the age-related bias already, MLB. Because if you did, you’d see far less of this sort of thing as players might believe they’d be given a fair chance regardless of their chronological age.

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