Tim Brown reports that Vlad Guerrero is actually 34, not 33 as we all thought:
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero said Friday he is a year older than his listed birth date, joining hundreds of players from the Dominican Republic who faked their ages when signing their first contracts with major-league teams.
Guerrero’s admission – initially unintentional – came in response to a question about his offseason knee surgery. Manager Mike Scioscia had said the surgery could have the effect of “maybe turning back the clock a couple years” for Guerrero.
Relayed that quote, the affable Guerrero smiled and responded through a translator, “I feel good. I can’t say [like] 25, because, you know, I’m 34. But I feel a lot better. That’s where I’m at right now.”
The Angels’ media guide, among other baseball references, list Guerrero’s birth date as Feb. 9, 1976, which would make him 33.
Guerrero had left the ballpark by the time the inconsistency was discovered. Reached by an Angels executive, Guerrero admitted he was born on the same date in 1975, making him 34. The club said it was aware of Guerrero’s actual birth date and after Friday’s development a team official said this year’s media guide would reflect the correct date.
There's been this assumption in the last few years that the issue of monkeying with birth dates is a thing of the past, and since Age-gate hit a few years back, one can generally rely that Latin American players are really as old as they claim to be.
But with Miguel Tejada aging two years last year, Vlad turning out to be a year older than expected, and the whole Smiley Gonzalez fiasco, it seems like the issue of year of birth uncertainty is still alive and well.