Mr. Arias, who makes his home in a gated community several miles from the dormitory, said he believed the academy would make a profit of about $1 million in signing bonuses this year. He said that he, Mr. Goodman and another investor each put about $400,000 into the venture.
At their dormitory, about a dozen players live in a house with small bedrooms, the players jammed in as if on a ship. In one, three bunk beds line a wall. At one point, Mr. Arias said, 30 players lived there.
“We need to upgrade the facility,” Mr. Goodman said. “I mean, we functioned this year without air-conditioning in the dormitory.”
Yikes. Schmidt’s entire piece on the Dominican baseball industry and its U.S. investors is worth a read. Not entirely surprising, but it sort of puts a human face on a bunch of stuff you could pretty much figure out was going on if you ever really thought about it. And I wonder if it was only a language barrier that prevented him from interviewing some of the teenage players for the story.