Friday, March 11, 2011

Due To Visa Problems Mets Ronny Paulino Will Attend Spring Training Via Teleconference

Fitting in with a new team can often be difficult for a player in the Major Leagues.  The task is made doubly difficult when you are not allowed to be in the same country as your teammates.  This is the problem facing the newest Mets catcher Ronny Paulino.  Paulino's season ended inauspiciously last year when he was handed a 50 game suspension for violating the league's drug policy.  Now the Dominican backstop is having a hard time obtaining a Visa to re-enter the US, presumably related to the very same drug suspension.  In past years this may have been just another disaster for the Mets, but thanks to the Sandy Alderson regime, the team is making lemonade out of Paulino's lemons.
Using the latest in teleconferencing technology, the Mets have made it possible for Paulino to meet and interact with his new teammates in Port St. Lucie from the comfort of his home in the Dominican Republic.

Paulino can even get a feel for what pitchers are throwing thanks to a special rig, which is essentially a chest protector and mitt duct taped to the pole which supports his monitor and camera.  There was a slight delay when an errant pitch from Oliver Perez shattered the monitor, but it only shut Paulino down for a couple of hours while someone ran to Best Buy to get a new one.

While he hopes to physically be in Port St. Lucie by next week, Paulino has been thrilled with the device.  "They are a really first class organization.", Paulino told The Apple.  "Other teams would have just left me to rot in the DR.  The Mets did all of this for me so I wouldn't miss out on anything.  I even went bowling with some of the guys last night."
All articles featured on The Apple are fictitious. No Mets were harmed in the writing of this story. Follow me on Twitter @readtheapple

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