Who Is Leo Nunez?

Breaking news, baseball fans: Marlins closer Leo Núñez is not who he says he is. In fact, it has recently been reported that Leo Núñez is not Leo Núñez at all:

MIAMI—
The Marlins on Wednesday placed closer Leo Nunez on the restricted list so he could return to his native Dominican Republic to clear up a few things. Namely, his name.

A league source initially said Nunez was not missing the Marlins’ final six games as a result of improper conduct. Later, the source confirmed Nunez’s premature departure was the result of an immigration issue.

The Associated Press citing two people with knowledge of the case reported Nunez’s real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo and is 29, a year older than his listed age. The report also said the Marlins had been aware of the discrepancy for months.

A club spokesman would not comment beyond acknowledging Nunez was moved to the restricted list and that he’d returned to the Dominican to take care of a personal matter.

Who or where the real Leo Núñez is remains unknown, but it appears fairly certain that he is not “Leo Núñez, Marlins closer.”  Regarding the identity “Leo Núñez, Marlins closer,” as one possibility we have Juan Carlos Oviedo, as noted above. Bo-RING. Thank goodness an “industry observer” has proposed a far more intriguing alternate possibility:

One industry observer said he didn’t believe this incident would impact Nunez moving forward, saying: “At this point in his career it doesn’t seem like a big deal. In reality, what is the big deal unless it turns out he is Fidel Castro in disguise.”

Mr. “Industry Observer” says this as if it is patently absurd. But let’s think about this rationally for a moment.

-Cuba is only 200 miles or so from Miami. If Castro was going to attempt to infiltrate any team, the Marlins would be the most logistically feasible.

-Fidel Castro is a noted baseball fan and legend has it that he once tried out unsuccessfully for the Washington Senators. That’s our motive right there! Castro is finally living out his big league dream. “What a hypocrite!” you might be saying. “Cuba considers baseball players who defect to play in America traitors.” This would be true if there wasn’t an “in service of country” angle to Castro’s visit — namely, reconnaissance. He is secretly gathering intelligence on the numerous Cuban baseball stars who have defected over the years as well as surveying the contours of the American game so that the Cuban national team can gain a competitive advantage in international play.

-The photographic evidence is less than conclusive — a credit, perhaps, to Castro’s convincing disguise:

         

But this image of Castro with his Leo Núñez disguise digitally removed using the most advanced software seems to settle the matter once and for all:

Nice try, Fidel.




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Eric writes about the Phillies at The Good Phight. Follow him on Twitter.

8 Responses to “Who Is Leo Nunez?”

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  1. Blueyays says:

    He’s not who they thought he was. ‘Nuff said.

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  2. Dekker says:

    They’re both right handed!

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  3. Reuben says:

    He’s probably behind the Marlins’s change to “Miami Marlins”. Still looking for Elian Gonzalez.

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  4. There was always something I never trusted about Leo Nunez. It all makes sense now.

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  5. filihok says:

    Why is there no FanGraphs’ page for Fidel Castro?

    I can find Carlos Esmailyn Gonzalez Alvarez Lugo, however.

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  6. keegs says:

    Who is Karim Garcia?

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