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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Pirates admit ‘rumblings’ about Tabata’s age

Write it down,in your book
Pennsylvania 25-OH!-OH!-OH!

His birth certificate and passport say outfielder Jose Tabata was born Aug. 12, 1988, in Anzoategui, Venezuela. Yet, during a recent radio interview, general manager Neal Huntington admitted there are “a lot of rumblings” that Tabata might actually be in his mid-20s.

In Latin America, record-keeping can be spotty, especially when it comes to youngsters with excellent baseball skills. The New York Yankees investigated Tabata’s background in 2005 and, satisfied he truly was 16, signed him as an undrafted free agent.

The Pirates are not publicly disputing Tabata’s age, and yet ...

“All of the documentation he has used to obtain his visa from the U.S. government and his passport from the Venezuelan government indicates his reported age is accurate,” Huntington said in an e-mail to the Tribune-Review. “Apart from unfounded speculation, there is nothing to indicate his age any different than reported.

My point is that while we have reason to doubt his reported age, it is a non-issue to us.”

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2010 at 06:35 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates, yankees

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:02 AM (#3455585)
Interesting that he was so good last year and AFL, it's not quite as devastating - though relevant down the road of course.
   2. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:02 AM (#3455586)
I feel so old... I remember 1988 pretty well.
   3. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:03 AM (#3455588)
So it's possible his ex-lover(wife?)did not violate the Elijah Muhammed rule on age difference between partners?
   4. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:37 AM (#3455596)
Huh. I was kind of hoping this would be about Tabata workouts.
The entire Pirates team being in the best shape of their lives, that sort of thing.
   5. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:48 AM (#3455598)
For what it's worth, being from Venezuela makes him much less likely to have fake docs, as compared to, say, the Dominican Republic.
   6. Juan V Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:56 AM (#3455599)
For what it's worth, being from Venezuela makes him much less likely to have fake docs, as compared to, say, the Dominican Republic.


Yep.

Then again, Anzoategui is a whole state, and a large and relatively prosperous one at that. One should be able to find a more specific place of birth.
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 07, 2010 at 08:59 AM (#3455607)
ARRGH How much did the Pirates waste on looking for birth certificates that they could have spent on the draft?!?!?
   8. Karl from NY Posted: February 07, 2010 at 09:06 AM (#3455608)
“Apart from unfounded speculation, there is nothing to indicate his age any different than reported. ... My point is that while we have reason to doubt his reported age, it is a non-issue to us.”

That is some strange wording. It's unfounded speculation with no evidence... yet we have reason to doubt. And is he saying "non-issue" just to dismiss it as something he doesn't want to talk about, or does he really mean that the Pirates don't care about the age of a prospect? Which if true would show a serious ignorance of player development curves.
   9. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 07, 2010 at 11:17 AM (#3455619)
[8], I think it's partly PR speak. Of course they're concerned if a prospect is actually 24 instead of 21. After all, Huntington is a smart dude and I doubt he's totally ignorant of player development curves. But as TFA states, 21 means he's precocious and 24 means he's merely "normal," relative to other career paths, and I think it's very possible they don't want to throw Tabata under a bus for something that may have been out of his control. I don't know anything about his background but if Tabata has been lying about his age all this time, it's probably more his parents/agent/former coaches doing than his own doing. He's an important part of the Pirates' revamped farm system, and it wouldn't do much good to anybody to chew him out to the Pittsburgh media, least of all Tabata.

After reading TFA again, it may be the columnist's strange wording. I don't know how the topic was broached in the radio interview Huntington gave but the article doesn't say anything about any new evidence that disputes Tabata's age. When Huntington says "we have reason to doubt," he may have meant a more general "we" as in "we, us front office guys and scouts in baseball" rather than "we, the Pittsburgh Pirates," and it's hard to fault his not-quite-clear choice of words when he's put on the spot in a radio interview. I have to agree with Huntington; it's a non-issue. It's February, this columnist is bored.
   10. Downtown Bookie Posted: February 07, 2010 at 12:58 PM (#3455624)
I feel so old... I remember 1988 pretty well.


Yeah, but the question is, how well does Tabata remember 1988?

DB
   11. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3455674)
For what it's worth, being from Venezuela makes him much less likely to have fake docs, as compared to, say, the Dominican Republic.


Even Hawaii can't be trusted anymore - can Tabata prove he's not actually from deepest darkest Africa?
   12. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 07, 2010 at 06:58 PM (#3455695)
I feel so old... I remember 1988 pretty well.

Me too. God damned Mike Scioscia
   13. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:13 PM (#3455700)
My first baseball memory is from 1990.
   14. bookbook Posted: February 07, 2010 at 07:58 PM (#3455720)
Primey for #11.
   15. SteveM. Posted: February 07, 2010 at 10:38 PM (#3455776)
I started college in 1988. Makes feel damn old a prospect who seemingly has been around forever may have been born that year.
   16. JPWF13 Posted: February 08, 2010 at 05:34 PM (#3456018)
Not that there's any substantive info here, but IF Tabata is 2-3 years older than advertised, then he's not a prospect.

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