Alderson outlines plans for improving MLB's Dominican operation
The Dominican Republic's talent pool of baseball players is as deep as it is polluted. The heartwarming, rags-to-riches narratives of players like
On March 8, baseball commissioner
When he was introduced at the Hilton Santo Domingo on March 11, Alderson outlined his specific plans for reform, his thoughts on an international draft and those who train players for profit. Some of his answers are culled from a Thursday press conference and some questions have been translated from Spanish to English and, in some cases, condensed for clarity.
The second issue that is important on a short term basis is the age and identity issue. To the extent that this kind of problem continues to exist it will cause clubs to reconsider their investment in the Dominican Republic. Now, as I said earlier, it's a complicated problem and in part results from the complicity of some clubs and some of their personnel. It's been demonstrated that that personnel is both Dominican and American but if this problem persists, as I said, it will cause clubs to reconsider their investment in the Dominican Republic. The logical consequence of that is that the clubs will leave or reduce their presence. I don't believe that's in the interest of this country and it certainly it is not consistent with my commitment to preserve the overall positive environment that exists here.
The third element isn't really a problem, it's a goal for baseball to have a more positive reputation [in the Dominican] than it already does. That will result partially from addressing the two problems I've already described and also by being involved in projects that benefit this country and its people.
A: At risk of making the case for blasphemy, in some ways, which are often obscured by other negatives, in some ways, they're a positive force in developing players in the Dominican Republic. [That said] there are many negatives associated with some or all of them... I'm certainly not down here to try to eradicate that group. I'm here to try to figure out a way for baseball to function ethically and fairly for everyone involved in an environment where that's often difficult to do.
A: There is a misconception about the use of fingerprinting. First of all, it's not being utilized currently and whether it will ever be used is under review. If it is used, it will only be used on players as part of a registration process prior to entering a club academy so that they we can make sure those players aren't being taken advantage of by any particular club. . .There's absolutely no intention whatsoever to use fingerprinting for any other purpose including youth baseball.
A: I would say to the extent that it exists in other places, the same approach to the problems will be taken. The reason there is a focus on the Dominican Republic is recognition not just of the problem but of the importance of the Dominican Republic and the disproportionate influence the Dominican Republic has on Major League Baseball. From the standpoint of the country that's a significant fact which the country I know is very proud of. Part of my responsibility is to preserve that and reinforce it.