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February 24, 2009

Clarifying Pie (updated)

Now that newly acquired outfielder Felix Pie is expected momentarily in camp, it's probably a good time to clear up some misconceptions about his delayed arrival. It apparently was not the result of some kind of screwup by Pie and certainly was not because of any intransigence on the part of Dominican government officials.

Pie, and other foreign players living in their home countries, have to go through the American consulate to get a work visa before every season. It's a fairly routine procedure, but is subject to the fits and starts of government bureaucracy and has become more complicated and time-consuming in the post-9/11 world.

The reason Pie's got hung up: He was traded to the Orioles late in the offseason and had to refile his application because of the change of employer. The government moves at it's own pace, though I wouldn't be surprised if there are times when the process moves faster for the better-known players or if someone influential intervenes on behalf of the applicant. You can visit the U.S. government visa site on the Web to get an official explanation of the process.

Update within an update: Pie has arrived at Fort Lauderdale Stadium and is expected to speak to the media after he undergoes his physical.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:22 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Just baseball


Off topic, but it's a blog and I'm bored.....Pete, In 30 years, when internet news sites are losing readers and revenue, and there are too many blogs to keep up with - will someone come up with a brilliant new concept of delivering a paper copy to people's doorsteps to bolster readership? We may have drool cups holstered to our chins by then, but I'm just wondering.

Pete's reply: I think you're ahead of your time.

How many unsearched ships enter the port of Baltimore each day? But a baseball player is dangerous. He's got no yellow cake but his name is Pie.

Seems to me there is a simple solution to this problem. Sports players should turn in their paperwork saying they are employed by a franchise of MLB (or NBA or NHL for that matter) for their entry visas. If/when players are traded or move via free agency or waivers, that paperwork would be between the league and the State department and would not hold up the entry of a player. (The exception would be those on independent minor league teams.) I'm sure some bureaucrat in DC will explain to us that this syetem would be a grevious threat to our security, but it makes too much sense from this outpost.

Pete, thanks for clarifying the process a little. Sometimes we always think the player is late doing something when it comes to these Visa problems. I had no idea it could be because of a late trade or something like that.

Clarifying Pie

Is that some sort of Shampoo Pie? Does it make your stomach less greasy?

Peter: Nice bit of reporting on Rick Kranitz's views on the starting rotation.

That said, Kranitz would be a more effective manager of 37 employees if he hadn't just let all of them know he has favorites already.

Consider the fact that the O's will need somewhere from 8 to 11 starting pitchers over the course of the season, based on injuries and ineffectiveness (could be more, but that would indicate total breakdown.)

At least three of those 2009 Orioles starting pitchers -- and probably more -- are going to start the year in the minor leagues. They might have done so with a better attitude if they didn't believe they were never one of Kranitz's favorites.

Done is done, but I hope Kranitz doesn't repeat such a non-motivating statement. (Please note that I agree that it's absolutely your responsibility to report it if he does.)

I wonder if he will tell us we all should be ashamed for opposing gay marriage?

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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