Sports Outside the Beltway

Washington Nationals ordered to pay $40,000 to fired scout

The team’s General Manager, Jim Bowden, resigned because of the Dominican Republic baseball scouting scandal. From AP-

A Dominican Republic tribunal has ordered the Washington Nationals to pay $40,000 in damages to a scout who was fired after signing a prospect who lied about his age.

Jose Baez, the Nationals’ former director of operations in the Dominican Republic, sued the team for what he said was an unjustified firing. The court issued its order last week.

In 2006, Baez and special assistant to the general manager Jose Rijo signed a player who identified himself as 16-year-old Esmailyn Gonzalez. The Nationals gave the player a $1.4 million signing bonus.

A Major League Baseball investigation determined Gonzalez was about 4 years older than he said and also lied about his name.

At least two other MLB teams have had recent problems with Dominican Republic recruiting. Kickbacks, falsifying one’s age, and steroid use seem to be the norm for some MLB hopefuls.

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