White Sox fire director of player personnel, two scouts

Updated: May 17, 2008, 1:32 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Chicago White Sox fired director of player personnel David Wilder on Friday along with two other scouts in the club's Latin American operation.

Victor Mateo and Domingo Toribio also were terminated after a two-month investigation by Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations, the team said.

"It's very disappointing. This is a tough day," general manager Kenny Williams said Friday in San Francisco, where the White Sox opened a three-game interleague series against the Giants. "It's not consistent with (owner) Jerry Reinsdorf, myself or what the White Sox organization stands for."

Findings from baseball's investigation have been turned over to federal authorities. The White Sox said the three were dismissed "for actions in Latin America that were violations of club policy and standards" but did not elaborate.

Williams said he could not comment further on what wrongdoing led to the firings. Wilder is a longtime baseball man. In 2005, he interviewed for Boston's general manager job before Theo Epstein returned to the Red Sox.

"This is an investigation we brought to Major League Baseball as part of our reorganization in the Dominican Republic," Williams said. "We now have a new facility, complete with state-of-the art equipment and facilities. We're trying to achieve greater results down there. We wanted to be sure our operations were consistent with what we stand for. Obviously, they were not in this investigation and we've made some changes accordingly.

"As to the what and the why, I'm not at liberty to expound on that."

Williams is eager to move forward and continue upgrading his franchise's operations in the Dominican Republic.

"That's the bad news. The good news is we're well on our way to getting a top-notch facility in place down there and a structure that is hopefully going to prove to be much more efficient," he said. "We are not going to take a step back from what we're trying to do. Now, we feel we have the best chance of success down there."

Wilder had supervised Chicago's Latin American operations since the fall of 2004. Mateo was a full-time scout and Toribio a part-timer.

Wilder began his player development career with the Oakland Athletics in 1990 after a seven-year minor league career as an outfielder in the Oakland and Chicago Cubs systems.

He was assistant director of scouting and player development for the Atlanta Braves from 1991-95; farm director and assistant general manager with the Cubs from 1996-99; and vice president of player personnel and special assignment scout with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2000-03, before joining the White Sox in 2004.

He oversaw Chicago's entire minor league department and player development staff as well as the club's Latin American operations.

Wilder was also a member of the United States Olympic Baseball team's selection committee in 2000, helping assemble the team that won the gold medal.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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