An alleged age-fraudster is arrested in the Dominican Republic

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Lost in all of the Hall of Fame hubbub is a story that has some pretty big implications for baseball on-the-field:

An influential baseball scout who was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday allegedly gave new identities to his players to make them appear younger – and therefore more appealing to major league teams – to obtain professional contracts.

Victor Baez was charged by Dominican authorities with fraud and falsifying documents. A press statement released by Dominican police said the arrest represents a crackdown on scouts who use fraudulent documents, visas and passports to obtain commissions from players’ contracts.

We first started hearing a lot of stories about age-falsification following immigration restrictions imposed post-9/11.  It’s not likely that the problem has gone away, however. After all, to avoid detecting of phony documents by immigration people, one need only get fake foreign documents earlier so that they appear to be more legitimate.  The arrest of Baez shows that the practice is still flourishing.

Odúbel Herrera has homered in four consecutive games

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Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera produced what proved to be the game-winning hit on Wednesday afternoon, drilling a go-ahead solo home run to right field off of Cardinals reliever Sam Tuivailala in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Phillies went on to win 4-3, as the bullpen actually held on to a lead for once.

Herrera has now homered in four consecutive games and in five of his last six contests. The major league record is eight consecutive games with a home run, held by Don Mattingly, Dale Long, and Ken Griffey, Jr. The Phillies record is five consecutive games with a homer, held by Dick Allen, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley (twice), and Rhys Hoskins.

On the season, Herrera is batting .299/.355/.491 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI, and 35 runs scored in 297 plate appearances.