Yesterday, Ronald Belisario failed to report to Dodgers spring training camp on time for the third consecutive year. His agent, Paul Kinzer, said he feared that Belisario might miss the entire season due to visa problems. Today, a report from a Venezuelan newspaper said Belisario plans to report after all, with a convenient excuse. Per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
"I lost my passport, and I have an appointment set for Friday," Belisario told Lider en Deportes. "I passed the embassy's medical examinations, and all I have to do is get the passport."
Belisario said he would report to camp.
However, the most shocking thing about all this is that Paul Kinzer, Belisario's agent, has been in the dark about the whole situation. From Hernandez:
"That would be news to me," Kinzer said. "I hope that's true."
Kinzer said he has lost touch with the hard-throwing reliever, who hasn't reported to camp on time for the third consecutive spring. "He's gone kind of quiet," Kinzer said. "I haven't heard from him in a few weeks."
More from Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles:
"I don't think things have changed that dramatically in one day," Kinzer said. "Not unless something has changed that I'm not aware of."
That Belisario could be reached by reporters in Venezuela was somewhat remarkable in itself, given that Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Wednesday that no one in the organization had been able to get in touch with the pitcher for the past couple of weeks.
I have to believe Kinzer made every attempt possible to contact his client, and was simply unsuccessful. But if that was true, why would Kinzer make any comments at all? Kinzer yesterday was the one who said Belisario might miss the whole season. Why not simply say to reporters, "no comment," or "I haven't been able to get a hold of my client for weeks"? There has to be more to the story here.
This isn't the first time Belisario and Kinzer have had conflicting reports. Last spring, Kinzer acknowledged the reliever was at fault in reporting to camp late, noting that Belisario had missed appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela. Belisario, however, told reporters that Kinzer was wrong and that the Dodgers would understand once he offered his explanation.
The Dodgers didn't understand.
Belisario was placed on the restricted list to start the season, and missed the first 17 days of the regular season. Now, this season, Belisario and his agent are not on the same page again. It's hard to reason with someone like Belisario, who according to Hernandez, "said he hasn't called the Dodgers because he will resolve the situation on his own."
That's an idea as dumb as "the dog ate my homework," which appears to be the defense Belisario used in claiming he lost his passport. No matter how flaky Belisario is, his agent should at least be on the same page as him, or simply tell reporters "no comment" if he hasn't heard from his client. Maybe Kinzer can make it up to Belisario by getting him a sponsorship with Bad Idea Jeans.