BOSTON (CBS) – A documentary produced by Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is causing a stir in baseball circles.
The film is called “Ballplayer: Pelotero,” a warts-and-all look at how young Dominican players are scouted and brought to the Major Leagues.
Part of the movie documents the exploitation of young players, which Major League Baseball insists is now a thing of the past.
But while the movie has ruffled a few feathers at MLB headquarters, it also underscores the huge impact Dominican baseball has had on recent Red Sox history.
Twenty percent of professional baseball players in the United States come from the Dominican Republic,” the documentary states.
A good number of them are or have been Red Sox.
They were chanting “Pedro, Pedro” once again at Fenway Park this weekend, not for Pedro Martinez, but for the latest Dominican-born Red Sox sensation, Pedro Ciriaco.
Junior Pepen, a Dominican-born talk-show host and reporter who covers the Red Sox says Valentine, who spent time coaching and scouting in the Dominican, is popular among people there.
“Baseball in the Dominican Republic is passion, baseball is the life, baseball is the big opportunity to get out of the poverty,” Pepen noted.
And without Dominicans, David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, and Manny Ramirez, we might still be waiting for a World Series.
Junior Pepen reports that largely because of Martinez, Ramirez and Ortiz connection, Red Sox mania has taken hold in the Dominican, and that connection remains a tremendous source of pride to the Dominican-American communities of New England.