♪♪ ♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] -[ Panting ] [ Exhales sharply ] [ Men speaking indistinctly ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Man speaking Spanish ] [ Cheers and applause ] [ Man speaking Spanish continues ] -[ Speaking Spanish ] [ Crowd cheering ] ♪♪ [ Men speaking indistinctly ] ♪♪ [ Children chattering ] -For a young Cuban baseball player, a childhood dream to pitch in the U.S. is suddenly within reach.
[ Camera shutters clicking ] [ Paparazzi clamoring ] -Do you think he's a million-dollar-plus player?
-A million dollars is -- it's not even close.
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Engines idling ] -[ Brushing teeth ] [ Muffled speech in distance ] ♪♪ [ Knock on door ] [ Man speaking Spanish ] -[ Groans ] ♪♪ [ Door closes ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -[ Singing in Spanish ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Bat cracks ] [ Announcer speaking Spanish ] [ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Man speaking Spanish on television ] -Dios mío.
[ Man speaking Spanish ] [ Laughter ] [ Man speaking Spanish ] -Two more.
[ Cheers and applause ] [ Conversing in Spanish ] -[ Snaps fingers ] [ Stove dial clicks ] [ Insects chirping ] [ Rooster crows ] [ Conversing in Spanish ] [ Birds chirping ] [ Knife scraping ] -Oh.
[ Rooster crows ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Laughter, oohing ] [ All chattering ] ♪♪ -Happy.
[ Clatter ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -Ah.
This guy going over my grass.
♪♪ Let me tell him.
[ Speaking Spanish ] [ Man speaking Spanish ] -[ Chuckles ] ♪♪ Hey, bubba.
[ Dogs barking ] Okey-dokey, man.
I've represented Cubans now for 23 years.
During the '90s, the first 10 Cubans who defected came to me.
♪♪ For most of these guys, the whole thing about defecting is about playing the Major Leagues.
It's a dream.
You know, this is -- You know, the Major Leagues is where the best baseball is played, and they just want to get there and see if they can play that type of baseball.
We represented close to about 60 Cuban guys who've defected through the years.
♪♪ The Cuban market right now, it's about as good as it's probably gonna get.
And I just want to represent my few guys, and hopefully they make it to the Major Leagues and I help them reach their dreams.
I'm trying to book a flight from LAX to San José, business class.
No, San José, Costa Rica.
[ Birds chirping ] ♪♪ [ Rooster crows ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Men conversing in Spanish ] ♪♪ -I'm walking.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Man speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -[ Singing in Spanish ] ♪♪ -Vamos!
[ All singing in Spanish ] [ Cheers and applause ] [ Men speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ [ Laughter ] ♪♪ [ Airplane engine roaring ] ♪♪ [ Both conversing in Spanish ] -How are you?
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Spanish pop music playing in background ] [ Birds chirping ] -Okay?
-[ Speaking Spanish ] -Alright, I just gotta line 'em up so I can introduce you to each guy and you guys know who each guy is.
We'll start from the right.
This is Ray Oliveros.
[ Clatter ] This is Victor Baró.
This is Carlos González.
You guys ready?
-The first guy's Oliveros.
♪♪ 6.5, 6.6.
♪♪ Okay, we're gotta go BP right now.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ The pitchers, they're gonna throw 10 pitches, then I'll tell you which pitcher throws what.
♪♪ ♪♪ González will throw his 10 now.
He sure is.
He's a ballsy...yeah.
♪♪ ♪♪ No.
I'm gonna handle that right after this.
Right after everybody sees them.
You guys, you know... -Just start talking.
-Make sure -- We'll start talking, and then we'll go from there.
Well, I -- I have an idea.
I'll talk to you.
♪♪ I think this is a good group of guys.
There's a couple guys here that could be in the $20 million range.
Every guy's gonna get signed.
You know, we'll see where they land and for how much.
[ All conversing in Spanish ] -[ Laughs ] -Oh.
[ Laughter, men shouting in Spanish ] [ Spanish pop music playing ] ♪♪ -One, two... -Cheese!
[ Laughter ] ♪♪ [ Music continues, indistinct chatter ] [ Engine revving ] ♪♪ -In 2007, I got arrested for supposedly participating in a smuggling operation.
-Sports agent Gustavo Dominguez was sentenced to five years in prison for smuggling Cuban baseball players into the United States.
Dominguez paid $225,000 to a small-time drug trafficker to run five Cuban ballplayers... -I lost my house, I lost my name in the business, and I went to prison for five years.
We never did anything that was outside the rules of baseball.
Or outside the rules of the government, U.S. laws.
When I came back out, I said, "Look, I can start this thing again.
I know it's gonna be hard for me.
In certain circles in this business, my name is not what it used to be.
But a lot of the Cuban players know who I am, and they're not gonna worry about what happened, okay, 'cause they look at me as someone that can help them."
♪♪ [ Hissing ] [ Laughter ] [ Man speaking Spanish on television ] [ Baseball clacks ] -Ooh!
-God said to Baró, "I'm gonna give you an arm.
I'm gonna give you an arm.
You're gonna be a pitcher in life.
Whatever you do with that is up to you."
The difference that I see in between Baró and Carlitos -- Baró's lazy, Baró doesn't want to train.
You have to beg him.
"You're gonna do 30 pitches today."
"I don't feel like it."
Whereas Carlitos will come and give you 110%.
-[ Panting ] Ay!
-There's plenty Carlitos, there's plenty Barós, I mean, everywhere.
But they look for the type of a kid that people will fall in love with -- a hero.
He's short for a pitcher, but for a short guy to throw 95, that would be a story, that would be any kid's dream.
[ Men exclaiming ] -♪ To mind the body ♪ [ Beatboxing ] [ Laughter ] [ Thunder crashing ] [ Rain falling ] -I understand that, pretty quick, that everything should be settled.
That's pretty much our office who does all that, you know, and they got lawyers and stuff taking care of all the stuff.
[ Dog barking ] [ Birds chirping ] [ EDM music playing ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Man singing in Spanish ] ♪♪ -[ Speaking Spanish ] [ Both speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ -What's up, man?
[ Laughter ] [ Conversing in Spanish ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Indistinct conversation in Spanish ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Person speaking indistinctly through cellphone ] -Okay?
♪♪ [ Clanging ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Indistinct conversations ] -Alright.
-[ Grunts ] ♪♪ -[ Groans ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Baseball clacks ] Vamos.
[ Applause ] -Yes!
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Man speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ -A couple guys are okay.
The other guys are a little off, so it's a wake-up call.
We talked to each individual about things.
We're gonna change some things now.
Uh, we'll see.
I think that it's gonna be for the good, and we'll see how they come back from this.
[ Spanish chatter on television ] [ Conversing in Spanish ] [ Up-tempo Latin music playing ] ♪♪ [ Woman singing in Spanish ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Bus tires hiss ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Sí.
[ Bus engine revving ] [ Bus tires hiss ] [ Cellphone dings ] [ Cellphone dings ] [ Spanish pop music playing ] -[ Exhales sharply ] -[ Speaking Spanish ] -They looked real, real good.
Signing press, that's good.
So, hopefully, they can get to sign premier leagues.
[ Engine revving ] [ Baró speaking Spanish through cellphone ] -Baró?
♪♪ [ Cellphone camera clicks ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Upbeat pop music playing faintly ] ♪♪ -[ Speaking Spanish ] [ Birds chirping ] -Jesus.
[ Clank ] [ Man speaking Spanish ] [ Men conversing in Spanish ] -Hello?
[ Speaking Spanish ] [ Muffled Spanish music playing ] ♪♪ -Okay.
[ Xylophone playing ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Children chattering, laughing ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Charlie... ♪♪ No.
-So, I'm a little concerned.
He's sort of bad.
What is he doing?
And also, he's not practicing like he used to.
So, I'm hoping that this week, he will get back on track and, you know, work as hard as he used to work.
Having the tryout on Wednesday, he's trying to do what he didn't do last week in one day, and it doesn't work like that.
Hopefully, he'll hit a good speed, and with his curveball, he'll be all right.
If not, I think he's in trouble.
[ Birds chirping ] [ Indistinct conversations in Spanish ] [ Dogs barking ] -[ Speaking Spanish ] -[ Giggles ] [ Rooster crows ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Indistinct conversation ] -[ Speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ [ Speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -Unfortunately, the guys, I have not been able to sign.
And I wanted to sign them, but none of the teams have put any offers for any of the guys.
Maybe what they think -- it's a lie.
We've been telling them, "This is what's gonna happen," the ultimate goal being signed by a Major League organization.
And they haven't signed.
And maybe they look at that and say, "Well, these guys have been lying to us the whole time."
And we never lied to them.
We've always wanted to sign them.
We wanted to sign them to the best deals possible.
I could've signed each one of these guys for, you know, $100,000.
That's not what we were there for.
You know, I make investments in this company because it is a business.
I'm there to sign a baseball player for what I believe he's worth.
[ Engine revving ] [ Siren wails ] [ Engine idling ] [ Car door closes ] [ Conversing in Spanish ] [ Horn honks ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Cellphone clicking ] [ Birds chirping ] [ Spanish chatter on television ] [ Baby cooing ] [ Engine humming ] [ Indistinct conversations in Spanish, radio chatter ] [ Bus tires hiss ] [ Cellphone camera clicks ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -[ Clicking tongue ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Today, we have a private workout.
They showed a lot of interest on three of our guys, so, hopefully, they'll take one of these guys with them.
[ Baseball clacks ] -[ Exhales sharply ] [ Baseball clacks ] -Uh, I came to see Baró.
He's been here for a year.
He has his free agency, and now, you know, he's ready to pitch.
-And did he live up to the hype?
-Yes, he threw hard today.
He was good.
[ Conversing in Spanish ] -Mm-hmm.
-[ Scoffs ] [ Birds chirping ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -[ Speaking Spanish ] -Sí.
[ Laughs ] [ Banging on door ] Hello?
-[ Man speaking Spanish ] [ Insects chirping ] [ Baby cries ] [ Engine revving ] [ Engine stops ] [ Indistinct conversations in Spanish ] [ Baby crying ] [ Crying continues ] -[ Shushing ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Indistinct conversations in Spanish ] ♪♪ [ Horn honking ] ♪♪ [ Men speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ [ Indistinct conversations in Spanish ] [ Engine revving ] [ Conversations continue ] [ Clippers buzzing ] [ Spanish pop music playing ] [ Children chattering ] ♪♪ [ Mechanical whirring ] [ Engine revving ] [ Upbeat Latin music playing ] [ Cork pops ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Upbeat Latin music playing ] [ Indistinct conversations in Spanish ] ♪♪ [ Laughter ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -[ Grunts ] [ Weights clank ] [ Conversing in Spanish ] [ Scoffs ] -[ Sighs ] Our promise that we make to the players is, you know, we take care of their housing and their food and all that -- for a certain amount of time.
Obviously, we gotta get them training and we gotta get them to be free agents, and there comes a point in time for us to say, "Okay, this is where we cut the line here.
We're not gonna sign them."
You know, the players understood that there was gonna be a time limit going in, and if they don't sign within that time limit, you know, it's expected that now they have to make a life of their own, now they have to go do something that is not baseball-related and, you know, start their lives.
[ Door closes ] [ GPS chatter in Spanish ] [ Door slams ] [ Birds chirping ] [ Spanish pop music playing ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Cellphone camera clicks ] ♪♪ [ Ball clacks ] -Wow!
♪♪ [ Sprinklers rattling ] [ Rattling continues ] -Everything just kind of went to hell, you know.
As far as Carlitos, shame on me.
Shame on me, because I don't even know where he lives.
Shame on me.
I don't even know if he's got a... hot plate of food in front of him today.
Shame on me.
Shame -- ...it -- on Gus, Villalón, who -- they drop him, just like that.
Never mind as a player.
Never mind that he was signed.
You guys took him out of Cuba, brought him here.
All of a sudden, you drop him like a hot potato.
The situation with Baró...
In my mind, somebody should've signed the kid.
I mean, if it isn't Houston, somebody should've signed the kid.
There may be something they don't like about the kid.
The scouts are a funny thing.
You know that.
They look at you and you walk off the field, and that's it, there goes an X.
But we'll see.
[ Chuckles ] [ Engine revving ] [ Pop music playing in the distance ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -[ Panting ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Spanish chatter on television ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Indistinct conversations ] ♪♪ -[ Speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ -Hey!
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -[ Speaking Spanish ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪