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Report: Juan Carlos Oviedo faces six-week suspension

Mar 31, 2012, 10:01 PM EDT

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Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly known as Leo Nunez) is still in his native Dominican Republic, working to finish the assigned hours of community service that stand between him and a freshly-stamped work visa.

But community service won’t be the end of his punishment for years of committing identify fraud.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Major League Baseball will suspend Oviedo for six weeks once he is cleared to return to the United States. MLB was planning on also suspending him for two weeks of spring camp, but Opening Night is now just days away.

Oviedo, 30, tallied 36 saves in 42 chances last season as the Marlins’ closer. Miami won’t have to pay any part of his $6 million salary for 2012 while he is suspended and/or on the restricted list.

Something to think about: Oviedo turned himself in at the dying request of his father and is still being given a stiff, six-week punishment by the MLB commissioner’s office. What does that mean for a guy like Roberto Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona), who was outed by another person?

  1. beisboljunkie - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Why does MLB levy a suspension for him and not others who were playing under other names and voluntarily came forward & admited to using a false name? Is he singled out because he faced charges in his home country? If the rules state the suspension is justified which it does, then why does it not apply to all?

    • themohel - Mar 31, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      Who are the others?

      • beisboljunkie - Apr 1, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        Just off the top of my head… Jairo Asencio (formerly known as Luis Valdez) came clean when he was with Atlanta very recently, and Santiago Casilla (formerly known as Jairo Garcia) came out about it a few years ago when he was with Oakland. They fixed the situation themselves, in the off-season, missed no time from baseball, no punishment. But the other difference between those two and Oviedo & Hernandez was that they were both upper level prospects at the time still under team control, not signed to post-arbitration contracts, so maybe that is why Oviedo has been Issued the suspension.

    • beisboljunkie - Apr 1, 2012 at 1:53 AM

      Dominican players would never resort to such acts if MLB had not created such an unfair system regarding how they scount talent in these poor & poverty stricken countries.I just find it disturbing that the scouting by MLB teams is what caused the whole situation in the first place, and yet the players are the ones who get punished. It is okay for the league to discriminate (ageism) by creating an unfair scouting system by who they choose to sign and what amount of money they offer to sign the players for. So when a poor but talented player won’t get looked at because he is 18 and not 16, or even if he does get looked at he gets to sign for $20k at 18 compared to $100k @ 16, I don’t blame the player. Players in the rule 4 draft don’t have to lie about their age because they don’t have to resort to such measures because they aren’t eligible to sign @ 16. They know that at age 18 they can & will be scouted. Dominican players don’t have that same opportunity. If the league wants to punish JCO & RHH and make them take some responsibility, they need to do the same. I’m sure that as a young kid Oviedo dreamed of being a big league ball player, but I’m also sure he did not imagine that in order to do it he would have to wear someone else’s name on the back of his jersey. No player dreams about that. He did not set out to defraud anybody. He just wanted a fair opportunity to play. Until the league can straighten out their end about scounting & signing international talent and share the blame for this mess, I think he should get a pass.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:54 AM

        Lying about anything is a personal choice.

        Committing a crime is a personal choice.

        MLB might be not be the best organization around when it comes to stuff like this, but the players lied for their benefit. To get off the island and get the big money.

        Time for them (and you) to stop blaming the system and blame the individual. They knew right from wrong and still did wrong. How is that anyone’s fault but their own?

      • purnellmeagrejr - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:17 AM

        Baseball Idiot – making one size fits all judgments based on minimml or no information is either a choice a a particular turn of character.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:15 AM

      What a crazy world! You’d think people would fantasize about being a MLB player and here you have a guy who has to pretend he’sa something and someone else. Caey Stengel would have been able to describe it. In my opinion, it’s taken people a long time for people to get this plant this screwed up!

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        I suspect that if you grew up in abject poverty your fantasies would be a bit more inclusive of the terms of your escape.

  2. drewsylvania - Mar 31, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    More importantly, why does he get six weeks off for playing under a false name…while DUIs get nothing?

    • themohel - Mar 31, 2012 at 11:39 PM

      Because it is defrauding the team that hires you. An 18 year old with skills would get less than a 15 year old with the same skills. So, it relates to the game itself more that a DUI. That said, I’d have no problem with a suspension for a DUI, too, especially because they can afford a taxi!

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:03 AM


        Absolutely. You can’t compare disgracing the organization you work for, and creating the impression that it’s OK with your employers to go out on the roads and jeopardize other folks’ health and lives, with taking their money and helping draw fans into their stadiums under false pretenses.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:55 AM

      Federal crime vs local crime.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:58 AM

        MLB is going to show the goverment that they take it seriously and are doing something about it. Esepcially since it a foreign relations issue. Federal jurisdiction.

        A ball player getting popped in some town somewhere doesn’t fall under federal jurisdiction.

        Have to keep the big boys in congress happy. Who cares about some local yokel.

      • beisboljunkie - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:32 PM

        I don’t have to stop blaming the system, We are talking about teenagers. Teenagers are making these “personal decisions to commit crimes” as you say. You want to lay the blame on teenagers, and not the system of educated adults who made it all unfair. Because everyone knows teenagers, especially poor ones in foreign countries with corrupt governments who grow up with mediocre education, are to be trusted to make the best and most responsible decisions, because they have the capacity at that age to know what consequences their actions now will have five or ten years down the road, because they know and understand what the entire MLB CBA says, and they have studied the laws of our country already. I guess it is safe to assume you don’t have any teenagers.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        So what you’re saying is that young Dominican’s are too stupid to tell the difference between right and wrong?

        And that lying about your identity to enter another country is not something a teenage Dominican should be familiar with?

        Also, if you choose to respond, please use periods so that you have more than one sentence per paragraph.

      • beisboljunkie - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:28 AM

        No I am not saying dominicans are stupid..But You are right.. Lying is wrong.. I don’t condone it.. I consider myself a very honest person.. But obviously not as much as you are.. I don’t condone identity theft, but I understand why JCO & RHH chose to do what they did.. I don’t approve, but I understand.. I think that their punishment should be counted as time served.. It’s obvious they aren’t going to be returning right away.. Yes, they are responsibile for a decision they made as a youth.. But. The blame shouldn’t be placed on the player alone.. There is enough blame to go around.. It shouldn’t all fall on the player.. These teenagers don’t assume another identity on their own..They have help, from a dishonest adult.. I feel sorry that you feel the need to belittle another person by criticizing their typing skills.. Does that make you feel better by correcting others and telling others what to do? We all can’t be perfect and pristine like you..
        Please tell us how you do it? How do you live such a perfectly honest life-full of perfect punctuation-but free of making mistakes?

    • beisboljunkie - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:44 PM

      Maybe not the players as of yet, but the Mets just suspended their bullpen catcher 7 days without pay a few weeks ago after he got charged, not convicted, just charged with a DUI he got after leaving the scene of his single car accident down in spring training last month.

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 1, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    I do not think of Leo Nunez as a bad person or anyone whos does the same thing he did. All he was trying to do is make him and his familys life better in a country that is supper poor. That being said if they want to stop it from happening they have not made the punishment hard enough. Maybe thats on purpose though. Maybe sometimes Bud looks the other way for a good reason fellas.

    • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      I agree. He turned the tables on an exploitive and unfair system. These paranoid days, entering the country under a fake identity has other serious ramifications that we need to take seriously and need to make clear won’t be tolerated, whether the intent was threatening or not. But as far as screwing over the fatcat galley drummers of MLB, I say more power to him.

    • beisboljunkie - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      “If they want it to stop happening…” They need to change how they scout & sign. Period. There needs to be a FAIR system of rules & procedures for international talent, like there is a system for domestic amateur talent (Rule 4 Draft).

  4. jwbiii - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    He’s missed spring training. He was going to spend four to six weeks in extended spring training anyway. This just means he won’t get paid for it. MLB just saved Jeffrey Loria some money.

  5. spptx - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Mr. Silva — When you compare the Ovedio case to the Roberto Hernandez (“Fausto Carmona”) case you leave out the fact that Ovedio’s brother was arrested last summer trying to get a US visa under the fake Nunez family name…that’s how the US authorities started unraveling the case, and yes, then Ovideo’s ill father advised him that he was going to be caught soon and to turn himself in…

    Also, while Roberto’s case is still pending, he has already been fined $7 million by the Indians — so he needs no further punishment as a $7 million fine is much more severe than the 6 weeks suspension Ovedio will get — let them both in and clean-up the bigger mess in the DR…

  6. astrosfan75956 - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Throw the book at Carmona!

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