The Rays are expanding to Brazil:

On Thursday, the Rays announced they have built a partnership with the city of Marilia, Brazil, that will include construction of a training facility beginning in the first quarter of 2009, which will be the first baseball academy in Brazil run by a Major League organization.

“It’s [a project] that is obviously a long-term initiative,” said Andrew Friedman, the Rays’ executive vice president of baseball operations. “We don’t think it’s something that’s going to pay dividends in a year from now, necessarily.”

Very true, I’d gather, as there isn’t a heck of a lot of baseball played in Brazil. To get talent out of there, one would assume that you’d need years and years of developing kids who are now of little league age or younger. You have to teach the game and immerse them in the game. More importantly, you have to gather an immense amount of data. Obtain every bit of available knowledge you can about the players in the area, their strengths, their weaknesses, everything. I guess what I’m saying is that, just as much as a talent development system, it would have to be one of information retrieval.

Dear Lord, I need the baseball season to start again.

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14 years ago

Sam Lowry: Give my best to Alison and the twins.

Jack Lint: Triplets.

Sam Lowry: Triplets? My how time flies…

Jason S.
14 years ago

Brazil does send a baseball team to the Pan American Games on a regular basis so there is some baseball there, but in that soccer mad country the reality is that soccer is probably going to attract the best athletes.  You never know.  Back in the 1970s it probably seemed crazy to think that soccer mad Columbia would ever send a baseball player to the majors, but they eventually sent several.  Marilio is a smallish city in the most populous state in Brazil, so it’s not necessarily a bad place to start.

14 years ago

Oh, but there is a lot of baseball played in Brazil, mostly in the state of São Paulo (many immigrants came from Japan to São Paulo early in the 20th century). Brazil also has a decent baseball NT (not far from the level of the Cuban or Venezuelan NT). Brazilian are known to have talent for all sports, pending only investments to allow people to learn them, so I think it is very smart from the Rays.

BTW, I enjoy THT a lot and now also your blog (maybe I am the only reader in Brazil?)…

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

Thanks for the background, Guto!  Glad to have readers in Brazil. 

You’re gonna hook me up with a place to stay for Carnaval, right?

John From Bel Air
14 years ago

Yesterday there was a Watchmen refrence and now one from Brazil. This is great!