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Jerry_Manuel
02-05-2002, 06:22 PM
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Angels right-hander Ramon Ortiz is reportedly three years older than he claims.

That means Ortiz, considered one of the team's best up-and-coming pitchers, will turn 29 on March 23, instead of 26.

The discrepancy was revealed when the U.S. consulate in his native Dominican Republic discovered the birth date in Ortiz's passport differed from that of his official birth certificate, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Ortiz provided the team with a fraudulent birth certificate when he was signed as a free agent in 1995, Angels' general manager Bill Stoneman said. The age on that document was used for his passport.

Stoneman said his age won't change the team's dealings with the 6-foot, 170-pound pitcher.

"He's going to take a lot of ribbing from his teammates, that's for sure," Stoneman said. "But in terms of how we look at him, we're a performance business, so how he does between the white lines will answer any questions from players or fans."

Calls to Ortiz and his agent were not immediately returned.

Ortiz, at 13-11 with a 4.36 ERA last season, may have changed his age to make himself more attractive to Major League teams, said Jose Gomez, a former Angels scout who signed Ortiz in 1995 when he was thought to be 19.

"The American teams like players to be 17 and 18 when they're prospects," he said. "A director of scouting doesn't like to sign players who are 21 or 22."

The problem may have gone unnoticed before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Stoneman said.

"The government is scrutinizing anyone who wants to come into the U.S. more than ever," he said. "Players are starting to realize that if they fib about their age, they may not get away with it anymore."

RichH55
02-06-2002, 01:10 AM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Angels right-hander Ramon Ortiz is reportedly three years older than he claims.

That means Ortiz, considered one of the team's best up-and-coming pitchers, will turn 29 on March 23, instead of 26.

The discrepancy was revealed when the U.S. consulate in his native Dominican Republic discovered the birth date in Ortiz's passport differed from that of his official birth certificate, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Ortiz provided the team with a fraudulent birth certificate when he was signed as a free agent in 1995, Angels' general manager Bill Stoneman said. The age on that document was used for his passport.

Stoneman said his age won't change the team's dealings with the 6-foot, 170-pound pitcher.

"He's going to take a lot of ribbing from his teammates, that's for sure," Stoneman said. "But in terms of how we look at him, we're a performance business, so how he does between the white lines will answer any questions from players or fans."

Calls to Ortiz and his agent were not immediately returned.

Ortiz, at 13-11 with a 4.36 ERA last season, may have changed his age to make himself more attractive to Major League teams, said Jose Gomez, a former Angels scout who signed Ortiz in 1995 when he was thought to be 19.

"The American teams like players to be 17 and 18 when they're prospects," he said. "A director of scouting doesn't like to sign players who are 21 or 22."

The problem may have gone unnoticed before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Stoneman said.

"The government is scrutinizing anyone who wants to come into the U.S. more than ever," he said. "Players are starting to realize that if they fib about their age, they may not get away with it anymore."


I see this is still going around like the flu.......I really doubt that Cruz and Ortiz are the only cases like this, but its the nature of the beast....no one should really be surprised by this

Huisj
02-06-2002, 11:09 AM
Makes me wonder if a guy like Barcelo is really as young as he is listed as.

CubKilla
02-06-2002, 12:28 PM
Gotta wonder about the age of ANY talent now from the Dominican Republic.

RichH55
02-06-2002, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by CubsF'nBlow
Gotta wonder about the age of ANY talent now from the Dominican Republic.


Agreed, but I doubt that when these annoucements break that the clubs were in the dark.....as long as everyone knows the game the damage done is limited(still not exactly an ideal way to go about things)

kermittheefrog
02-06-2002, 10:20 PM
Wow, that's a bigass difference. If I were the Angels I'd dump him right now to a team that's dumb enough to think there isn't a huge difference between a 26 year old ballplayer about to enter his best years and a 29 year old one that should have proven himself by now.

czalgosz
02-06-2002, 10:21 PM
Originally posted by RichH55



Agreed, but I doubt that when these annoucements break that the clubs were in the dark.....as long as everyone knows the game the damage done is limited(still not exactly an ideal way to go about things)

Well, it's one thing when Juan Pena is 23, not 20. 23 is still young. But 29 is around when pitchers start breaking down. That's a big difference. Of course, it really only matters when you're first signing the guy. After that, he is what he is.

bringbackrobin
02-06-2002, 11:06 PM
Yeah, Ortiz's value just about drops in half. Ortiz looked great because his numbers were projectable, not because they looked great in and of themselves.

Not to be a dittohead, but Rob Neyer made a really good point today. Teams should negotiate clauses in player contracts stipulating serious compensation if a player is found to have forged a birth certificate. If you are innocent, you won't care, but if you are guilty...

Now if somebody could just find Osuna's birth certificate.