Marriage Penalty: Visa Woes Plague Dominican (Kline & Manuel, Baseball America)
As a Dominican-American, it hurts to see a story like this. Ten guys (and possibly 20 more) who've worked so hard to make it to the minor leagues in the U.S.-we don't know the names of the players, so we can't yet comment on how close or far these guys were to making it to the Show--blew it in the worst way possible.
They gave up their dreams for a reported $5,000, to engage in an immigration scam. The scam? They use their U.S. work visas (sponsored by the Major League ballclubs) to bring fraudulent spouses into the country. The criminal masterminds behind this scam didn't figure anyone would suspect anything if a bunch of players all applied for their visas at the same time, claiming brand-new spouses married in the same time frame.
Yeah, that doesn't look suspicious at all.
It's doubtful that the guys who thought up this scam will face anything close to the punishment that the players have--they're basically banned from ever travelling to the U.S. again. Career over, in U.S. baseball, at least.
Stupid Part II: Yeah, Call the Yankees Satan and then Wonder Why You Get Hate Mail...
Excerpt from The Devil Wears Pinstripes by Jim Caple (ESPN.com)
In the latest attempt to cash in on the Red Sox/Yankees phenomenon, ESPN.com's Jim Caple has released a book on "why we hate the Yankees and -- sigh -- why we also desperately need them." Judging from the excerpt, it's supposed to be a humor book. I say "supposed to be" because the jokes in this excerpt seem kinda stale, and I can't really count Caple as one of my favorite ESPN writers.
There was one humorous bit on Caple's website, a fake timeline entry that reads: Oct. 16, 2004: Steinbrenner celebrates the Yankees’ 19-8 victory over the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS by hanging a banner that reads “Mission Accomplished’’).
Not a big belly laugh, but a quiet chuckle.
Anyway, since Caple's a former Seattle writer, there's a post about the excerpt on USS Mariner. I'm featured in the comments as the curmudgeonly Yankees Fans Rights' advocate.
Stupid Part III: Let's Get Upset About Exhibition Games, Shall We?
Ire Springs from Boss (Bill Madden, NY Daily News)
This article, apparently not in the News' online edition, talks about George Steinbrenner being angry about the Yanks poor Grapefruit League action (their win against the Sox last night was the first win of the Spring) and because the Yankees' scouts haven't provided the team with any good prospects.
To be specific:
Although Steinbrenner declined public comment, sources told the Daily News he was "furious" over all these early spring losses that largely were the result of of using nonroster minor league players who will not be going north with the team.First of all, this getting upset about Spring Training record is the kind of thing that feeds the Yankee Haters. They're exhibition games, fer goodness' sake! Guys are supposed to be preparing for the season, working on their skills, not acting like winning is a matter of life and death. You'd think George is too darn old to get bogged down in crap like this.
"Who are the scouts that signed these guys?" Steinbrenner demanded.
That second part's a legitimate gripe, but what, George only just noticed the dearth of prospects in the Yankees' system? It's a fact that has been staring him in the face for the past three years, at least.
Not Stupid: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold
Giambi HR Hits Back at Nation (Borden, NY Daily News)
The Red Sox Nation, that is. Giambi went 2-5 with a homer in a start against the Red Sox in split-squad win in Fort Myers. The print version of the Article features a handy boo-meter (the very punny "Jeer-Ambi meter") which recorded the admittedly subjective strength of the booing of Giambi before the game, and in each of the DH's 5 at bats.
Hopefully, the lesson Jason learns from this experience is that the one way to shut his detractors up is to beat the living daylights out of the ball. Well, that and sign lots of autographs before and after the game.