The video above is a clip from Ballplayer: Pelotero, Jon Paley's film about the shady practices of MLB scouts in their pursuit of young talent in the Dominican Republic. The film, which is being produced by Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, is being released Friday. It follows Dominican prospects Miguel Angel Sanos and Jean Carlos Batista for eight months in 2009, when both are trying to impress scouts in the hopes of securing lucrative signing bonuses.
Sano, a shortstop now with the Twins organization, was subjected to a lengthy MLB investigation that involved doubts about his age. He believed that MLB's investigator worked with Rene Gayo, the Pirates' director of Latin American scouting, to prolong the inquiry in order to prevent other teams from placing higher bids on him. Sano, who was believed to be 16 at the time, contends that Gayo asked him to admit to being 19 years old.
In the clip above, a secret recording is made in which Gayo is seen telling Sano's family that Sano avoided being suspended for age fraud because Gayo had acted on his behalf. Last week, Yahoo's Jeff Passan wrote a detailed account of the Sano story that's worth a read. According to USA Today, the Pirates have denied any implication that Gayo deliberately tried to mislead Sano. MLB contends that it has cleared up any issues since the film was being made three years ago, though it did not provide specifics. Commissioner Bud Selig has called the film "inaccurate," a description Paley and his co-directors dispute.
Paley, the filmmaker, is here to take your questions in the discussion below. You may fire when ready.
Update (5:10 p.m.): Chat's over. Thanks so much to Jon Paley for joining us. Don't forget, his film will be released Friday.