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Hernandez Avoids Criminal Charges, Helping Others in the Process
The news that Roberto Hernandez will no longer face criminal charges for using the false identity “Fausto Carmona” is not surprising. The struggle facing so many young players in the Dominican Republic with regard to presenting themselves as younger in order to be more appealing to Major League Baseball scouts has been well-documented. It is an unfortunate reality and a reminder that viewing baseball as a business is a fundamentally-flawed approach.
Kids such as Hernandez grow up with the hope of escaping poverty and providing for their families and loved ones. That road is not easy, nor fair. I have wrestled with this notion for some time, trying to decide whether Hernandez is to blame for this (as if some character flaw) or perhaps even the drafting process or even the general culture of the MLB. The answer, I would submit, is none of the above.
Rather, it are the agents and scouts that scour the countryside for talent that need to be held accountable. I fear that too often agents and scouts see kids playing in rundown ball-fields as little dollar signs as opposed to human beings.
These men often approach the players and their families, promising riches and a new life…just at the price of your integrity; live a lie and all will be well. This is at best unethical and, at worst, quite sad.
I do not believe that Roberto Hernandez is a bad man. I wish he was with the Indians in Goodyear, Arizona. Still, his time is better spent speaking to young ballplayers about his experience. It is a community service that will help Hernandez get back on the field, but more importantly, his talks might help others avoid his fate and hold on to the belief that playing for the love of the game has its own value.
Related Article: “Criminal Charges Against ‘Carmona’ Dropped”