I've known Rene Gayo for many years. He's a friend to both me and my family.
The news late Wednesday night that the Pirates were releasing him, this following a Major League Baseball investigation into taking money from a Mexican League team as part of the sale of a player, was devastating. On so many levels. Because if it's proven that he did take a kickback, that's wrong. That's against the rules of his employer and the governing body of the sport. He'd deserve any penalty that's forthcoming, assuming anything could be more severe than losing his job of 13 years.
That said, I'm going to share some scattershot background and thoughts here, based on this relationship and based on having twice toured Latin America -- first the Dominican Republic, then the west coast of Mexico -- with Gayo on the job.