Put these ball players in ascending order of age. (Hint: Don't rely on baseball's official media guides.)
Bartolo Colon, Indians pitcher
Deivi Cruz, Padres shortstop
Rafael Furcal, Braves infielder
Ramon Ortiz, Angels pitcher
Neifi Perez, Royals shortstop
Timo Perez, Mets outfielder
Enrique Wilson, Yankees infielder
1. Furcal. The 2000 National League Rookie of the Year admitted on Feb. 15 that he's 23 not 21 as previously stated. As is the case with the other players listed here, the discrepancy came to light when Furcal applied for a visa in the Dominican Republic. (Tighter security procedures since Sept. II have led to increased scrutiny of passports and other official documents in that country.) Furcal, who had 40 stolen bases in 2000, was stripped of the single-season record for steals by a teenager. The mark has been restored to Ty Cobb, who had 23 stolen bases in 1906 as a 19-year-old.
2. Timo Perez. Not 24, as believed, but 26. The age correction and subsequent visa problems have caused Perez, who's fighting for a major league job, to report late to New York's camp.
3. Colon. Last week, fireballer (left) was revealed to be 27, not 26.
4. Wilson, When he signed with Twins in 1992, his agent shaved two years off his age. Last week this well-traveled utility man revealed he's 28, not 26.
5. Neifi Perez. Perez revealed he too is 28, not 26. Said Royals general manager Allard Baird, "I would be concerned if he were 30, 32 years old."
6. Cruz. Aged three years, from 26 to 29, which could hurt the recent free-agent pickup, who's battling highly regarded rookie Ramon Vasquez, 25, for the starting job.
7. Ortiz. Also aged three years, from 26 to 29. "We're excited to have a more mature, knowledgeable player," says Angels vice president Tim Mead.