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“I feel like we’re being invaded, like it’s 1965 all over again”

Feb 2, 2012, 5:24 PM EST

dominican republic flag-thumb-175x116-6120

Those are the words of Astin Jacobo, a buscon from the Dominican Republic. He, and many like him, are not at all pleased about what appears to be inevitable: Major League Baseball expanding the draft to the D.R..

Or maybe it is, um, evitable. As this story from The Economist suggests, there are some who are thinking about their options if MLB decides to go that route:

Many buscones talk of a strike. But they have not formed a union. Even if they do, they could not stop their players from opting to sign with MLB teams.

That leaves the government. Felipe Payano, the sports minister, has already written a letter to Bud Selig, MLB’s commissioner, expressing his opposition to a draft. He says his office is investigating whether it might violate the DR’s free-trade agreement with America. Another option would be to sue MLB for collusion under Dominican antitrust law.

Sounds like a pipe dream, but it does suggest the general dissatisfaction of many at how Major League Baseball seems intent on taking away the right of Dominican players to sell their services to the highest bidder.  Or, as Jacobo puts it in greater detail:

“I feel like we’re being invaded, like it’s 1965 all over again. We’re only number one in one thing, and that’s baseball. We can’t give that away.”

They won’t necessarily be giving it all away.  But they’ll definitely be selling it a much lower price if the draft comes.

  1. pitolove124 - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    The Draft killed Puerto Rican baseball. It’ll do the same in DR.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Great day here at HBT. We;ve come full cycle from TMZ-style reporting on Brian (leave him alone!) Cashman to socio-economic Western Hemisphere politics reported in The Economist. And Newt and Bobby, as well. Maybe a New Yorker short story tomorrow to be totally cosmopolitan.

  3. El Bravo - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Wow, my two favorite reading spots on the web in one place! I missed that article so thanks for linking. How to fix the problem with this process? I have no f’ing clue…

  4. Travis Reitsma - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Gotta keep those rich, yacht-ownin’, Chardonnay-sippin’, Mac buyin’ Dominican kids in check!

  5. paul621 - Feb 2, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    What the hell’s a buscon?

  6. mycrackie - Feb 2, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    They’ll leave when they see some real cash.

  7. papichulo55 - Feb 2, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    buscar(v, to find, to search)

    Baseball Pimping is a respectable job in the DR. Local ex-players, many having experience with American MLB, majors and minors. Profiteering at all levels. Selling gloves, cleats, PEDs.. Will buy Mami a cold beer, Una Fria, if she is cute!.. jajaja

  8. rambodiaz - Feb 2, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    “I feel like we’re being invaded, like it’s 1965 all over again.”

    Me too. I just listened to Rubber Soul.

  9. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    The draft wont be what ruined baseball in the Dominican republic. What will have ruined it for them will be all the players using someone elses name and age. That’s their own fault.

  10. papichulo55 - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    IMHO, MLB interaction will be a godsend. PED use is rampant. I witnessed a young mothersOwn a home in San Pedro De Macoris. Home to many baseball players, Google it.

    IMHO, direct contact by MLB will be a godsend. PED use is rampant! I witnessed a young mothers promise that she would personally administer a needle to her sons ass if it would help getting signed! Long term effects of PED use is small compared to being poor in the DR.

    Increased MLB presence would, IMHO, improve Dominican baseball players chances of succeeding in the US. Inform the families as early as possible of the rules. Otherwise, the by-any-means-necessary attitude will continue to prevail. Long term effects of PED use is small compared to being poor in the DR.

    Increased MLB presence would, IMHO, improve Dominican baseball players chances of succeeding in the US. Inform the families as early as possible of the rules. Otherwise, the by-any-means-necessary attitude will continue to prevail.

  11. papichulo55 - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    sorry for the cut and paste problems!

  12. gabrielthursday - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Another option would be to sue MLB for collusion under Dominican antitrust law.

    This seems to me the most plausible option for preventing the draft going international. MLB has an anti-trust exemption in the US, but there’s no reason for the DR or Venezuela to extend the same courtesy when it negatively impacts their citizens. Anti-collusion principles could also form the foundation for legislation- the government could pursue litigation concurrently as they by statute prevent teams signing Dominican players through the draft.

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