Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Dave Zirin's latest on major-league baseball's recalcitrance at setting up what amounts to a transfer agreement with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is worth reading just for this stunner:

"Lou Meléndez, MLB's vice president for international operations, was more than miffed to receive documents that called for instituting employee and player protections and requiring teams to pay out 10 per cent of players’ signing bonuses to the government. Chávez wants to tax MLB for what they take from the country.

" 'We don’t pay federations money for signing players anywhere in the world, and we don't expect to do so. It’s certainly not a way to conduct business,' huffed Meléndez."

Go tell that to the NHL, the English Premiership and every other major domestic soccer league in the world, Lou. Try not to act too hurt if their smiles seem a little condescending.

Yes, to us North Americans, Chávez pretty much is a crazy leftie. He's got a point on this matter.

Can't Knock the Hassle: Chávez Challenges Baseball (Dave Zirin, The Edge of Sports)


Anonymous said...

No, he doesn't. Since when do countries own people?

sager said...

They don't, but their national baseball federation has the right to expect a transfer since that's done in TWO OTHER MAJOR SPORTS.

Anonymous said...

So because there's bad, archaic policy in other sports, it should be extended to baseball? If Venezuela wants to keep their best baseball players, develop a league that can compete with MLB. The first step might be to stop selling gas to their citizens at a nickel a gallon and to get rid of the Marxist at the top who is pissing away the economic resources just as quickly as he can.

sager said...


Here's a question... why is it that the Red Sox had to pay a $51.3-million just to negotiate with Dice-K, while they could sign a Venuzuelan youngster — the next Johan — for pennies on the dollar?

And besides, that "crazy Marxist" is well within his rights to bring his politics into it when he's dealing with a country whose elected officials seem to think whether or not Roger Clemens used steroids is as important as people without health care.

Bottom line, when someone is making money off the talents of others, you have a right to some basic employee protections, especially in a field as competitive as playing baseball. I don't care for Chávez's politics, but he's fighting for the 99% of guys who get signed and don't make it to the majors.