Support Marketplace

Mid-day Extra: Less foreign baseball scouting in Venezuela

Venezuelan players handshake in a game against the U.S. during the XXXIX Baseball World Cup Panama-2011, on October 14, 2011 at Remon Cantera stadium in Aguadulce, Panama.

Jeremy Hobson: Tonight's game two of the World Series, but many other Major Leagues teams are already looking at new prospects to sign over the winter break. And one of the places they'll look is the growing baseball powerhouse of Venezuela.
Three players from the country will play in the World Series.

In today's Mid-day Extra, we hear from the BBC's Sarah Grainger in Caracas, who reports why the country's hardball talent may not be as easily exported in the future.


Sarah Grainger: Venezuelan players' success in the major leagues is partly thanks to training academies set up here to scout and develop talented pitchers and hitters. Since the 1980s, more than a dozen teams built such operations in the baseball-mad country.

But now, Venezuela's love of the game is being slammed by its aversion to business. The New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Houston Astros have all recently abandoned their local training camps, blaming anti-business rules put from the Marxist government of Hugo Chavez.

Detroit Tigers scout Pedro Chavez still works in Venezuela, but says he can understand why other teams have left.

Pedro Chavez: The government makes it tough for the teams. The government makes too many rules, making it difficult and the safety in the streets is pretty bad.

President Hugo Chavez has nationalized many industries, scaring investors like baseball teams. And now those teams are looking at stealing away to more business-friendly countries like the Dominican Republic.

In Caracas, I'm the BBC's Sarah Grainger for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...