SANTO DOMINGO, DR – In the past few months athletes like Fausto Carmona (now known as Roberto Hernandez), Wandy Rodriguez (recruited as Eny Cabrera) and even prolific players of late such as Rafael Furcal (outed after a DUI arrest wherein he was supposedly 19 and proved he as 22) and Miguel Tejada (outed as lying about his age on ESPN) have made me think… What’s in an age?
Baseball players have become the athlete version of Joan Rivers. It seems like every player I look at that was born outside the borders of the United States is AT LEAST two – and maybe as many as five to seven – years older than they represent themselves to the league and to the American fans.
For those who don’t know the intricacies of contracts in the MLB this can mean millions. Generally anyone who is born in the United States cannot reach free agent status and do not have arbitration rights until they have been under contract for seven years. As a foreign born player you can become a free agent and negotiate your contract almost immediately without any experience in the major leagues. Best example of such this year is Yeonis Cespedes.
In the USA baseball is not unique in this aspect, wherein youth is valued over honesty. So today I intend on outing a few athletes and celebrities for what age they really are.
First off (and this one breaks my heart), Albert Pujols. As advertised: 32. Actual: 37. He has been declining for 3 years statistically and everyone knows it. This is why my Red Birds weren’t willing to place the franchise in debt for a decade simply to make a franchise player the entire franchise.
In honor of the Olympics; Every Chinese gymnast. As advertised: 14. Reality: Desirable college coed on their way to MIT to take our knowledge back to the motherland. They ain’t got !#@$ on Dominique Dawes though. She threw out the first pitch of the Mets game over the weekend and it was like it was 1996 again….mmmmm
Britney Spears: As advertised: 30. Reality: 35 When her first record came out she was supposed to be a high school heart throb. Even as a young, impressionable boy I knew that I had never seen a body like that in my school. I love the south – as my family is from there – but let’s be honest; somewhere between her birth in Mississippi and her upbringing in Louisiana, someone lost the birth certificate.
Here’s a doozy: 1980’s Bufalo Bills coach Marv Levy. Marv claimed to be born in 1925 when he was hired. In reality he was born in 1922…. Seriously, Marv? What is the difference between 58 and 61 at the time of hire?! Was he that worried that his potential boss wouldn’t hire him because he was 3 years closer to Social Security?
Macaulay Culkin: As advertised: 32 Actual: 12. I’m still not certain this man has aged a day. Ponce De Leon spent his entire life looking for the fountain of youth and Macaulay found it genetically. I just can’t believe he is older than me.
Tiger Woods: As advertised 36. Reality: 41. It has been consistently said that the best decade of a golfers life is his 30’s. The way tiger is playing he has maybe one Jack Nicklaus Masters at 46 left in him. With a mother from a 3rd world country, anything is possible.
If there are any obvious ones that I missed point them out. Tomorrow, keep your eyes open for my favorite sexy 22-year-old… Different Matt. Yes, Diff… I am trying to flatter you because unlike Britney you still got it.