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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

NPR: Relief Pitcher Admits Living A Lie, And Then Life Gets Complicated

His name is Robert Paulsen….

“His real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo,” Miami Herald reporter Frances Robles tells NPR’s Lynn Neary. “And when he was 17, he assumed a friend’s identity, who was 16 — because the teams pay so much more money for 16-year-olds.”

Robles visited Oviedo’s Dominican hometown of Bonao, where she talked to a coach who runs a “baseball school” that nurtures young players, many of them both talented and desperate to help their families. There, Oviedo was reportedly known almost exclusively by his nickname, “C.D.”

That nickname seems to have made it particularly easy for Oviedo to take the name of a younger friend named Leo Nunez. In 2000, he signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who believed he was 16.

“They don’t pay big bucks for 17; they pay big bucks for 16,” Robles says. “The difference can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.”....

As for why Oviedo decided to come clean, Robles says there are two competing stories out there. One version supposes that he’s trying to fulfill a final request from his father, who died last spring. In a similar scenario, this one popular in his hometown, he revealed his real identity so that he could become a naturalized U.S. citizen and bring his family to America.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2011 at 02:04 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miami, pirates, royals

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   1. Rancischley Leweschquens (Tim Wallach was my Hero) Posted: October 05, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3952473)
FTFA:

Robles says that after U.S. officials tightened identity checks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 540 baseball players, many of them Dominican, "had fudged either their date of birth, or their name and their date of birth."

I'd make a Albert Pujols joke, but I can't think of any.
   2. Zach Posted: October 05, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3952555)
It's the Farmer's Market rule. If you pay extra for something (16 year olds, "homegrown" tomatoes) but can't tell identify it reliably, you will end up with lots of substitutions.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: October 05, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#3952561)
If you pay extra for something (16 year olds...


Context is everything.
   4. Greg Schuler Posted: October 05, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3952585)
Now the trade to KC for Benito Santiago makes sense. That Littlefield - a canny chap, no doubt.
   5. Bob Evans Posted: October 05, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3952652)
I'd make a Albert Pujols joke, but I can't think of any.

8-year-olds across the nation are gonna own you, dude.
   6. GEB4000 Posted: October 05, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#3952719)
I'm perplexed. How exactly does voluntarily admitting to using a stolen identity to get into the United States pave the way to becoming a U.S. citizen? Is our immigration system that screwed up?
   7. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 05, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#3952747)
I'm perplexed. How exactly does voluntarily admitting to using a stolen identity to get into the United States pave the way to becoming a U.S. citizen? Is our immigration system that screwed up?

Short answer: Yes.

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