Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Ballplayer: Pelotero" [A Must Watch]

I had the honor to be invited by El Mundo Newspaper to the world premiere of the film “Ballplayer: Pelotero” this past Wednesday at the Coolidge Corner Movie Theater, which included the presence of Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine.
"It is amazing that an island that is home to around ten million people and is shared with Haiti, has about 20% of its baseball players currently playing in the big leagues," said Bobby Valentine when he presented the film to the audience.
What most struck me about the film "Ballplayer: Pelotero" was how the Dominican youth has become so greedy. Many prospects are willing to lie to their agents, to falsify birth certificates and to take illegal substances not only to fulfill their dreams of reaching the big leagues, but also to sign a contract for an amount too high and unnecessary, honestly. These are guys who have nothing and still reject contracts worth $500,000 simply because they want even more money.
Personally, I remember that when I was a kid, I always played sports just for the fun of it. And this is where the film draws the line that separates the players who really play for the love of the sport and those who do it for the money.
The film is very informative for all types of people. Through the journey of Jean Carlos Batista, I learned that July 2 is the date when sixteen year old Dominican players can sign their multimillion dollar contracts with the MLB teams. Curiously, this is something that Jean Carlos heard for the first time when he was ten years old, but I had no idea about until the day I saw the movie.
From the unfortunate experience lived by Miguel Ángel Sanó, who at the time was Dominican Republic’s number one prospect, I realized how important it is to have family support and an experienced agent who knows all the rules of law and acts in the absolute benefit of his/her client when it is time to sign a professional contract. Because, unfortunately, there are people like Rene Gayo, who use all their influences and dirty tricks of the business to fool people and acquire the services of the most valuable prospects.
I also found very interesting the active investigation performed by the MLB with many of these prospects, as the league is aware that the vast majority of them are put under a lot of pressure, since they have to make important decisions about their futures in order to make their dreams come true and to provide a better life for their families.
Without a doubt, the film "Ballplayer: Pelotero" is extremely informative and revealing, and I highly recommend it.

- Y gracias por no fumar!

Poster of the movie "Ballplayer: Pelotero".
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