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MLB officially suspends Juan Carlos Oviedo for eight weeks

May 28, 2012, 3:44 PM EDT

Leo Nunez - Juan Carlos Oviedo AP

Juan Carlos Oviedo finally arrived in the United States today after receiving a travel visa, but it will be a while before he’s pitching for the Marlins again.

Major League Baseball announced this afternoon that Oviedo has been suspended eight weeks for engaging in age and identity fraud. Ovideo, formerly known as Leo Nunez, has been working through legal issues in his Dominican Republic after admitting to falsifying his identity last September. The suspension takes effect immediately and he’ll be eligible to rejoin the Marlins on July 23 against the Braves.

Oviedo saved 92 games for the Marlins from 2009-2011 while posting a 3.86 ERA and solid secondary numbers, but the team signed Heath Bell to a three-year, $32 million contract during the offseason to take over as closer. While that contract hasn’t worked out so well thus far, Bell will likely be given every opportunity to keep his job.

  1. Old Gator - May 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I have been trying to figure out the logic of this suspension. Deterrent? Well, what’s the likelihood of Oviedo faking his name and age again anyway? Punishment? For what – circumventing an inherently unfair and abusive practice by agents and major league teams for signing, in effect, children who don’t generally know any better? Eight weeks? Effectively, the same fifty games a guy would get for squirting himself up? When he’s already missed most of a season already due to the criminal penalties involved?

    It’s bullshit.

    • jimmymarlinsfan - May 28, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Totally agreed…at least Heath Bell pitched well today to nail down the save

    • 5thbase - May 29, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      If my employer found out I had intentionally lied to them about the very nature of who I was, I would not get any kind of suspension. I would be fired outright.

      Not sure why modern people are so outraged by consequence. Or are we just so arrogant that we think these non-white “children” don’t know right from wrong? If he doesn’t know first grade level morality better than that he probably should not be able to get a visa and he definitely should not get the privilege of playing baseball here. Obviously he knew it was wrong all along, he got busted, now he’s paying the price and word will get out in the DR.

  2. randygnyc - May 28, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Deterrent. MLB is afraid this fraud is going to become even more prevalent in the future. Excessive punishment may make people think otherwise.

    • The Baseball Idiot - May 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      What he did was a federal violation, not a baseball one. The Department of Justice chose not to punish him at all. Why does Bud feel the need to be Judge Roy Bean?

      • Old Gator - May 28, 2012 at 6:44 PM

        Because Bud feels the need to be Judge Roy Bean – who, unlike Bud, was not a complete asshole.

    • Old Gator - May 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      Randy: I doubt it. An impoverished Dominican kid will gladly risk putting a few million in his pocket before getting nailed, if he ever does. You’ve had two “unmaskings,” one – Oviedo’s – effectively voluntary – out of Buddha knows how many that got away with it.

      The best way to put a stop to this behavior is to put a stop to the officially sanctioned exploitation of underage ballplayers by MLB.

  3. randygnyc - May 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Gator- I didn’t say I agree with bud, just what his likely impetus is here.

    • Old Gator - May 28, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      Sorry about that, Randy. The way you phrased the final sentence of your initial response – ie, as opposed to writing, say, “Bud probably thinks excessive punishment” etc. – looked to me like you were expressing your own point of view.

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