Thursday, January 06, 2011
Profiting From Dominican Baseball Academies
By Jess Estremera
Video by Mathew Orr and Michael Schmidt of The NY Times
“Are we there to make a profit? Absolutely”
More and more American “businessman” are financing baseball academies in the Dominican Republic. Dominican trainers, who are trying to sell baseball players to MLB teams, are wired money each month to cover operating costs for these academies. In return, the “businessman” receive huge percentages of players signing bonuses. These percentages are typically much higher than what agents receive from players in the US.
While the investors state in the video that they are trying to raise the standards of the academies and improve the conditions in which these kids (12-16 years old) live under, most academies do not have air conditioning, are over crowded and surrounded by barbed wire fences.
New Mets GM, Sandy Alderson was assigned by Commissioner Selig to revamp MLB operations in the Dominican Republic in early 2010. Alderson says there is a “tremendous amount of misses” with these types of academies-which are not regulated by MLB or the Dominican government.
Alarmingly, these young prospects receive no education besides English baseball lingo. One “businessman” does want to encompass education into his academy stating that “We do want to have education…hygiene, protecting yourself from stuff”
Stuff????? Such as…
...American vultures that already made claim to a hefty portion of players paychecks IF they actually make it to the Majors?…and if they don’t make it?
Failure or life after baseball is never discussed. Nor is money management, mathematical percentages or contract law.