Baseball evolved Wednesday. The little guys, the teams that for so many years cried poor, won by spending money. And the recipients of that largess, 16-year-old boys from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, ones who grew up in the third world, are the forbearers for a striking change in the sport.
In recent years, the best players in Latin America have gravitated toward the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox and New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, the teams that could afford to flash Costanza wallets loaded with cash. Baseball's continued economic boom, amazing amid the country's downturn, has infused so much money into the game that no longer is pricey amateur talent simply the domain of the big boys.
The Oakland A's – low-revenue Oakland, immortalized in the book "Moneyball," about winning with a scrimp-and-save payroll – signed a 16-year-old named Michel Inoa on Wednesday. Along with his $4.25 million bonus, Inoa got an Anglicized name, Michael, and a ticket to the DominicanRead More »from Inoa becomes a sign of the times