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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Athletic: A former White Sox exec on skimming bonuses, team ownership, life after prison and more

On May 16, 2008, the White Sox fired senior director of player personnel David Wilder, along with two scouts, as the result of an FBI investigation into a bonus-skimming scandal in the Dominican Republic orchestrated by the trio. They were found to have defrauded the Sox organization of more than $400,000, receiving kickbacks from signing bonuses and contract buyouts of Latin American players. It was part of a wider investigation into the practice in Major League Baseball. Wilder eventually pleaded guilty to mail fraud in federal court, and in 2013, he was sentenced to two years in federal prison…..

Do you feel like you weren’t valued before you started skimming?

That’s the reason I started doing it. I got passed over for a World Series bonus. The (skimmed) money was negotiated from the buscones and taken from the buscones, not the kids. I oversaw the department and took charge of that. The judge said, you will get an extra year (than another scout involved) because you were in charge. But why didn’t they investigate all of baseball then? Everyone was doing this. Did people think we invented this? It’s everywhere. In the Dominican, at least.

I did two years for it. Yeah, it was wrong. I took money, but it wasn’t $400,000 — it was, maybe $175,000 personally over a couple years. I considered it the World Series bonus I never got. People may say, ‘Oh, sour grapes.’ But if you’re in your job and doing a great job and working hard and then you don’t get a bonus when they win?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 12, 2023 at 10:54 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: white sox

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   1. DL from MN Posted: September 12, 2023 at 11:23 AM (#6141125)
So how much of those large bonuses to international free agents is really payments to the team's scouts?
   2. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2023 at 03:48 PM (#6141150)
$175 vs $400 is a weird line to draw.

Would a scout (or a scout supervisor or even "head of Latin American operations") normally receive a $175k WS bonus?

Anyway, this is what parole boards call a "lack of remorse."
   3. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 12, 2023 at 08:39 PM (#6141186)
What does a senior director of player personnel get paid? My guess is somewhere in the $300k-$500k range, with an opportunity to make a lot more with promotion. If that's so, it makes him downplaying the amount stole even worse.
   4. Brian C Posted: September 12, 2023 at 11:06 PM (#6141206)
Huh, White Sox personnel turn to crime as a result of cheap owner ... where have I heard that story before?
   5. Zonk Names You Traitor Posted: September 13, 2023 at 08:31 AM (#6141218)
I'm struggling to see how " The (skimmed) money was negotiated from the buscones and taken from the buscones, not the kids" logically works.

Using a middle proxy doesn't ultimately absolve you of skimming from the kid.
   6. Tony S Posted: September 13, 2023 at 08:36 AM (#6141219)
This guy has a future as a politician or televangelist.
   7. Cris E Posted: September 13, 2023 at 02:07 PM (#6141241)
The buscones take a standard percentage off the top of every kid's contract, 30% or whatever. I believe the entrepreneurial Mr Wilder was only dipping into that share, not the 70% that stays with the youth. You know, so it's fine, or something.
   8. Tony S Posted: September 13, 2023 at 02:16 PM (#6141244)
"I was only robbing the register! I hope you understand!"
   9. Zonk Names You Traitor Posted: September 13, 2023 at 03:11 PM (#6141247)
I saw Jerry skeevin' he says, then he stops
Someone like me is entitled to some slops
Cincinnati might be my next stop
But they say what for the teen
With their charges flashin on my hot scammy scheme
   10. chordlonely Posted: September 19, 2023 at 11:55 PM (#6141841)
The buscones deduct a regular percentage from the beginning of each kid's contract, which could be 30 percent or anything else. I feel that Mr. Wilder, who is known for his entrepreneurial spirit, was only tapping into a little portion of that share, not the 70 percent that is retained by the younger generation. You are aware, therefore, that it is acceptable, or whatever skibidi toilet.

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