Venezuelan Baseball: A Signing Bonus Postscript


When I met Angel Guillen last September at a dusty baseball diamond in Maracay, Venezuela was a spindly 15-year-old pitcher with a whip for a right arm and big dreams drawn to scale. I visited him while reporting a feature on Venezuela’s role in the global baseball-industrial complex, getting to know kids who hoped to … Continue reading

Venezuelan Baseball’s Two Strikes


Original published Nov. 25 2012 in the Toronto Star.  Morgan Campbell Business Reporter MARACAY, VENEZUELA—Angel Guillen turns 16 in January, but his fresh face and braces make him look younger. He’s 6-foot-2 and long-limbed, thin as a praying mantis. On the pitcher’s mound, however, he wields his right arm like a whip, unspooling fastballs that … Continue reading

Floyd Mayweather to Showtime: He’s Boxing’s Albert Pujols


Thinking of words to describe Tuesday’s announcement that boxing’s current pound-for-pound king, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, had dumped cable network and pay-per-view partner HBO in favour of rival broadcaster Showtime. “Seismic” works. Mayweather’s movement tilts the pay-per-view landscape, instantly transforming Showtime from a big-time suburb to the centre of attention and action, and maybe not just … Continue reading

Told y’all I’m not dead: Venezuela to the Woodshed


Just a quick note to thank you all for you patience, with a special shout out to those of you who missed me enough to ask where the hell I’ve been for the last seven weeks. As I pointed out before my hiatus, I’m not dead — but I did spend a few weeks buried under … Continue reading

July 1, 2011: Doc Operating Better Than Ever


Story originally appeared July 1, 2011 in the Toronto Star. MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER PHILADELPHIA—With two runners on base and a 2-2 count to Florida Marlins catcher John Buck, Phillies ace Roy (Doc) Halladay toes the rubber, winds up and unleashes the pitch he’s been refining since the Jays traded him in December 2009. The … Continue reading

Sept. 3, 2010: Local boy Joey Votto makes good — very good


“Definitely next year people will know (Joey Votto),” says Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder. “He’s always been good, but now he’s brought his game to a different level. To be at the level he’s at, he’s going to get recognized.”

July 14, 2010: Brothers in Baseball Destiny


For the remainder of infield practice they stood at shortstop, arms folded, smiling in the fading sunlight. Two boys becoming men, united, separated then thrown back together by their big-league dreams.

“In some ways it’s easier to live without seeing your family,” Iglesias said of his separation from Hechavarria….

May 2, 2010: Chasing his dream a lonely pursuit for Chapman


Cuban pitching phenom Aroldis Chapman confronts both batters and the reality that he may never see his family again May 2, 2010 Morgan Campbell, Sports Reporter BUFFALO, N.Y.—Baseball’s the easy part for Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban pitching prodigy has dominated stateside batters, totalling 22 strikeouts against just 14 hits in his first 21 innings with … Continue reading

April 17, 2010: Jays’ prospect Hechavarria faces plenty of hurdles


Fellow Cuban big leaguers caution Jays’ signee to learn English and the value of a dollar. April 17, 2010 Morgan Campbell Sports Reporter Three days after Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria arrived in Dunedin, Fla., to finalize his contract with the Blue Jays, he took a short trip to St. Petersburg with his agent, Bart Hernandez, … Continue reading

Feb. 16, 2010: Cuba facing big-league baseball crisis


Exodus of star players to the majors could endanger the game’s future in socialist country February 16, 2010 By Morgan Campbell On Friday afternoon, scouts from half the teams in Major League Baseball converged at a stadium in Cancun, Mexico, to watch a single player’s private workout, wondering if the man could match the mystique. … Continue reading

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