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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
More on the Astros leaving VenezuelaI got a pretty informed and insightful comment regarding the Astros bugging out of Venezuela and I thought I'd share it with the rest of the class. It's from reader James Van Awesome (pretty sure that's German), who is writing his undergraduate thesis on baseball in Venezuela. James writes:
In my opinion, the Astros’ operations in Venezuela have been in jeopardy at least since Andres Reiner’s resignation in early 2005. With Andres and Gerry Hunsicker gone, there was no one left to fight for Venezuela.
Sounds pretty right to me, James.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:31am
In the past three or four year other MLB teams (e.g. Red Sox, Padres, Indians) have pulled out of Venezuela so focusing on only the Astros does not give the broader perspective of what may be happening. From my understanding this was due to the political issues in the country as well as the risk factors mentioned in these post.
However I also suspect that the increased flow of talent from Japan specifically as well as Korea and Taiwan are also having an impact on decisions. For example, the Red Sox have signed three pitchers from Japan in the last two years (pulled out of Venezuela in 2006) and are in on several others as pre-DiceK the Sox significantly increased their efforts to scout Asia. Coincidence - I think not.
I suspect that if MLB quality talent wasn’t available elsewhere that more team would find a way to deal with some of the issues in Venezuela. However with equivalent talents pools elsewhere the cost/benefit of being is the #2 talent pool in Latin America is current weighted more on the cost side than the potential benefit side.
Posted 12/17 at 11:20 AM
Mark R said...
That’s Dutch, Craig. VON Awesome would be German, in which case I’d be wondering why a German knows so much about a South American country.
Posted 12/17 at 01:53 PM