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Alexei Ramirez' First HR Overshadowed by Firings, Federal Investigation

It seems appropriate that Alexei Ramirez, who fled Cuba for the Dominican Republic last fall before signing with the Sox this winter, hit his first major league home run on the same day, just hours after, Dave Wilder was fired as Player Personnel Director following an investigation in the Dominican.

Since I first heard the news early this evening that Dave Wilder was fired, I've been trying to speculate what brought upon the investigation. Not because I wish to flood the internet with wild accusations, but because the White sox aren't going to tell us. And I doubt MLB or the federal government is going to step to the plate and give us some info.

The international free agent scene is full of shady characters and situations. While I've heard of teams getting in trouble for illegal practices, I don't ever recall the federal government getting involved. Racking my brain earlier, I came up with three logical reasons for the government to be called upon.

  • Money -- This has gotten many a scout/adviser in trouble in the past, though I would think it would take a large scale type scheme to get the feds attention.
  • Drugs -- Transporting and delivering legal drugs (read: steroids) would be a sure fire way to get in trouble.
  • Falsifying Documents -- This would be my guess, if I was, you know, to wildly speculate. Which I wont. The government is far more concerned about who gets into the country now. AgeGate caught a number of players, including Pablo Ozuna. If a scout was to help a player obtain false documents, the Feds might be interested.

Although nobody from within the White Sox organization is willing to comment of the scope of the investigation, Mark Gonzales used his industry sources to come up with a pretty good guess.

An international scout for another major-league team said two weeks ago that the commissioner's office was interviewing the parents of several Latin players about the bonuses they received from MLB teams.

That would seem to indicate that it has something to do with money, which makes you wonder about the Sox recent high dollar signee Jose Silveiro. I wouldn't think that Alexei himself was involved since it seemed like he was lightly regarded by most clubs, but wouldn't it be just like the White Sox to screw up their highest dollar amateur international free agent signing?