Photo: 'Ballplayer: Pelotero' Ruffles MLB Feathers, Looks at Corrupt Dominican Baseball Recruiting
Just ahead of the theater and On Demand release of Ballplayer: Pelotero, producer of the film and Boston Red Sox manager is meeting criticism from Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB’s executive vice president of economics and league affairs, Rob Manfred.
Ballplayer: Pelotero shines a light on the corruption often involved in Dominican amateur baseball players trying to make it to the pros by following the lives of two young players in the Dominican Republic.
Ballplayer: Pelotero follows the two players in the days leading up to the most important day of their lives. Viewers see the competition as well as corruption they face in chasing the dream many Dominican athletes share.
“For 16-year-old Dominican baseball players, or Peloteros, the only real chance to escape crushing poverty comes every July 2nd, the day they become eligible to sign professional baseball contracts. Ballplayer: Pelotero provides an intimate portrait of two prospects as they navigate the calculating, mercenary and often corrupt elements that surround Major League Baseball’s recruitment of the island’s top talent.”
During a question and answer session with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Selig was asked about the complaints he took to the Red Sox about the film, he told The Associated Press, ‘I expressed our concerns to Red Sox ownership and that was it. What they did from there is up to them.’ Adding, ‘There were a lot of things that were inaccurate.’
Manfred pointed out the film depicts a period of time before changes were made to the way the MLB handles things on the island.
Despite the critics however, the film, which is narrated by John Leguizamo, will open on Friday, July 13.
The film was directed by Guagua Productions’ Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, and Jon Paley, who released a statement saying, ““It is frustrating to hear Commissioner Selig state that our film is inaccurate. We stand by what we documented in ‘Ballplayer: Pelotero’ and would welcome the opportunity to showcase the documentary to Mr. Selig so he can specifically address what he feels is inaccurate.”