Feature

Ballplayer: Pelotero

Inside pro baseball’s recruitment machine

Directed by Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, and Jon Paley(Not rated)

***

This isn’t your typical sports documentary, said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. “A damning film with a political edge,” Pelotero lifts the veil on the “flawed, potentially exploitative system” by which Major League Baseball recruits teenage boys from the Dominican Republic. The film, screening in select theaters and available as a video-on-demand, follows two teenagers as they approach the annual signing day, when Dominicans who’ve reached age 16 can sign with a major league team. What ensues—bidding wars, manipulation, rigorous tests to verify ages—is “dismaying, to say the least,” said Neil Genzlinger in The New York Times. Narrated by John Leguizamo, the film “sugarcoats nothing,” and those interviewed prove “remarkably forthright.” Big-league scouts aren’t portrayed as the only villains, said David Malitz in The Washington Post. “The motives of the players’ parents, trainers, and the kids themselves are questioned, too.” Pelotero offers no solutions, only a troubling tale. But it should “make you think a little differently” the next time you watch your favorite ballclub take the field. 

Recommended

White House now looking to 'engage' with China's Xi Jinping
President Biden with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
let's meet

White House now looking to 'engage' with China's Xi Jinping

Israeli airstrikes target Hamas in Gaza for the 2nd time this week
Gaza City.
crisis in gaza

Israeli airstrikes target Hamas in Gaza for the 2nd time this week

Russia's controversial new pipeline
The Nord pipeline.
Briefing

Russia's controversial new pipeline

10 things you need to know today: June 17, 2021
Biden meets Putin
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 17, 2021

Most Popular

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

Late night hosts pan Marjorie Taylor Greene's Holocaust apology
Trevor Noah
Last Night on Late Night

Late night hosts pan Marjorie Taylor Greene's Holocaust apology

Trump's team tried hard, failed to prove Wuhan lab-leak theory
Wuhan Institute of Virology
no smoking gun

Trump's team tried hard, failed to prove Wuhan lab-leak theory