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Dominican Baseball – Book Review

  • Updated July 25, 2023
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This is a review of the book, Dominican Baseball New Pride, Old Prejudice by Alan Klein. This book focuses on how the game of baseball is played in the Dominican Republic. It is very different from how Americans play and view the sport. This review focuses on the key aspects of how the game is viewed in the Dominican Republic and how important playing baseball in America is to many of the Dominican Republic players. It is amazing to learn how much goes on behind the scenes in both countries for this sport. Baseball in the Dominican Republic has many different aspects to it. Major League Baseball (MLB) doesn’t explain how the Dominican Republic system and players don’t like how many rules MLB is putting in place for the Dominican players.

Klein’s subject is Dominican Baseball and how Americans and Dominicans view this game. The aim of this book is to open our eyes to what’s really going on in the Dominican Republic and how MLB is trying to take advantage of them. He takes a biased approach to the subject that slightly favors the Dominican side of the story. The central thesis of the book is that you only hear the MLB side of the story with Dominican baseball , and you don’t hear much about the Dominican side of the story. The author’s biases are that MLB is not treating Dominican baseball players fairly and giving them a lot of hurdles to clear to be signed by an MLB team. He also assumes that all or most of the problems are with Dominican Baseball and their structure as opposed to MLB potentially creating these problems. The methodology that is used in this book is Qualitative, where he talks to the buscones (the player developer) and the Dominican baseball players and gets their opinion on what is going on between the Dominicans and the MLB. The author’s style is great because he explains things very clearly and really gives you an in depth look as to what is going on in the Dominican Republic. This book was about the development of Dominican Baseball into a world power and how MLB is trying to make the development system for players more beneficial to them by tacking on all these rules. The book is structured very well and its development is very logical and orderly on what the issue is with Dominicans and MLB. His arguments and points of topic are easy to follow. The author’s prose was easily readable and exceptionally good because he talks about things in the order that they happen and doesn’t just go all over the place putting stuff in wherever he wants and jumbling up the order of the book. Some of the book’s strengths are that he talks about the Dominicans side of the story with MLB. The author tells you just how important it is to a buscones reputation just to have a player signed and if they’re not signed it’s a bad thing for the buscones reputation. One of the weaknesses of the book is the author doesn’t give you a very in depth look into the testing process and doesn’t explain how it works very well. This testing process includes verifying the players age and verifying that there are no drugs in the players system, to include performance enhancing drugs. Some other features that are included in the book are how hard life is for these baseball players before they are moved to the buscones camp to be trained for MLB tryouts. Some of the things that are potentially missing from the book are the buscones having to look at every players birth certificate to make sure they are who they say they are and there are no false identies. The title of this book is very appropriate because it promises essentially what the book delivers to readers. My personal response to this book is very good. I found it very enjoyable to read and it is very convincing because it gives you an idea of just how much MLB is trying to short change Dominican Baseball and what these players have to go through to make it to the Major Leagues. I do like the book very much and would strongly recommend it to others. The important ties between Global Sport and the text in the book are “Migration which is people moving from one country to other whether voluntary or involuntary” (Bustad, Lecture 3.1) to pursue a better life and get out of their country because of how bad it can be in the Dominican Republic. As a matter of fact, some of these baseball players that got released from their minor league teams or failed to make it to the Major Leagues choose to stay in the country and they don’t want to go back because of how bad living is down in the Dominican Republic. Some of these people have made up their mind well before being released that no matter what the circumstances are, they aren’t going back ever. It also helps grow the game internationally and helps the MLB to gain more international fans in different countries. An aspect of migration that is talked about a lot with international athletes is “Labor Migration which American and other countries athletes leaving their countries to compete in sport in a foreign nation are considered out-migrants” (Bustad, Lecture 3.1).

On the other hand, “foreign athletes leaving other countries to compete in sport in American are considered in-migrants” (Bustad, Lecture 3.1). This often “means that the host country may gain and the donor country loses an important human resource” (Bustad, Lecture 3.1). What I took from the class that helped me understand the book better was the idea that we talked about migration in class and the author talks about the movement of players from the Dominican Republic to the MLB through the Dominican system which includes the buscones. The course has helped me form a better understanding of this topic by making me realize that the migration or transition from the Dominican Republic to the MLB isn’t as easy or as smooth as I originally thought it to be. I didn’t realize just how many hurdles that the Dominican players had to jump through to even be signed by a Major League team. I knew that they had some things they had to overcome before but, I didn’t realize that they were so many hurdles that these players had to clear or jump over just to be considered for signing by an MLB team. The book has added to my perspective because now I see how hard it is for the Dominicans to make to the U.S. to play for MLB teams and everything that they have to go through just to get signed by an MLB team. That there is a different side of the story than what Major League Baseball is trying to make us think and that the Dominicans aren’t treated as fairly as the MLB seems to be letting on. The reason for this is because “the buscones in the book talk about how Major League Baseball tries to undermine them and has to have an MLB representative at all these Dominican League Games organized by the buscones” (Klein, 2014). This is even when “the buscones ask the representative to leave” (Klein, 2014). The representative obliges however, the next time there is a Dominican League game there is another MLB representative that comes to watch the game and make sure that everything is being done right even when they have seen no problems before. It appears that MLB is trying to think of a way to make more rules for the buscones and Dominican players to follow, to make it harder to get a player to the Major Leagues. This is without trying to have the players or buscones find a way to get around the rules even though they follow all the rules MLB keeps putting on them. “According to the buscones the MLB keeps trying to make up new rules for the players to follow” (Klein, 2014). This is because MLB doesn’t like the fact that the buscones are influencing these players and trying to give them a range of how much money they should sign for. “The MLB would like to cut the buscones completely out of this process” (Klein, 2014).

This book, in my opinion, is a must read for any baseball lover. There are a lot of players in the MLB from the Dominican Republic. This book is very informative in explaining the process of how these players get to the MLB. Regardless of the fact that the author clearly favors the Dominican Republic players and doesn’t like all the hoops it appears the MLB puts these players through, it is still a good read. I found one of the most interesting aspects of the players is that not only do they love the game, they see it as a way of bettering themselves. This includes moving to America, for a better life. While the money is good, their quality of life is better. It also appears they stay humble, never forgetting their roots. Most of all of the Dominican Republic players send money back to their families, so that they can live better, also have a better quality of life.

References

Cite this paper

Dominican Baseball – Book Review. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/dominican-baseball-book-review/

FAQ

FAQ

Is Dominican Republic good at baseball?
Yes, the Dominican Republic is known for producing some of the best baseball players in the world, with many players making it to the major leagues. Baseball is a popular sport in the country, and many young people aspire to become professional players.
What percentage of MLB players are Dominicans?
About 10% of MLB players are from the Dominican Republic.
Who is the best Dominican baseball player ever?
The best Dominican baseball player ever is Mariano Rivera. He is a former professional baseball pitcher who played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees.
Why are Dominicans so good in baseball?
Edgar Allan Poe is important because he is one of the most influential writers of the 19th century. His stories and poems are known for their dark, mysterious themes.
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