Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Dark Clouds Ahead in the Dominican Republic

I am not going to write about the World Series or anything else about baseball except about something that is very important for baseball It is
taking place in the Caribbean these days. It is sort of scary “like the bird flu”but has no vaccine and
only education and enforcement can solve the problem. Baseball better stop being reactive and
become proactive at this or they will pay the
consecuences,big time.

There is a huge problem that is affecting the game of baseball as we speak in the Dominican Republic, it is a “little dirty secret”but it is becoming a
big dirty secret. The infamous “buscones”
The word “buscones”is Spanish for “looking for.”
But these are not regular scouts.
Buscar in Spanish means “look”.Buscones
it the word for those who “look”.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezBecause of the current laws in baseball, players
from Japan or Korea or other countries cannot be signed freely by Major League Baseball scouts.
The talent pool in Latinamerica is growing faster and faster and a game that today is aproximately
30% Hispanic could be close to 50% within 20 years,maybe less. Currently in the minor leagues
over 40% of all players are Hispanics.

Look in the near future for more Hispanic General Managers, at this time only Omar Minaya General
Manager of the New York Mets, born in Dominican Republic is the only one in that position. But as more Hispanics players make their way to the majors, it is inevitable that more Hispanics would be General Managers.
We just had a field manager Ozzie Guillén winning a World Series, the first Hispanic manager to do so. But soon to come will be Hispanics in “decision making positions”and GM is exactly that.

There are some Hispanics in the majors that are
definetely qualify to become General Managers among those, two that come to mind are Octavio Cookie Rojas and Tany Pérez.

But back to the problem in the Dominican.
In the Dominican Republic there is something going on that affects the future of players that could be playing in the Major Leagues in the near future,..

These”buscones”cannot negotiate contracts with Major League teams but they identify 14 or 15 year olds, train them and then sell them to the teams.
They(the buscones)get a fee which they charge
to the team but they also receive a percentage of the signing bonus the players receive. Sometimes these buscones get all that bonus and the kids just see a small percentage, which for them, many never had jobs, must look huge, but it is not.
It is a simple case of exploitation of man to man.
Almost like slavery.

This works well for the team because they sign these players for a very small amount of money,
these buscones get steroids and provide it to these kids so that they develop faster and therefore can reach the big leagues much earlier than it would be expected. I am all for Free Enterprise but this is

In the Dominican Republic(as well as in other Latinamerican countries)steroids are easy to find.
The Dominican Republic, second to no other country currently as far as talent coming into the
majors(Venezuela getting closer) these buscones get steroids and medications designed for horses, not humans.

But here is the scary part; they do not know how to control the dosage and many times they take more that they should, some youngsters have died and
others have developed serious illness.

So where do we go from here ? At the present time, everybody seems to be ‘looking the other way’in a world that we live in where nobody anymore seems to be responsible for much, this
is developing as a huge headache like a really bad Migrane for baseball.

Because Major League Baseball has no jurisdiction in the Dominican Republic and because the pressure to get more good players for less money
dictates much of the market in Latinamerica the
teams here in the United States are really at the
mercy of thse buscones in the Dominican Republic.

But like that old filter commercial on television used to say: “you can pay me now…or pay me later”. In other words, a young kid that buscones
are grooming for sale to a Major League team
could be signed very cheap, but in the long run it will cost not only more money, but many more setbacks and even scandals as some of these kids could grow up with a steroid addiction hard to

We must hope that baseball shows some leadership
and that teams here in the United States have not only the vision of the future but also can deal with what the future could bring. The potential here is
really scary.

Buscones, yes, it is like “the bird flu”for baseball.


1 Anonymous { 11.07.05 at 1:02 am }


your article is enlightening, I knew nothing about this —my suggestion—any individual associated with sending a drugged player into the league is black listed, and all signing bonuses go into escrow accounts before recorded payments are made to buscones

a system like this exists in Canada with the development of young hockey players

the leadership from this has to come from the big DR stars currently playing in the US — they can be accessed here to do what is right in DR

Amaury –what do you think about the baseball academy idea used in the past by teams like LA and KC — kids qualify for the academy but their progress to age 17 is monitored by the academy

2 Anonymous { 11.07.05 at 10:47 am }

Baseball academy:
This is good for kids, if it is run and supervised
by Major League teams.


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