The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Nurture to Showcase Nature
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Here’s an NYT story about youth baseball:

In modern youth baseball, where the culture has been transformed by the pursuit of the holy grail, a college athletic scholarship, the fundamentals are falling by the wayside in favor of flashier skills like big-league-style hitting and pitching. …

Everybody gets private tutoring these days, but most of that nurture goes to displaying nature: show that this kid will someday be able to throw 95 mph or hit the ball 400 feet.

As a result, in the last decade or so, a generation of top ballplayers has, in most cases, spent little time learning how to accurately throw across the diamond; catch a fly ball; field a ground ball and turn a double play; run the bases effectively; make a tag at a base; or, God forbid, bunt.

At Tufts University, a Division III power in New England, Coach John Casey gathers his new players on the first day of practice and makes this announcement:

“You’re no longer in the showcase world of display, display, display. We play baseball here — hit the cutoff man, do the little things that win games.”

Casey, the former president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, sometimes adds: “You have been hitting off a tee in an indoor cage way too much. You could teach a chimpanzee smoking a cigarette to hit a baseball off a tee.”

You can win a lot of high school games with a fully grown 5’9″ pitcher who can throw 75 mph strikes. But he won’t get many scholarship offers or get drafted because he’ll probably never be able to throw over 85 mph.

I’ve known a lot of guys who played minor league baseball. When I tracked down their stats, what I usually notice is that they didn’t make it to the big leagues because they lacked slugging power. The ability to reach major league fences is pretty rare.

 
Hide 114 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Lots of kids take a long time to physically mature and master the fundamentals. So it’s tough to evaluate the potential of young high school kids. The average MLB debut doesn’t even happen until age 24, which is 6 years after the 18th birthday and the senior year of HS.

    Nurture matters a lot more these days. A privately coached kid can get a huge jump start on a kid who’s not coached. Especially during the teen years when kids are still learning the basic of pitching and slugging. Also, a privately coached kid can get seen by the right scouts and know the right travel team to join.

    Blacks are only about 3% of Div 1 baseball players (not including HBCUs). They’re 8% of the MLB though and used to be 19% in the mid 80s. In the 2016 draft, they were 25% of the players selected.

    I wonder if the emphasis on nurture hurts blacks at the lower levels.

    I also wonder if China and the other East Asian countries will become baseball powerhouses. What if the Tiger Moms get interested in that? We know that Asians have quite a bit of athletic potential (they do well in the Olympics). Could they start flooding the MLB some day?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle a
    I wonder if the declining black rates in baseball is due to the lack of individualism that baseball presents. Kind of tuff displaying the latest " moves and jukes" on the diamond. Ever notice how there is no black cliques? go to a high school and observe the kids and the cliques. You got nerds, jocks, goths, punkers,stoners,skaters and on and on. Blacks kids don't do that. They're just black. No individualism because of peer review and pressure. Football and basketball certainly offer a young black a good place for peacocking. Same with the dance floor.
    , @res

    Lots of kids take a long time to physically mature and master the fundamentals. So it’s tough to evaluate the potential of young high school kids.
     
    Since the best approach I know to deal with this is to look at the parents, this helps make clear why we are seeing so many children of athletes succeeding. Among other things, it helps with the allocation of resources like private youth coaching.

    I wonder if the emphasis on nurture hurts blacks at the lower levels.
     
    Are you sure they are hurt there? Have you compared minor league numbers as well as D1? How many athletic and college bound blacks would choose baseball over sports like basketball and football that offer more scholarships?

    Football is an amazing outlier in this list of scholarships available per sports team: http://www.scholarshipstats.com/ncaalimits.html

    P.S. All of that said, I think your blacks/nurture hypothesis has merit, just would like to see more complete numbers supporting it.
    , @Negrolphin Pool

    What if the Tiger Moms get interested in that?
     
    Could Tiger Moms ever be interested in such a vanishing longshot with dire opportunity costs for the losers? Seems like the kind of sucker lotto bet that would appeal more to yolo LaTreequas.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /isteve/nurture-to-showcase-nature/#comment-1821385
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Young ballplayers haven’t been taught to throw,catch,turn a doubleplay,tag the runner… In other words,this crop is rotten in the field?

    Read More
    • Replies: @CK
    Every few years, as regular as clockwork, some modern Socrates rises up to announce that the younger generation is revolting to behold.
    Of course, concurrently with our new modern Socrates there is always a new modern Rousseau arisen to announce how flawed evil and demented the current generation of leaders is.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Father O, that is funny. Around here in WNY, our baseball season is way too short for HS and college teams to match the skills of the teams from the south and southwest. I know of no HS teams in WNY that plays on turf fields, so tough to practice on soggy infields and outfields. Nature probably shows up more around here but we send few players to DI or the minors.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. Interestingly it’s long been observed that a major problem with developing elite soccer talent in the US is the emphasis on kids playing in nice leagues with nice practice schedules, nice teamwork, nice egalitarianism, etc.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  4. whorefinder says: • Website

    The Moneyball effect has made the Moneyball skills such as homeruns and strikeouts become even bigger deals, and old deadball era skills were devalued.

    It seems like there could be an opening for a baseball school or personal coach to exploit: develop a program for smaller, skinnier players that teaches them how to:

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren’t prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.

    -steal bases off the pitchers, since many pitchers are trained to throw as hard as possible, which makes them have deeper knee bends and longer strides from the stretch, giving a base stealer an advantage; also, train how to steal third and home, which are more dangerous for a runner but add a lot more advantage to a team and a lot more excitement.

    -teach players how to slash hit/hit them where they ain’t instead of shooting for the fences, thus demphasizing the long ball in their game and driving pitchers wild, since they’re used to a majority of the players trying to hit one deep.

    -for pitchers, develop a program that emphasizes pinpoint location over flamethrowing.

    -teach those boring little things like hitting the cutoff man and doing double plays.

    -train good-fielding first-basemen, to the be late-inning replacements for the poor-fielding sluggers who man the position in the early innings (the Steve Garvey/ Mark Grace program?)

    They could call it the Ty Cobb Old School, or perhaps the Cool Papa Bell School of Baseball, since Ty Cobb is an evil racist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Do the Sabermetricians do much thinking about diminishing returns? One problem with taking raw statistics as gospel is they tend to lump many different underlying conditions. Just because overall base stealing has bad numbers doesn't mean it is always a bad idea. Just that the threshold needs adjusting. In a changing environment the time delay involved in gathering and analyzing statistics means we are unlikely to know current absolute truth (though if change is slow there might be convergence). Thinking of Moneyball as a market it seems clear that valuations will always fluctuate and we are likely to see fads and overcorrections.

    That was a long winded way of saying I think you have a good idea.
    , @marty
    Phht, look up Harry Walker's career.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Whorefinder, have them watch videos of Ichiru Suzuki. A truly complete bats man. Bunt, sacrifice, take a base on balls, hit a bad ball to opposite field and then be a demon when on base.
    , @EriK

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren’t prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.
     
    All hail, Lee Mazilli! Bunt King!

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/12/10/3748738/best-bunter-all-time-career-bunt-hits-bases-empty-mlb

    Steve, I see Garvey was highly effective in bunting for a hit with the bases empty(46 hits in 56 AB's).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Abc says:

    I already know which kids even have a remote chance at High School baseball, let alone higher levels when I watch my 8-9 year old play. The basic talent is either there at that age or not. Also, growing up in the 70s and 80s I cannot remember any kid “blossoming” from a horrible player to a great one over the years. I think baseball is pretty unique in that respect because of all the little skills needed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Right, but can you make finer discriminations? The best athlete of my childhood peers (who was somewhat tall in his early peer group) topped out around 5'10". He was still incredibly athletic and the HS quarterback and a good HS baseball pitcher and basketball player, but as a senior he was no longer the best athlete (especially in basketball, another good athlete hit a major growth spurt) and I think it was clear by then he wasn't going to excel at higher levels.

    Another way of putting this, I can imagine being able to identify (many, probably not all, not sure about most) HS baseball players at 8-9. I would be far less confident of identifying those capable of higher levels (especially without knowledge of their parents). The requirements for raw athletic talent (speed, strength, height, etc.) is extreme at high levels and I don't think it is possible to get a sense of that just by looking at the individual until post-puberty.

    The issue isn't distinguishing the horrible from the great. It is distinguishing the top 1% from the top 0.1% etc.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. College baseball scholarships are rare. Division 1 can have 11.7 scholarships, while Division 2 can have 9. To contrast, the basketball limits are 13 and 10.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder

    College baseball scholarships are rare. Division 1 can have 11.7 scholarships, while Division 2 can have 9. To contrast, the basketball limits are 13 and 10.
     
    Because basketball drives more college revenue and because it drives up diversity better.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Kyle a says:

    Coach Casey is wrong about hitting a baseball off a tee though. Hitting a baseball is probably one of the hardest achievements in all of sports and I’ve seen plenty of people that looked terrible attempting to hit a ball off a tee. It’s similar to hitting a golf ball. Makes one feel awkward positioning ones self to hit the ball.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Kyle a, Last time I am writing this. Hitting a baseball is not the hardest thing in sports. Good hitters hit a ball safely 1 out of three tries. They hit the ball, that is, put it in play, but it is either caught for an out, or fielded for a throw out at first or second base. Take the time to look at a game scorecard in the paper. Bases on balls don't count as an at bat, but see how many batters the pitcher(s) faced. If they faced 27 batters and only six struck out, that means at least 21 times the ball was "hit." The number of hits given up will tell you how many times they hit safely. Don't forget how many times they hit the ball foul.
    , @MBlanc46
    I played bseball almost every day in the summer (which extended from the first day enough snow had melted on the field to get some bounce-or-fly in until autumn rains made it too soggy) from about age 7 to about age 18. We played some 16" softball, too. I've never hit a baseball off a tee. I don't think I heard of tee ball until the late 1980s. It seems unnatural to me. If you want to hit something off a tee, play golf.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. CK says:
    @Father O'Hara
    Young ballplayers haven't been taught to throw,catch,turn a doubleplay,tag the runner... In other words,this crop is rotten in the field?

    Every few years, as regular as clockwork, some modern Socrates rises up to announce that the younger generation is revolting to behold.
    Of course, concurrently with our new modern Socrates there is always a new modern Rousseau arisen to announce how flawed evil and demented the current generation of leaders is.

    Read More
    • Agree: International Jew
    • Replies: @Abc
    Per John Mack, 1% genius:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/retired-morgan-stanley-ceo-millennials-arent-as-driven-as-my-generation-164247504.html
    , @Brutusale
    Commenting as a Little League/high school umpire of 40 years experience, I can tell you that the decline in fundamentals and overall skill sets/baseball savvy is real and quantifiable.

    When we went home to change into our uniforms to play Little League, we were playing for guys who were youth sports coaches for a long time, not fathers "volunteering" when their sons are on the team. They taught us the little things that make you a more complete player and worked on them in practice; as I recently proved to my nephews, I can still, with my damaged knees, do a pop-up slide, which I learned from my LL coach when I was 10 years old. We took these things back to the sandlot and worked on them there, too.

    I grew up in the 60s in a semi-rural area. We were playing ball all day long all summer long, which just isn't an option for 90% of American kids today. We put in the Gladwellian hours away from organized youth baseball.

    The other problem is the parents. Our dads were baseball fans, we all got the benefit of their love for the game. Parents today? I listen every time I call an infield fly rule out to see how many indignant howls I hear from parents in the stands with no clue as to what just transpired!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. Kyle a says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Lots of kids take a long time to physically mature and master the fundamentals. So it's tough to evaluate the potential of young high school kids. The average MLB debut doesn't even happen until age 24, which is 6 years after the 18th birthday and the senior year of HS.

    Nurture matters a lot more these days. A privately coached kid can get a huge jump start on a kid who's not coached. Especially during the teen years when kids are still learning the basic of pitching and slugging. Also, a privately coached kid can get seen by the right scouts and know the right travel team to join.

    Blacks are only about 3% of Div 1 baseball players (not including HBCUs). They're 8% of the MLB though and used to be 19% in the mid 80s. In the 2016 draft, they were 25% of the players selected.

    I wonder if the emphasis on nurture hurts blacks at the lower levels.

    I also wonder if China and the other East Asian countries will become baseball powerhouses. What if the Tiger Moms get interested in that? We know that Asians have quite a bit of athletic potential (they do well in the Olympics). Could they start flooding the MLB some day?

    I wonder if the declining black rates in baseball is due to the lack of individualism that baseball presents. Kind of tuff displaying the latest ” moves and jukes” on the diamond. Ever notice how there is no black cliques? go to a high school and observe the kids and the cliques. You got nerds, jocks, goths, punkers,stoners,skaters and on and on. Blacks kids don’t do that. They’re just black. No individualism because of peer review and pressure. Football and basketball certainly offer a young black a good place for peacocking. Same with the dance floor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Kyle a, I agree with you, but you are referring only to African Americans. There are lots of black, baseball players, descendants of African slaves, who come from the West Indies, Central and South American. AAs and SJWs don't consider them to be black, but Hispanic.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @Father O'Hara
    Young ballplayers haven't been taught to throw,catch,turn a doubleplay,tag the runner... In other words,this crop is rotten in the field?

    Father O, that is funny. Around here in WNY, our baseball season is way too short for HS and college teams to match the skills of the teams from the south and southwest. I know of no HS teams in WNY that plays on turf fields, so tough to practice on soggy infields and outfields. Nature probably shows up more around here but we send few players to DI or the minors.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ganderson
    Would you expect, then that TX and CA would eventually catch up and surpass WNY in lax because of the weather advantage?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. There are almost zero full rides in baseball because of Title IX.

    They have 11.7 full-rides worth to spread out to up to 30 players.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  12. I love the coach’s remark….” you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee.” I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn’t need a tee to hit the ball.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    I love the coach’s remark….” you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee.” I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn’t need a tee to hit the ball.
     
    That was a widely circulated photo. A quick look at google and bing images does not show it. Ted Williams mother was Mexican and Williams never wanted to discuss this. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/09/ted-williams-mexican-american-baseball-superstar-war-hero.html
    , @E. Rekshun
    I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other

    I remember BoSox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski smoked in the dugout between innings. And fro Seinfeld, I learned the NY Met Keith Hernandez was a smoker; who, by the way, won eleven consecutive Gold Gloves, more than any other first baseman, and was a lifetime .296 hitter!
    , @SteveRogers42
    Just put him in his Corsair and point him at the North Koreans.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. The Z Blog says: • Website

    This article would have been something close to accurate if it has focused on basketball, but we know that is forbidden. Of course, blacks are not dominating baseball so it must be destroyed. The usual suspects have been preaching against baseball for decades now.

    Now, the real decay in skill is in youth basketball. The NBA is an unwatchable human flea circus because at every level, it is attention seeking blacks doing what comes natural, rather than developing basketball skills.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bleuteaux
    I've wondered if anyone has really studied how much of baseball's nature prevents it from being taken over by blacks. It's hard to really excessively celebrate when the opposing pitcher can throw a baseball at your head 90 mph the next time you're up.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson

    The NBA is an unwatchable human flea circus
     
    That is too true. I used to love basketball, but I don't even watch the finals anymore. I also felt the same way about the NCAA, especially the final four, and now I never watch because the NCAA excites disgust and contempt. A pox on both the NBA and the NCAA.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. JamesG says:

    As a Nationals fan I found the most interesting news this spring: Bryce Harper gaining 15 or 20 pounds (I heard two reports, two figures) all of which is muscle.

    To put on new muscles one must lift weights and eat protein.

    Harper has always impressed me with his above-average seriousness and this weight gain, if true, confirms it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ex-banker
    There are alternatives, or at least supplements to protein and lifting weights. Testing for PEDs remains shaky at best.
    , @E. Rekshun
    Bryce Harper gaining 15 or 20 pounds (I heard two reports, two figures) all of which is muscle.

    Harper is 24 y/o and seems very motivated and dedicated, almost maniacally so. Yes, he could put on 15 lbs of muscle in one off season. He was a beast anyway.

    I put on ten pounds of natural muscle in six months at age 23 by lifting an hour a day and eating well.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    James, Fifteen or twenty pounds of muscle is a lot to put on in one off season.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. EriK says:

    The ability to reach major league fences is pretty rare.

    Especially with a wooden bat.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  16. Pat Boyle says:

    I personally know no baseball players in any league. All I know is what I have learned from the movies. In this case the best movie about young players was “Talent for the Game”. In this nice film James Olmos is a scout who keeps finding and testing young boys who want to play in the ‘bigs’.

    The lesson of the movie is that guys who have the talent to throw the ball hard enough to be considered for the major leagues are quite rare. He finds one after rejecting a whole string of guys who simply can’t achieve MLB velocity.

    It is like most baseball movies, a good heart warming story.

    Last week I had a cortisone shot in my shoulder. I could hardly use my right arm anymore because of what I thought was arthritis. In fact it was a rotator cuff injury caused by throwing too hard. It wasn’t a baseball. It was only a rock. I beat every other trooper in my company in an impromptu rock throwing contest. That was fifty years ago.

    Tony LaRussa the great Oakland A’s coach had been an infielder till that day he neglected to warm up before infield practice. He heard a click in his shoulder and he was out of baseball forever – at least as a player.

    When we got down to the last two guys in my Army rock throwing contest, my rival for best rock thrower quit the contest saying – “I don’t want to hurt my shoulder’. But I persisted and I heard that click that indicated that my shoulder would never be the same. I won, but at a cost. Half a century later it still bothers me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    The lesson of the movie is that guys who have the talent to throw the ball hard enough to be considered for the major leagues are quite rare.

    And those that can consistently throw strikes are even rarer.

    An acquaintance (6-5, 240 lbs, black) passed up a solid shot at starting QB for the University of Central Florida, to sign professionally in a late round for $20K with the Seattle Mariners. He could throw 95 MPH but couldn't consistently throw strikes. He lasted ten years in the minors, with less than a couple dozen games at AAA. He's been out of baseball for ten years, now pushing 40 y/o he mows lawns for a living.
    , @anonguy

    It is like most baseball movies, a good heart warming story.
     
    Seems very unheartwarming and cold to me, an endless string of children pursuing a dream, often encouraged by others, that is an impossibility due to genetic inevitability, complete luck of the draw, pluck has nothing to do with it.

    Predestination is an unsatisfactory narrative for most people, we avoid it studiously.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. res says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Lots of kids take a long time to physically mature and master the fundamentals. So it's tough to evaluate the potential of young high school kids. The average MLB debut doesn't even happen until age 24, which is 6 years after the 18th birthday and the senior year of HS.

    Nurture matters a lot more these days. A privately coached kid can get a huge jump start on a kid who's not coached. Especially during the teen years when kids are still learning the basic of pitching and slugging. Also, a privately coached kid can get seen by the right scouts and know the right travel team to join.

    Blacks are only about 3% of Div 1 baseball players (not including HBCUs). They're 8% of the MLB though and used to be 19% in the mid 80s. In the 2016 draft, they were 25% of the players selected.

    I wonder if the emphasis on nurture hurts blacks at the lower levels.

    I also wonder if China and the other East Asian countries will become baseball powerhouses. What if the Tiger Moms get interested in that? We know that Asians have quite a bit of athletic potential (they do well in the Olympics). Could they start flooding the MLB some day?

    Lots of kids take a long time to physically mature and master the fundamentals. So it’s tough to evaluate the potential of young high school kids.

    Since the best approach I know to deal with this is to look at the parents, this helps make clear why we are seeing so many children of athletes succeeding. Among other things, it helps with the allocation of resources like private youth coaching.

    I wonder if the emphasis on nurture hurts blacks at the lower levels.

    Are you sure they are hurt there? Have you compared minor league numbers as well as D1? How many athletic and college bound blacks would choose baseball over sports like basketball and football that offer more scholarships?

    Football is an amazing outlier in this list of scholarships available per sports team: http://www.scholarshipstats.com/ncaalimits.html

    P.S. All of that said, I think your blacks/nurture hypothesis has merit, just would like to see more complete numbers supporting it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    res, You can spend hours on a basketball court practicing shots and your dribble. Hard to practice baseball skills by yourself, unless you have access to a batting cage and pitching machine, but that does little for your fielding skills.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. Svigor says:
    Read More
    • Replies: @marty
    In February '01 in Marin County, I was walking home from work at around 10 p.m. It was about about a mile from the bus stop down a semi-rural road to my place. There was no one around and hardly any traffic. Suddenly three police cars began circling me, like piranha. One cop called out to me tbat I should stop and identfy myself. I asked why and he said there had been a lot of break-ins in the area recently. I declined and walked on.

    Last week the California Court of Appeal published the below opinion, involving a series of house burglaries in the same neighborhood two years earlier, in Feb. '99. The guy got away on foot, later being caught in Canada.

    So they were lying sacks of shit.

    http://calapp.blogspot.com/2017/03/people-v-lena-cal-ct-app-feb-22-2017.html

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. “Nurture showcases nature.” Nice phrase. I’ve tried to make a similar point to people regarding standardized tests. They’ll say, “The SAT or GRE just measures your ability to study for the test, nothing more.” Which, of course, is like saying that landing an MLB contrast just measures you ability to do the sorts of things that land you an MLB contract.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  20. Svigor says:

    Or this one? Sorry for the TL;DR comment, but I had to vent (and still barely scratched the surface). WaPo running around with their wig half off:

    Our Dishonest President

    In a matter of weeks, President Trump has taken dozens of real-life steps that, if they are not reversed, will rip families apart

    This lie, from the ones calling Trump a liar. It’s like the old one about chutzpah; killing your parents, then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court because you’re an orphan. Or tying your kids to a railroad track, then making a big stink about how the train is endangering your children. If you don’t want your family split by immigration law, then don’t start a family in a country where the law is within its rights (and legally obligated) to deport you at any time.

    SWPLs and SJWs would never forgive this type of callous disregard for one’s own family, were it found in rednecks. But since they consider Mexicans less than fully human, they don’t hold them to any standards. Of course Mexicans are a bunch of louts who give no thought whatsoever to their kids’ futures. They’re devoid of agency.

    Mexicans knew what they were getting into. They were willing to gamble with their families’ futures. Now LAT wants to cry foul when the house comes to collect its money.

    He has questioned the qualifications of judges and the integrity of their decisions, rather than acknowledging that even the president must submit to the rule of law.

    This is the leftist Narrative, yes. But roughly half of America is on the other side of the issue; they’re tired of activist judges, their tyrannical, unAmerican, and unConstitutional power-grabbing, and an institutionally venal Congress that tolerates and enables them. In other words, these judges flout the law, and Congress lets them get away with it.

    He has clashed with his own intelligence agencies

    Here the faceless editorial board has backed into a point; Trump should have fired the lion’s share (at least) of these creeps already. The longer he chooses not to, the more they become “his own.”

    demeaned government workers

    Most Americans hate gov’t workers. They lap it up when somebody trash talks them.

    questioned the credibility of the electoral system and the Federal Reserve.

    I suppose that at least half of the Americans who know anything about the Fed question its credibility.

    And FFS, Big Media and the Democrats have just spent the last five months questioning the credibility of the electoral system (“Trump lost the popular vote!”). I doubt the LAT is an exception.

    He has lashed out at journalists, declaring them “enemies of the people,” rather than defending the importance of a critical, independent free press. His contempt for the rule of law and the norms of government are palpable.

    Did you see that? It was pretty cute; American journalism (opinion rating in the toilet) is free, independent, and critical (Hussein who?) because the LAT says so. Except it ain’t. The ship on that finally sailed with the 2016 election. It ain’t ever coming back. Only ignorant America boob-tubers and leftists don’t know this (admittedly, they are legion).

    P.S., Americans’ contempt for the norms of gov’t are pretty palpable, outside Big Media and Big Gov’t. Hence President Trump.

    His utter lack of regard for truth. Whether it is the easily disprovable boasts about the size of his inauguration crowd or his unsubstantiated assertion that Barack Obama bugged Trump Tower

    LAT just admitted that Big Media (LAT, WaPo, NYT, the networks, CNN, MSNBC, etc.) is characterized by an utter lack of regard for truth. Because they’ve been running with this “Trump colluded with the Russians to rig our election” thing for months, based on less evidence than Trump has about Hussein bugging him.

    It’s difficult to know whether he actually can’t distinguish the real from the unreal

    “He doesn’t seem to know that we dictate what is real!” ~ WaPo

    This is a recipe for a divided country in which differences grow deeper and rational compromise becomes impossible.

    And this after Hussein spent 8 years bringing the American people Big Gov’t and Big Media closer together.

    His scary willingness to repeat alt-right conspiracy theories, racist memes and crackpot, out-of-the-mainstream ideas.

    “He doesn’t seem to know that we dictate what is real!” ~ WaPo

    I am struck by LAT’s willingness to expect us to believe their assertions, with no quotes. It’s remarkable, how often Big Media does this with Trump. Over and over, they make baseless accusations without using even out-of-context quotes. It’s standard practice now, and not just in opinion pieces.

    to make unverifiable or false statements about rigged elections and fraudulent voters;

    Pot, meet kettle. I’ll see you your “rigged elections,” and raise you “Russian-rigged elections.” These people lie so much, they don’t have time to keep track of all the lies they’ve told.

    Will Trump moderate his crazier campaign positions as time passes? Or will he provoke confrontation with Iran, North Korea or China, or disobey a judge’s order or order a soldier to violate the Constitution?

    Doesn’t Trump know that the 3,294+ federal judges are in charge of the Executive branch, and Trump is just there to Tweet?

    the permanent bureaucracy

    It’s like they’re trolling…

    his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, offered to cooperate last week with congressional investigators looking into the connection between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

    1. So what? 2. The Dems turned Flynn down, as I heard it.

    State legislators must pass laws to protect their citizens and their policies from federal meddling.

    Oho! Now it’s time for States’ rights!

    I love how this thing was published April 2nd, just to make sure we know they’re serious.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  21. Ex-banker says:
    @JamesG
    As a Nationals fan I found the most interesting news this spring: Bryce Harper gaining 15 or 20 pounds (I heard two reports, two figures) all of which is muscle.

    To put on new muscles one must lift weights and eat protein.

    Harper has always impressed me with his above-average seriousness and this weight gain, if true, confirms it.

    There are alternatives, or at least supplements to protein and lifting weights. Testing for PEDs remains shaky at best.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. whorefinder says: • Website
    @ScarletNumber
    College baseball scholarships are rare. Division 1 can have 11.7 scholarships, while Division 2 can have 9. To contrast, the basketball limits are 13 and 10.

    College baseball scholarships are rare. Division 1 can have 11.7 scholarships, while Division 2 can have 9. To contrast, the basketball limits are 13 and 10.

    Because basketball drives more college revenue and because it drives up diversity better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Way to state the obvious.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. res says:
    @whorefinder
    The Moneyball effect has made the Moneyball skills such as homeruns and strikeouts become even bigger deals, and old deadball era skills were devalued.

    It seems like there could be an opening for a baseball school or personal coach to exploit: develop a program for smaller, skinnier players that teaches them how to:

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren't prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.

    -steal bases off the pitchers, since many pitchers are trained to throw as hard as possible, which makes them have deeper knee bends and longer strides from the stretch, giving a base stealer an advantage; also, train how to steal third and home, which are more dangerous for a runner but add a lot more advantage to a team and a lot more excitement.

    -teach players how to slash hit/hit them where they ain't instead of shooting for the fences, thus demphasizing the long ball in their game and driving pitchers wild, since they're used to a majority of the players trying to hit one deep.

    -for pitchers, develop a program that emphasizes pinpoint location over flamethrowing.

    -teach those boring little things like hitting the cutoff man and doing double plays.

    -train good-fielding first-basemen, to the be late-inning replacements for the poor-fielding sluggers who man the position in the early innings (the Steve Garvey/ Mark Grace program?)

    They could call it the Ty Cobb Old School, or perhaps the Cool Papa Bell School of Baseball, since Ty Cobb is an evil racist.

    Do the Sabermetricians do much thinking about diminishing returns? One problem with taking raw statistics as gospel is they tend to lump many different underlying conditions. Just because overall base stealing has bad numbers doesn’t mean it is always a bad idea. Just that the threshold needs adjusting. In a changing environment the time delay involved in gathering and analyzing statistics means we are unlikely to know current absolute truth (though if change is slow there might be convergence). Thinking of Moneyball as a market it seems clear that valuations will always fluctuate and we are likely to see fads and overcorrections.

    That was a long winded way of saying I think you have a good idea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    It's, quite literally, Game Theory.

    To this day I'm shocked that the last known bunt-for-hits guy in the major leagues was Nellie Fox, who retired in 1965. Occasionally speedsters have bunted for hits since, but no one has made it a regular tool in his hitting arsenal since then.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. marty says:
    @whorefinder
    The Moneyball effect has made the Moneyball skills such as homeruns and strikeouts become even bigger deals, and old deadball era skills were devalued.

    It seems like there could be an opening for a baseball school or personal coach to exploit: develop a program for smaller, skinnier players that teaches them how to:

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren't prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.

    -steal bases off the pitchers, since many pitchers are trained to throw as hard as possible, which makes them have deeper knee bends and longer strides from the stretch, giving a base stealer an advantage; also, train how to steal third and home, which are more dangerous for a runner but add a lot more advantage to a team and a lot more excitement.

    -teach players how to slash hit/hit them where they ain't instead of shooting for the fences, thus demphasizing the long ball in their game and driving pitchers wild, since they're used to a majority of the players trying to hit one deep.

    -for pitchers, develop a program that emphasizes pinpoint location over flamethrowing.

    -teach those boring little things like hitting the cutoff man and doing double plays.

    -train good-fielding first-basemen, to the be late-inning replacements for the poor-fielding sluggers who man the position in the early innings (the Steve Garvey/ Mark Grace program?)

    They could call it the Ty Cobb Old School, or perhaps the Cool Papa Bell School of Baseball, since Ty Cobb is an evil racist.

    Phht, look up Harry Walker’s career.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. Abc says:
    @CK
    Every few years, as regular as clockwork, some modern Socrates rises up to announce that the younger generation is revolting to behold.
    Of course, concurrently with our new modern Socrates there is always a new modern Rousseau arisen to announce how flawed evil and demented the current generation of leaders is.
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. res says:
    @Abc
    I already know which kids even have a remote chance at High School baseball, let alone higher levels when I watch my 8-9 year old play. The basic talent is either there at that age or not. Also, growing up in the 70s and 80s I cannot remember any kid "blossoming" from a horrible player to a great one over the years. I think baseball is pretty unique in that respect because of all the little skills needed.

    Right, but can you make finer discriminations? The best athlete of my childhood peers (who was somewhat tall in his early peer group) topped out around 5’10″. He was still incredibly athletic and the HS quarterback and a good HS baseball pitcher and basketball player, but as a senior he was no longer the best athlete (especially in basketball, another good athlete hit a major growth spurt) and I think it was clear by then he wasn’t going to excel at higher levels.

    Another way of putting this, I can imagine being able to identify (many, probably not all, not sure about most) HS baseball players at 8-9. I would be far less confident of identifying those capable of higher levels (especially without knowledge of their parents). The requirements for raw athletic talent (speed, strength, height, etc.) is extreme at high levels and I don’t think it is possible to get a sense of that just by looking at the individual until post-puberty.

    The issue isn’t distinguishing the horrible from the great. It is distinguishing the top 1% from the top 0.1% etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abc
    I don't think we are disagreeing. I just believe you will rarely see a kid at 8-9 years old go from being completely incapable to becoming a phenom 10 years later. I'd say that you'd have the ability at age 8-9 to know who, with 90% probability, is going to at least have a chance of moving up as they age. The innate 5 raw tools of baseball athleticism should be very evident by 8-9. The intangibles of the drive and grit needed to develop those tools may even be evident at that age as well, but less discernible until adolescence. Of course the only real unknown at that young age may be the ultimate physical size. But tou can usually get an inkling of what the future holds by looking at the parents' size. Great athletes (Michael Phelps) are usually born with physical gifts first, then the final 10% is nurture.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. Abc says:
    @res
    Right, but can you make finer discriminations? The best athlete of my childhood peers (who was somewhat tall in his early peer group) topped out around 5'10". He was still incredibly athletic and the HS quarterback and a good HS baseball pitcher and basketball player, but as a senior he was no longer the best athlete (especially in basketball, another good athlete hit a major growth spurt) and I think it was clear by then he wasn't going to excel at higher levels.

    Another way of putting this, I can imagine being able to identify (many, probably not all, not sure about most) HS baseball players at 8-9. I would be far less confident of identifying those capable of higher levels (especially without knowledge of their parents). The requirements for raw athletic talent (speed, strength, height, etc.) is extreme at high levels and I don't think it is possible to get a sense of that just by looking at the individual until post-puberty.

    The issue isn't distinguishing the horrible from the great. It is distinguishing the top 1% from the top 0.1% etc.

    I don’t think we are disagreeing. I just believe you will rarely see a kid at 8-9 years old go from being completely incapable to becoming a phenom 10 years later. I’d say that you’d have the ability at age 8-9 to know who, with 90% probability, is going to at least have a chance of moving up as they age. The innate 5 raw tools of baseball athleticism should be very evident by 8-9. The intangibles of the drive and grit needed to develop those tools may even be evident at that age as well, but less discernible until adolescence. Of course the only real unknown at that young age may be the ultimate physical size. But tou can usually get an inkling of what the future holds by looking at the parents’ size. Great athletes (Michael Phelps) are usually born with physical gifts first, then the final 10% is nurture.

    Read More
    • Agree: res
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The best kickball player in my first grade class later hit 23 homers in his best season in Double AA minor league baseball.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. whorefinder says: • Website
    @res
    Do the Sabermetricians do much thinking about diminishing returns? One problem with taking raw statistics as gospel is they tend to lump many different underlying conditions. Just because overall base stealing has bad numbers doesn't mean it is always a bad idea. Just that the threshold needs adjusting. In a changing environment the time delay involved in gathering and analyzing statistics means we are unlikely to know current absolute truth (though if change is slow there might be convergence). Thinking of Moneyball as a market it seems clear that valuations will always fluctuate and we are likely to see fads and overcorrections.

    That was a long winded way of saying I think you have a good idea.

    It’s, quite literally, Game Theory.

    To this day I’m shocked that the last known bunt-for-hits guy in the major leagues was Nellie Fox, who retired in 1965. Occasionally speedsters have bunted for hits since, but no one has made it a regular tool in his hitting arsenal since then.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I saw Steve Garvey bunt for his 200th hit of the 1980 season and he was very slow.

    I saw Juan Pierre, who was very fast, bunt for a double.

    , @MBlanc46
    Nellie Fox was one of the idols of my youth. The thick-handled bat well-choked up, the chaw of tobacco in his cheek, catching just about every ball he could get to. Choosing between him and Luis Aparicio as my favorite was tough, but he usually came out top. There was a lot of talk around here (Chicago area) when his eligibility or the Hall expired. When you look at the numbers, he's not quite that caliber, but he really was a sparkplug.
    , @ganderson
    Rod Carew regularly bunted for hits. In fact a whole bunch of the late '70s Gene Mauch-managed Twins bunted for hits.
    , @marty
    Wrong. Both Maury Wills and Matty Alou regularly bunted for hits. Brett Butler too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. No less than Ted Williams agreed that the well schooled players of his era could not play with the unschooled players of today, studs excepted.

    If a kid can throw 95 he has the potential to survive and thrive at 90 when his arm wears down, which it will. If a kid throws 85, his potential is to learn the knuckleball. The average fastball is up 6 mph over thirty years. BTW, if anybody doesn’t know, 85 is pretty damn quick up close and personal.

    Power is immensely important. Slugging percentage rules a productive offense. Singles do not drive in runs from first, and doubles do not leave you vulnerable to the double play either. Exit velocity even plays well for singles as well because the defenders can get to fewer balls. Baseball is hard. Even playing bad baseball is hard, which may be why fewer kids are playing it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  30. eah says:

    OT

    Current LAT editorial — Our Dishonest President — it starts off:

    It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a “catastrophe.”…Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.

    And proceeds from there — etc etc — ‘read the whole thing there’ — despite the level of hostility the media has always showed Trump, I find this editorial shocking in its harsh tone and rather “dishonest” content — some of it phony as hell: Like millions of other Americans, we clung to a slim hope that the new president would turn out to be all noise and bluster, or that the people around him in the White House would act as a check on his worst instincts… — outlets like the LAT have treated Trump’s staff picks with same disdain and contempt.

    I personally do not feel Trump should tweet as President — certainly he should not respond to each and every petty jibe aimed at him — but here I would make an exception, and tell the LAT to fuck right off.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  31. Bill B. says:

    OT

    The Singapore blogger and putative political dissident Amos Yee has been granted asylum in the US (although he is still held by ICE) very recently.

    I stumbled across this exchange on Facebook between the editor of the independent Hong Kong-based news outfit Asia Sentinel and the deputy head of Human Rights Watch in Asia. Keep in mind that Asia Sentinel is a worthy publication that campaigns for human rights and against corruption and that these words are open to the world.

    I know almost nothing about Yee but for Berthelsen (ex-Wall Street Journal IIRC) to say this suggests that he is a swine.

    Does such a man – who seems to have gone out of his way to insult Christians and Muslims in Singapore – deserve asylum?

    Comments
    John Berthelsen
    John Berthelsen amos is also an absolute snot, but that’s another story.
    Like · Reply · 25 March at 16:31

    Dave D’aranjo
    Dave D’aranjo Irrelevant
    Like · Reply · 25 March at 21:34

    John Berthelsen
    John Berthelsen We have defended him repeatedly in Asia Sentinel. But he is still an absolute snot. Giving him asylum while thousands of syrians face death where they are is absurd.
    Like · Reply · 26 March at 08:39

    Phil Robertson
    Phil Robertson John, that’s the reason that we don’t play refugee vs. refugee competition games. I don’t doubt that there are many Syrian refugees who deserve asylum, but that doesn’t make it “absurd” to give Amos asylum given the way that he’s been treated by the Singapore government. He’s clearly a political refugee.
    Like · Reply · 6 · 26 March at 10:23

    John Berthelsen
    John Berthelsen I know, Phil. As I said, AS has defended him repeatedly and would continue to do so. But I really found him to be a disagreeable piece of work.
    Like · Reply · 26 March at 10:49

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  32. I’ve always been fascinated by the ability of scouts to spot talent, especially in college football. They fan out across the high schools and somehow are able to figure out which All-League running back out of hundreds who look the same to the normal fan has what it takes to play Division I-A. Programs like Ohio State that just seem to reload year after year depend on the ability to see talent in places it really doesn’t have much chance to differentiate itself.

    A kid from our local, cold-weather high school signed with an MLB team to the tune of $3 mil before he was old enough to vote. He looked plenty good to me, but it’s not like he was hitting .600 against the pitching in our league. But somehow all the scouts saw that he has the blood.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Faraday, College coaches have solid pipelines established with premier HS teams. HS coaches will often alert a college scout to a talent that plays against them. HS coaches gain credibility when their athletes get D-I scholarships. College coaches also know that not too many halfbacks tearing up the league at a Class D HS will produce the same against Class AA HS teams.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. Clyde says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    I love the coach's remark...." you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee." I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn't need a tee to hit the ball.

    I love the coach’s remark….” you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee.” I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn’t need a tee to hit the ball.

    That was a widely circulated photo. A quick look at google and bing images does not show it. Ted Williams mother was Mexican and Williams never wanted to discuss this. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/09/ted-williams-mexican-american-baseball-superstar-war-hero.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Clyde, Thank you and if I remember correctly, Williams was not heavily muscled.
    , @BB753
    Funny how Ted Williams being half-Mexican on his mother's side makes him 100% Mexican - American today!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. Realist says:

    “The ability to reach major league fences is pretty rare.”

    And totally useless to humanity.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  35. Bleuteaux says:
    @The Z Blog
    This article would have been something close to accurate if it has focused on basketball, but we know that is forbidden. Of course, blacks are not dominating baseball so it must be destroyed. The usual suspects have been preaching against baseball for decades now.

    Now, the real decay in skill is in youth basketball. The NBA is an unwatchable human flea circus because at every level, it is attention seeking blacks doing what comes natural, rather than developing basketball skills.

    I’ve wondered if anyone has really studied how much of baseball’s nature prevents it from being taken over by blacks. It’s hard to really excessively celebrate when the opposing pitcher can throw a baseball at your head 90 mph the next time you’re up.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. @whorefinder
    The Moneyball effect has made the Moneyball skills such as homeruns and strikeouts become even bigger deals, and old deadball era skills were devalued.

    It seems like there could be an opening for a baseball school or personal coach to exploit: develop a program for smaller, skinnier players that teaches them how to:

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren't prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.

    -steal bases off the pitchers, since many pitchers are trained to throw as hard as possible, which makes them have deeper knee bends and longer strides from the stretch, giving a base stealer an advantage; also, train how to steal third and home, which are more dangerous for a runner but add a lot more advantage to a team and a lot more excitement.

    -teach players how to slash hit/hit them where they ain't instead of shooting for the fences, thus demphasizing the long ball in their game and driving pitchers wild, since they're used to a majority of the players trying to hit one deep.

    -for pitchers, develop a program that emphasizes pinpoint location over flamethrowing.

    -teach those boring little things like hitting the cutoff man and doing double plays.

    -train good-fielding first-basemen, to the be late-inning replacements for the poor-fielding sluggers who man the position in the early innings (the Steve Garvey/ Mark Grace program?)

    They could call it the Ty Cobb Old School, or perhaps the Cool Papa Bell School of Baseball, since Ty Cobb is an evil racist.

    Whorefinder, have them watch videos of Ichiru Suzuki. A truly complete bats man. Bunt, sacrifice, take a base on balls, hit a bad ball to opposite field and then be a demon when on base.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. Brutusale says:
    @CK
    Every few years, as regular as clockwork, some modern Socrates rises up to announce that the younger generation is revolting to behold.
    Of course, concurrently with our new modern Socrates there is always a new modern Rousseau arisen to announce how flawed evil and demented the current generation of leaders is.

    Commenting as a Little League/high school umpire of 40 years experience, I can tell you that the decline in fundamentals and overall skill sets/baseball savvy is real and quantifiable.

    When we went home to change into our uniforms to play Little League, we were playing for guys who were youth sports coaches for a long time, not fathers “volunteering” when their sons are on the team. They taught us the little things that make you a more complete player and worked on them in practice; as I recently proved to my nephews, I can still, with my damaged knees, do a pop-up slide, which I learned from my LL coach when I was 10 years old. We took these things back to the sandlot and worked on them there, too.

    I grew up in the 60s in a semi-rural area. We were playing ball all day long all summer long, which just isn’t an option for 90% of American kids today. We put in the Gladwellian hours away from organized youth baseball.

    The other problem is the parents. Our dads were baseball fans, we all got the benefit of their love for the game. Parents today? I listen every time I call an infield fly rule out to see how many indignant howls I hear from parents in the stands with no clue as to what just transpired!

    Read More
    • Replies: @EriK

    Commenting as a Little League/high school umpire of 40 years experience, I can tell you that the decline in fundamentals and overall skill sets/baseball savvy is real and quantifiable.
     
    It's sad but true. I went to watch my godson play a couple little league games last year and was disgusted. The games were terrible beyond belief. I was so disappointed. I wasn't expecting the 2016 Cubs, but was expecting a little hustle out there at least.
    , @Ivy
    How many kids now are so enthralled with baseball that they climb in bed at night with their mitt and transistor radio (or modern analog) to catch a game, let alone pore over box scores or learn how to keep score? Too many distractions, I suppose, and not enough reinforcement for individual skill efforts supporting team efforts.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. @Kyle a
    Coach Casey is wrong about hitting a baseball off a tee though. Hitting a baseball is probably one of the hardest achievements in all of sports and I've seen plenty of people that looked terrible attempting to hit a ball off a tee. It's similar to hitting a golf ball. Makes one feel awkward positioning ones self to hit the ball.

    Kyle a, Last time I am writing this. Hitting a baseball is not the hardest thing in sports. Good hitters hit a ball safely 1 out of three tries. They hit the ball, that is, put it in play, but it is either caught for an out, or fielded for a throw out at first or second base. Take the time to look at a game scorecard in the paper. Bases on balls don’t count as an at bat, but see how many batters the pitcher(s) faced. If they faced 27 batters and only six struck out, that means at least 21 times the ball was “hit.” The number of hits given up will tell you how many times they hit safely. Don’t forget how many times they hit the ball foul.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @Buffalo Joe
    I love the coach's remark...." you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee." I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn't need a tee to hit the ball.

    I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other

    I remember BoSox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski smoked in the dugout between innings. And fro Seinfeld, I learned the NY Met Keith Hernandez was a smoker; who, by the way, won eleven consecutive Gold Gloves, more than any other first baseman, and was a lifetime .296 hitter!

    Read More
    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    Richie -- aka Dick -- Allen of the Phillies was featured on the SI cover juggling baseballs with a butt in his mouth.

    "You could look it up."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. @Kyle a
    I wonder if the declining black rates in baseball is due to the lack of individualism that baseball presents. Kind of tuff displaying the latest " moves and jukes" on the diamond. Ever notice how there is no black cliques? go to a high school and observe the kids and the cliques. You got nerds, jocks, goths, punkers,stoners,skaters and on and on. Blacks kids don't do that. They're just black. No individualism because of peer review and pressure. Football and basketball certainly offer a young black a good place for peacocking. Same with the dance floor.

    Kyle a, I agree with you, but you are referring only to African Americans. There are lots of black, baseball players, descendants of African slaves, who come from the West Indies, Central and South American. AAs and SJWs don’t consider them to be black, but Hispanic.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. @JamesG
    As a Nationals fan I found the most interesting news this spring: Bryce Harper gaining 15 or 20 pounds (I heard two reports, two figures) all of which is muscle.

    To put on new muscles one must lift weights and eat protein.

    Harper has always impressed me with his above-average seriousness and this weight gain, if true, confirms it.

    Bryce Harper gaining 15 or 20 pounds (I heard two reports, two figures) all of which is muscle.

    Harper is 24 y/o and seems very motivated and dedicated, almost maniacally so. Yes, he could put on 15 lbs of muscle in one off season. He was a beast anyway.

    I put on ten pounds of natural muscle in six months at age 23 by lifting an hour a day and eating well.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  42. @JamesG
    As a Nationals fan I found the most interesting news this spring: Bryce Harper gaining 15 or 20 pounds (I heard two reports, two figures) all of which is muscle.

    To put on new muscles one must lift weights and eat protein.

    Harper has always impressed me with his above-average seriousness and this weight gain, if true, confirms it.

    James, Fifteen or twenty pounds of muscle is a lot to put on in one off season.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. @Pat Boyle
    I personally know no baseball players in any league. All I know is what I have learned from the movies. In this case the best movie about young players was "Talent for the Game". In this nice film James Olmos is a scout who keeps finding and testing young boys who want to play in the 'bigs'.

    The lesson of the movie is that guys who have the talent to throw the ball hard enough to be considered for the major leagues are quite rare. He finds one after rejecting a whole string of guys who simply can't achieve MLB velocity.

    It is like most baseball movies, a good heart warming story.

    Last week I had a cortisone shot in my shoulder. I could hardly use my right arm anymore because of what I thought was arthritis. In fact it was a rotator cuff injury caused by throwing too hard. It wasn't a baseball. It was only a rock. I beat every other trooper in my company in an impromptu rock throwing contest. That was fifty years ago.

    Tony LaRussa the great Oakland A's coach had been an infielder till that day he neglected to warm up before infield practice. He heard a click in his shoulder and he was out of baseball forever - at least as a player.

    When we got down to the last two guys in my Army rock throwing contest, my rival for best rock thrower quit the contest saying - "I don't want to hurt my shoulder'. But I persisted and I heard that click that indicated that my shoulder would never be the same. I won, but at a cost. Half a century later it still bothers me.

    The lesson of the movie is that guys who have the talent to throw the ball hard enough to be considered for the major leagues are quite rare.

    And those that can consistently throw strikes are even rarer.

    An acquaintance (6-5, 240 lbs, black) passed up a solid shot at starting QB for the University of Central Florida, to sign professionally in a late round for $20K with the Seattle Mariners. He could throw 95 MPH but couldn’t consistently throw strikes. He lasted ten years in the minors, with less than a couple dozen games at AAA. He’s been out of baseball for ten years, now pushing 40 y/o he mows lawns for a living.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That was another pattern in my old friends: big guy pitchers who could ring up strikeouts but couldn't keep their walks under 6 or 7 per nine innings.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @res

    Lots of kids take a long time to physically mature and master the fundamentals. So it’s tough to evaluate the potential of young high school kids.
     
    Since the best approach I know to deal with this is to look at the parents, this helps make clear why we are seeing so many children of athletes succeeding. Among other things, it helps with the allocation of resources like private youth coaching.

    I wonder if the emphasis on nurture hurts blacks at the lower levels.
     
    Are you sure they are hurt there? Have you compared minor league numbers as well as D1? How many athletic and college bound blacks would choose baseball over sports like basketball and football that offer more scholarships?

    Football is an amazing outlier in this list of scholarships available per sports team: http://www.scholarshipstats.com/ncaalimits.html

    P.S. All of that said, I think your blacks/nurture hypothesis has merit, just would like to see more complete numbers supporting it.

    res, You can spend hours on a basketball court practicing shots and your dribble. Hard to practice baseball skills by yourself, unless you have access to a batting cage and pitching machine, but that does little for your fielding skills.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. marty says:
    @Svigor

    In February ’01 in Marin County, I was walking home from work at around 10 p.m. It was about about a mile from the bus stop down a semi-rural road to my place. There was no one around and hardly any traffic. Suddenly three police cars began circling me, like piranha. One cop called out to me tbat I should stop and identfy myself. I asked why and he said there had been a lot of break-ins in the area recently. I declined and walked on.

    Last week the California Court of Appeal published the below opinion, involving a series of house burglaries in the same neighborhood two years earlier, in Feb. ’99. The guy got away on foot, later being caught in Canada.

    So they were lying sacks of shit.

    http://calapp.blogspot.com/2017/03/people-v-lena-cal-ct-app-feb-22-2017.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Read More
    • Replies: @Fredrik
    Apparently the 'refugee' was arrested soon afterwards by two male cops.

    The real story here is that women don't make good cops.
    , @SteveRogers42
    I count 4 inept EuroCopettes. And when Good Citizen Olaf steps in and single-handedly shows 'em how it's done, the Swedish Schoolmarms act like they're going to arrest HIM!

    And these are the guardians of justice who are nominally supposed to protect the Swedes from the immivaders. If it wasn't so sad, it would be hilarious.
    , @Formerly CARealist
    Are you kidding me? Why don't they shoot his ass? That's the whole point of guns, you don't have to be a big bruiser to win a fight with a crazy man.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. anonguy says:
    @Pat Boyle
    I personally know no baseball players in any league. All I know is what I have learned from the movies. In this case the best movie about young players was "Talent for the Game". In this nice film James Olmos is a scout who keeps finding and testing young boys who want to play in the 'bigs'.

    The lesson of the movie is that guys who have the talent to throw the ball hard enough to be considered for the major leagues are quite rare. He finds one after rejecting a whole string of guys who simply can't achieve MLB velocity.

    It is like most baseball movies, a good heart warming story.

    Last week I had a cortisone shot in my shoulder. I could hardly use my right arm anymore because of what I thought was arthritis. In fact it was a rotator cuff injury caused by throwing too hard. It wasn't a baseball. It was only a rock. I beat every other trooper in my company in an impromptu rock throwing contest. That was fifty years ago.

    Tony LaRussa the great Oakland A's coach had been an infielder till that day he neglected to warm up before infield practice. He heard a click in his shoulder and he was out of baseball forever - at least as a player.

    When we got down to the last two guys in my Army rock throwing contest, my rival for best rock thrower quit the contest saying - "I don't want to hurt my shoulder'. But I persisted and I heard that click that indicated that my shoulder would never be the same. I won, but at a cost. Half a century later it still bothers me.

    It is like most baseball movies, a good heart warming story.

    Seems very unheartwarming and cold to me, an endless string of children pursuing a dream, often encouraged by others, that is an impossibility due to genetic inevitability, complete luck of the draw, pluck has nothing to do with it.

    Predestination is an unsatisfactory narrative for most people, we avoid it studiously.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    In the old days it was understood that the chances, even then , were very small that you would become a major leaguer. You did it knowing this and were not especially disappointed when it didn't work out. You chased the dream and when it turned out you didn't have the right stuff you got a job at the plant, married and had kids and that was that.

    It's the lie that "Anyone can be anything they want if the dream is big enough and they work hard enough" that has caused so much grief.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. @Buffalo Joe
    I love the coach's remark...." you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee." I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn't need a tee to hit the ball.

    Just put him in his Corsair and point him at the North Koreans.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. @whorefinder
    It's, quite literally, Game Theory.

    To this day I'm shocked that the last known bunt-for-hits guy in the major leagues was Nellie Fox, who retired in 1965. Occasionally speedsters have bunted for hits since, but no one has made it a regular tool in his hitting arsenal since then.

    I saw Steve Garvey bunt for his 200th hit of the 1980 season and he was very slow.

    I saw Juan Pierre, who was very fast, bunt for a double.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Taco

    I saw Juan Pierre, who was very fast, bunt for a double
     
    Is this what you're referring to?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LaF92DKk3kk

    I wouldn't exactly call it a bunt.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. MBlanc46 says:
    @Kyle a
    Coach Casey is wrong about hitting a baseball off a tee though. Hitting a baseball is probably one of the hardest achievements in all of sports and I've seen plenty of people that looked terrible attempting to hit a ball off a tee. It's similar to hitting a golf ball. Makes one feel awkward positioning ones self to hit the ball.

    I played bseball almost every day in the summer (which extended from the first day enough snow had melted on the field to get some bounce-or-fly in until autumn rains made it too soggy) from about age 7 to about age 18. We played some 16″ softball, too. I’ve never hit a baseball off a tee. I don’t think I heard of tee ball until the late 1980s. It seems unnatural to me. If you want to hit something off a tee, play golf.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. @E. Rekshun
    The lesson of the movie is that guys who have the talent to throw the ball hard enough to be considered for the major leagues are quite rare.

    And those that can consistently throw strikes are even rarer.

    An acquaintance (6-5, 240 lbs, black) passed up a solid shot at starting QB for the University of Central Florida, to sign professionally in a late round for $20K with the Seattle Mariners. He could throw 95 MPH but couldn't consistently throw strikes. He lasted ten years in the minors, with less than a couple dozen games at AAA. He's been out of baseball for ten years, now pushing 40 y/o he mows lawns for a living.

    That was another pattern in my old friends: big guy pitchers who could ring up strikeouts but couldn’t keep their walks under 6 or 7 per nine innings.

    Read More
    • Replies: @marty
    For big righthanders, the walks are often an artifact of a fastball with no movement - you become afraid of going into the strike zone, because every guy at AA or above can hit a straight 95 mph fastball. The Giants have a guy now, Hunter Strickland, who can throw a strike any time he wants at 97 mph. He'll lead the league in HR's per 9 innings this year.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. @Abc
    I don't think we are disagreeing. I just believe you will rarely see a kid at 8-9 years old go from being completely incapable to becoming a phenom 10 years later. I'd say that you'd have the ability at age 8-9 to know who, with 90% probability, is going to at least have a chance of moving up as they age. The innate 5 raw tools of baseball athleticism should be very evident by 8-9. The intangibles of the drive and grit needed to develop those tools may even be evident at that age as well, but less discernible until adolescence. Of course the only real unknown at that young age may be the ultimate physical size. But tou can usually get an inkling of what the future holds by looking at the parents' size. Great athletes (Michael Phelps) are usually born with physical gifts first, then the final 10% is nurture.

    The best kickball player in my first grade class later hit 23 homers in his best season in Double AA minor league baseball.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    The best kickball player in my first grade class later hit 23 homers in his best season in Double AA minor league baseball.

    I wonder if with the proper coaching he could have had a career as an NFL place kicker.

    I was the best wiffle ball player in my neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods in my youth. Every now and then a couple of old childhood friends will bring that up. Nonetheless, my MLB dreams died the day I didn't make the high school varsity baseball team on my third try as a junior.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. EriK says:
    @whorefinder
    The Moneyball effect has made the Moneyball skills such as homeruns and strikeouts become even bigger deals, and old deadball era skills were devalued.

    It seems like there could be an opening for a baseball school or personal coach to exploit: develop a program for smaller, skinnier players that teaches them how to:

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren't prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.

    -steal bases off the pitchers, since many pitchers are trained to throw as hard as possible, which makes them have deeper knee bends and longer strides from the stretch, giving a base stealer an advantage; also, train how to steal third and home, which are more dangerous for a runner but add a lot more advantage to a team and a lot more excitement.

    -teach players how to slash hit/hit them where they ain't instead of shooting for the fences, thus demphasizing the long ball in their game and driving pitchers wild, since they're used to a majority of the players trying to hit one deep.

    -for pitchers, develop a program that emphasizes pinpoint location over flamethrowing.

    -teach those boring little things like hitting the cutoff man and doing double plays.

    -train good-fielding first-basemen, to the be late-inning replacements for the poor-fielding sluggers who man the position in the early innings (the Steve Garvey/ Mark Grace program?)

    They could call it the Ty Cobb Old School, or perhaps the Cool Papa Bell School of Baseball, since Ty Cobb is an evil racist.

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren’t prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.

    All hail, Lee Mazilli! Bunt King!

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/12/10/3748738/best-bunter-all-time-career-bunt-hits-bases-empty-mlb

    Steve, I see Garvey was highly effective in bunting for a hit with the bases empty(46 hits in 56 AB’s).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Garvey hit the ball hard but was a slow runner so infields played him deep, so he'd lay down bunts for a base hit.
    , @ben tillman

    Steve, I see Garvey was highly effective in bunting for a hit with the bases empty(46 hits in 56 AB’s).
     
    That is astonishing. Where did you dig that up?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. EriK says:
    @Brutusale
    Commenting as a Little League/high school umpire of 40 years experience, I can tell you that the decline in fundamentals and overall skill sets/baseball savvy is real and quantifiable.

    When we went home to change into our uniforms to play Little League, we were playing for guys who were youth sports coaches for a long time, not fathers "volunteering" when their sons are on the team. They taught us the little things that make you a more complete player and worked on them in practice; as I recently proved to my nephews, I can still, with my damaged knees, do a pop-up slide, which I learned from my LL coach when I was 10 years old. We took these things back to the sandlot and worked on them there, too.

    I grew up in the 60s in a semi-rural area. We were playing ball all day long all summer long, which just isn't an option for 90% of American kids today. We put in the Gladwellian hours away from organized youth baseball.

    The other problem is the parents. Our dads were baseball fans, we all got the benefit of their love for the game. Parents today? I listen every time I call an infield fly rule out to see how many indignant howls I hear from parents in the stands with no clue as to what just transpired!

    Commenting as a Little League/high school umpire of 40 years experience, I can tell you that the decline in fundamentals and overall skill sets/baseball savvy is real and quantifiable.

    It’s sad but true. I went to watch my godson play a couple little league games last year and was disgusted. The games were terrible beyond belief. I was so disappointed. I wasn’t expecting the 2016 Cubs, but was expecting a little hustle out there at least.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. @whorefinder

    College baseball scholarships are rare. Division 1 can have 11.7 scholarships, while Division 2 can have 9. To contrast, the basketball limits are 13 and 10.
     
    Because basketball drives more college revenue and because it drives up diversity better.

    Way to state the obvious.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @anonguy

    It is like most baseball movies, a good heart warming story.
     
    Seems very unheartwarming and cold to me, an endless string of children pursuing a dream, often encouraged by others, that is an impossibility due to genetic inevitability, complete luck of the draw, pluck has nothing to do with it.

    Predestination is an unsatisfactory narrative for most people, we avoid it studiously.

    In the old days it was understood that the chances, even then , were very small that you would become a major leaguer. You did it knowing this and were not especially disappointed when it didn’t work out. You chased the dream and when it turned out you didn’t have the right stuff you got a job at the plant, married and had kids and that was that.

    It’s the lie that “Anyone can be anything they want if the dream is big enough and they work hard enough” that has caused so much grief.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan Adams

    You chased the dream and when it turned out you didn’t have the right stuff you got a job at the plant, married and had kids and that was that.

    It’s the lie that “Anyone can be anything they want if the dream is big enough and they work hard enough” that has caused so much grief.
     
    Not only the lie. Today, when the dream dies, there is nothing to fall back on.

    The plant closed down years ago. The divorce racket has all but destroyed the institution of marriage. And folks these days tend to have more dogs than kids.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  57. MBlanc46 says:
    @whorefinder
    It's, quite literally, Game Theory.

    To this day I'm shocked that the last known bunt-for-hits guy in the major leagues was Nellie Fox, who retired in 1965. Occasionally speedsters have bunted for hits since, but no one has made it a regular tool in his hitting arsenal since then.

    Nellie Fox was one of the idols of my youth. The thick-handled bat well-choked up, the chaw of tobacco in his cheek, catching just about every ball he could get to. Choosing between him and Luis Aparicio as my favorite was tough, but he usually came out top. There was a lot of talk around here (Chicago area) when his eligibility or the Hall expired. When you look at the numbers, he’s not quite that caliber, but he really was a sparkplug.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. Fredrik says:
    @Anon
    https://twitter.com/PeterSweden7/status/848597012207611905

    Apparently the ‘refugee’ was arrested soon afterwards by two male cops.

    The real story here is that women don’t make good cops.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    But evidently they make excellent SpecOps commandos:

    http://natoassociation.ca/jegertroppen-norways-all-female-special-forces-unit/

    http://www.maxim.com/news/norway-hunter-troop-women-special-forces-2016-9

    There's something very strange about the current Scandinavian psyche. The cognitive dissonance is overwhelming.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. @Steve Sailer
    The best kickball player in my first grade class later hit 23 homers in his best season in Double AA minor league baseball.

    The best kickball player in my first grade class later hit 23 homers in his best season in Double AA minor league baseball.

    I wonder if with the proper coaching he could have had a career as an NFL place kicker.

    I was the best wiffle ball player in my neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods in my youth. Every now and then a couple of old childhood friends will bring that up. Nonetheless, my MLB dreams died the day I didn’t make the high school varsity baseball team on my third try as a junior.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  60. @The Z Blog
    This article would have been something close to accurate if it has focused on basketball, but we know that is forbidden. Of course, blacks are not dominating baseball so it must be destroyed. The usual suspects have been preaching against baseball for decades now.

    Now, the real decay in skill is in youth basketball. The NBA is an unwatchable human flea circus because at every level, it is attention seeking blacks doing what comes natural, rather than developing basketball skills.

    The NBA is an unwatchable human flea circus

    That is too true. I used to love basketball, but I don’t even watch the finals anymore. I also felt the same way about the NCAA, especially the final four, and now I never watch because the NCAA excites disgust and contempt. A pox on both the NBA and the NCAA.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. ganderson says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Father O, that is funny. Around here in WNY, our baseball season is way too short for HS and college teams to match the skills of the teams from the south and southwest. I know of no HS teams in WNY that plays on turf fields, so tough to practice on soggy infields and outfields. Nature probably shows up more around here but we send few players to DI or the minors.

    Would you expect, then that TX and CA would eventually catch up and surpass WNY in lax because of the weather advantage?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Ganderson, Good question. My son is involved in Ohio Lax, but they have a long way to go to catch up to NY, especially from Rochester to Long Island. Denver won the National Championship last year and they had a few NY players, some from Colorado, some from Canada but I don't remember either Texas or Cali players. Lax player need to start young to learn stick skills and field position. Victor, NY, outside of Rochester, won the NYSPHSAA Class AA Championship last year and had 11 D-I scholarship commits on their roster. That is how strong Lax is around here. I think young men aspire to play the sport that is strongest in their region, Lax for NY,MD,NJ and VA, football for Ohio, Texas and Florida.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. ganderson says:
    @whorefinder
    It's, quite literally, Game Theory.

    To this day I'm shocked that the last known bunt-for-hits guy in the major leagues was Nellie Fox, who retired in 1965. Occasionally speedsters have bunted for hits since, but no one has made it a regular tool in his hitting arsenal since then.

    Rod Carew regularly bunted for hits. In fact a whole bunch of the late ’70s Gene Mauch-managed Twins bunted for hits.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Rod Carew is a good example of a latter-day bunter.

    According to Walt Hriniak, Wade Boggs was an excellent bunter, but Wade refused to do it regularly on the grounds that, to him, it felt like he was "giving up." Too bad, had Wade not been an egomaniac, his batting average might not have fallen off so precipitously during his stint with the Red Sox and he might have gotten to legend status.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. @Faraday's Bobcat
    I've always been fascinated by the ability of scouts to spot talent, especially in college football. They fan out across the high schools and somehow are able to figure out which All-League running back out of hundreds who look the same to the normal fan has what it takes to play Division I-A. Programs like Ohio State that just seem to reload year after year depend on the ability to see talent in places it really doesn't have much chance to differentiate itself.

    A kid from our local, cold-weather high school signed with an MLB team to the tune of $3 mil before he was old enough to vote. He looked plenty good to me, but it's not like he was hitting .600 against the pitching in our league. But somehow all the scouts saw that he has the blood.

    Faraday, College coaches have solid pipelines established with premier HS teams. HS coaches will often alert a college scout to a talent that plays against them. HS coaches gain credibility when their athletes get D-I scholarships. College coaches also know that not too many halfbacks tearing up the league at a Class D HS will produce the same against Class AA HS teams.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  64. @Clyde

    I love the coach’s remark….” you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee.” I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn’t need a tee to hit the ball.
     
    That was a widely circulated photo. A quick look at google and bing images does not show it. Ted Williams mother was Mexican and Williams never wanted to discuss this. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/09/ted-williams-mexican-american-baseball-superstar-war-hero.html

    Clyde, Thank you and if I remember correctly, Williams was not heavily muscled.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    The Splendid Splinter.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. @JohnnyWalker123
    Lots of kids take a long time to physically mature and master the fundamentals. So it's tough to evaluate the potential of young high school kids. The average MLB debut doesn't even happen until age 24, which is 6 years after the 18th birthday and the senior year of HS.

    Nurture matters a lot more these days. A privately coached kid can get a huge jump start on a kid who's not coached. Especially during the teen years when kids are still learning the basic of pitching and slugging. Also, a privately coached kid can get seen by the right scouts and know the right travel team to join.

    Blacks are only about 3% of Div 1 baseball players (not including HBCUs). They're 8% of the MLB though and used to be 19% in the mid 80s. In the 2016 draft, they were 25% of the players selected.

    I wonder if the emphasis on nurture hurts blacks at the lower levels.

    I also wonder if China and the other East Asian countries will become baseball powerhouses. What if the Tiger Moms get interested in that? We know that Asians have quite a bit of athletic potential (they do well in the Olympics). Could they start flooding the MLB some day?

    What if the Tiger Moms get interested in that?

    Could Tiger Moms ever be interested in such a vanishing longshot with dire opportunity costs for the losers? Seems like the kind of sucker lotto bet that would appeal more to yolo LaTreequas.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Summer_Olympics_medal_table

    China had the third most medals in the 2016 Olympics. Japan was 6th and Korea was 8th.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. The Buffalo News print edition today published an article about power hitting in the majors and I thought this was an interesting stat. In 2016, 111 players hit 20 or more home runs. In 2015, 64 players hit 20 or more HRs, in 2014, 57 and in 2013, 70. Long ball rules. The baseball supplement also noted that the Yankees have seven prospects ranked in the top 100 prospects. However, only two, Arron Judge and Clint Frazier have a legit chance to play this year and both are outfielders. Their two top pitching prospects aren’t expected to crack the Bigs until 2018. Can’t win with just power hitting.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  67. Altai says:

    O T: Google is at it again, they’ve dipicted Fazlur Rahman Khan with jet black skin (So dark that until I clicked on it, I assumed they were celebrating a black man) like most Bangladeshi, but not like Fazlur Rahman Khan. In PoMo parlance they have racialised him. Google Doodlers have gone mad with power.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  68. Tipo 61 says:

    Played three years of Little League for Woodruff’s department store in mid-60′s in Alhambra, CA. Teams were very good. Coaches stressed fundamentals and just making contact to get on base. Can’t remember them ever saying ‘go for the fences’.

    Competitive tennis was my first sport so it was easier for me to just hit line drives.

    Hit about .290 when I was eleven. When I hit an over-the-fence homerun that year, no one was more surprised than me. Kept hitting line drives after the home run, though. Was a compliant boy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @marty
    In the '80's I thought I was a pretty good tennis player, though never having been on a team. Someone set me up for a match in Glendale against a guy who'd been #6 for UCLA on the Teltcher-Fleming team. I didn't win a single point.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. marty says:
    @Tipo 61
    Played three years of Little League for Woodruff's department store in mid-60's in Alhambra, CA. Teams were very good. Coaches stressed fundamentals and just making contact to get on base. Can't remember them ever saying 'go for the fences'.

    Competitive tennis was my first sport so it was easier for me to just hit line drives.

    Hit about .290 when I was eleven. When I hit an over-the-fence homerun that year, no one was more surprised than me. Kept hitting line drives after the home run, though. Was a compliant boy.

    In the ’80′s I thought I was a pretty good tennis player, though never having been on a team. Someone set me up for a match in Glendale against a guy who’d been #6 for UCLA on the Teltcher-Fleming team. I didn’t win a single point.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. BB753 says:
    @Clyde

    I love the coach’s remark….” you could teach a chimpanzee , smoking a cigarette, to hit a baseball off a tee.” I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, but the Splendid Splinter didn’t need a tee to hit the ball.
     
    That was a widely circulated photo. A quick look at google and bing images does not show it. Ted Williams mother was Mexican and Williams never wanted to discuss this. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/09/ted-williams-mexican-american-baseball-superstar-war-hero.html

    Funny how Ted Williams being half-Mexican on his mother’s side makes him 100% Mexican – American today!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  71. marty says:
    @Steve Sailer
    That was another pattern in my old friends: big guy pitchers who could ring up strikeouts but couldn't keep their walks under 6 or 7 per nine innings.

    For big righthanders, the walks are often an artifact of a fastball with no movement – you become afraid of going into the strike zone, because every guy at AA or above can hit a straight 95 mph fastball. The Giants have a guy now, Hunter Strickland, who can throw a strike any time he wants at 97 mph. He’ll lead the league in HR’s per 9 innings this year.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. marty says:
    @whorefinder
    It's, quite literally, Game Theory.

    To this day I'm shocked that the last known bunt-for-hits guy in the major leagues was Nellie Fox, who retired in 1965. Occasionally speedsters have bunted for hits since, but no one has made it a regular tool in his hitting arsenal since then.

    Wrong. Both Maury Wills and Matty Alou regularly bunted for hits. Brett Butler too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Please, those were speedsters who didn't bunt based on skill, but on their speed.

    Steve Garvey and Rod Carew are better examples.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  73. wiseguy says:

    OT: Your man Kadyrov is in the news.

    Apparently, he’s almost on Mike Pence’s level in nurturing hatred for those who commit acts contrary to nature.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  74. @EriK

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren’t prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.
     
    All hail, Lee Mazilli! Bunt King!

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/12/10/3748738/best-bunter-all-time-career-bunt-hits-bases-empty-mlb

    Steve, I see Garvey was highly effective in bunting for a hit with the bases empty(46 hits in 56 AB's).

    Garvey hit the ball hard but was a slow runner so infields played him deep, so he’d lay down bunts for a base hit.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  75. Ivy says:
    @Brutusale
    Commenting as a Little League/high school umpire of 40 years experience, I can tell you that the decline in fundamentals and overall skill sets/baseball savvy is real and quantifiable.

    When we went home to change into our uniforms to play Little League, we were playing for guys who were youth sports coaches for a long time, not fathers "volunteering" when their sons are on the team. They taught us the little things that make you a more complete player and worked on them in practice; as I recently proved to my nephews, I can still, with my damaged knees, do a pop-up slide, which I learned from my LL coach when I was 10 years old. We took these things back to the sandlot and worked on them there, too.

    I grew up in the 60s in a semi-rural area. We were playing ball all day long all summer long, which just isn't an option for 90% of American kids today. We put in the Gladwellian hours away from organized youth baseball.

    The other problem is the parents. Our dads were baseball fans, we all got the benefit of their love for the game. Parents today? I listen every time I call an infield fly rule out to see how many indignant howls I hear from parents in the stands with no clue as to what just transpired!

    How many kids now are so enthralled with baseball that they climb in bed at night with their mitt and transistor radio (or modern analog) to catch a game, let alone pore over box scores or learn how to keep score? Too many distractions, I suppose, and not enough reinforcement for individual skill efforts supporting team efforts.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  76. Ivy says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Clyde, Thank you and if I remember correctly, Williams was not heavily muscled.

    The Splendid Splinter.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  77. @Negrolphin Pool

    What if the Tiger Moms get interested in that?
     
    Could Tiger Moms ever be interested in such a vanishing longshot with dire opportunity costs for the losers? Seems like the kind of sucker lotto bet that would appeal more to yolo LaTreequas.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Summer_Olympics_medal_table

    China had the third most medals in the 2016 Olympics. Japan was 6th and Korea was 8th.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. Taco says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I saw Steve Garvey bunt for his 200th hit of the 1980 season and he was very slow.

    I saw Juan Pierre, who was very fast, bunt for a double.

    I saw Juan Pierre, who was very fast, bunt for a double

    Is this what you’re referring to?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LaF92DKk3kk

    I wouldn’t exactly call it a bunt.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It was with the Dodgers in 2007. The third baseman charged and Pierre popped the bunt up over his head. It landed fair near third base and rolled into left field.

    My impression at the time was that while bunting for a double was highly unusual in general, it wasn't that unusual for Juan Pierre, who was super fast.

    Pierre wasn't a really good bunter like, say, Rod Carew was. The bunt double I saw was due to Pierre mis-executing his bunt attempt. Pierre didn't have the all time great eye-hand coordination that Carew had, but he was really fast.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  79. @Taco

    I saw Juan Pierre, who was very fast, bunt for a double
     
    Is this what you're referring to?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LaF92DKk3kk

    I wouldn't exactly call it a bunt.

    It was with the Dodgers in 2007. The third baseman charged and Pierre popped the bunt up over his head. It landed fair near third base and rolled into left field.

    My impression at the time was that while bunting for a double was highly unusual in general, it wasn’t that unusual for Juan Pierre, who was super fast.

    Pierre wasn’t a really good bunter like, say, Rod Carew was. The bunt double I saw was due to Pierre mis-executing his bunt attempt. Pierre didn’t have the all time great eye-hand coordination that Carew had, but he was really fast.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Taco
    From what I saw of Pierre (which isn't much) his overall and irredeemable flaw was his complete lack of power. He hit for contact pretty good but he was absolutely no threat to go deep so pitchers threw him nothing but strikes. No point in wasting pitches on him. A good lead off hitter has to have credible power so as to draw at least a few walks or at least make the pitcher work. The infielders treated him the same way. They played him very shallow because he was fast but had no power, making it difficult for him to be a good bunter. I think positioning of the infielders is a big part of good bunting.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. Taco says:
    @Steve Sailer
    It was with the Dodgers in 2007. The third baseman charged and Pierre popped the bunt up over his head. It landed fair near third base and rolled into left field.

    My impression at the time was that while bunting for a double was highly unusual in general, it wasn't that unusual for Juan Pierre, who was super fast.

    Pierre wasn't a really good bunter like, say, Rod Carew was. The bunt double I saw was due to Pierre mis-executing his bunt attempt. Pierre didn't have the all time great eye-hand coordination that Carew had, but he was really fast.

    From what I saw of Pierre (which isn’t much) his overall and irredeemable flaw was his complete lack of power. He hit for contact pretty good but he was absolutely no threat to go deep so pitchers threw him nothing but strikes. No point in wasting pitches on him. A good lead off hitter has to have credible power so as to draw at least a few walks or at least make the pitcher work. The infielders treated him the same way. They played him very shallow because he was fast but had no power, making it difficult for him to be a good bunter. I think positioning of the infielders is a big part of good bunting.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Juan Pierre would have been a more effective player on the old hard surface artificial turf fields, like Willie Wilson in Kansas City in the 1970s.

    Without power you are always on the verge of trouble. Pierre much had to hit close to .300 to stay in the league. And it was hard for Pierre to bunt for basehits or get soft liners to fall in because defenses could play him shallow.

    By the way, I read somewhere recently that sabermetricians were always ragging on Pierre back during the Steroids Era, but now that they have better defensive analytical tools, they's recently noticed that he was a decent contributor when you properly weight his superfast outfield play.

    The funny thing is that the baseball oldtimers noticed that they could make use of Pierre's tools even if sabermetricians didn't: he was a regular for most of 14 seasons and played almost 2000 big league games.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. @Taco
    From what I saw of Pierre (which isn't much) his overall and irredeemable flaw was his complete lack of power. He hit for contact pretty good but he was absolutely no threat to go deep so pitchers threw him nothing but strikes. No point in wasting pitches on him. A good lead off hitter has to have credible power so as to draw at least a few walks or at least make the pitcher work. The infielders treated him the same way. They played him very shallow because he was fast but had no power, making it difficult for him to be a good bunter. I think positioning of the infielders is a big part of good bunting.

    Juan Pierre would have been a more effective player on the old hard surface artificial turf fields, like Willie Wilson in Kansas City in the 1970s.

    Without power you are always on the verge of trouble. Pierre much had to hit close to .300 to stay in the league. And it was hard for Pierre to bunt for basehits or get soft liners to fall in because defenses could play him shallow.

    By the way, I read somewhere recently that sabermetricians were always ragging on Pierre back during the Steroids Era, but now that they have better defensive analytical tools, they’s recently noticed that he was a decent contributor when you properly weight his superfast outfield play.

    The funny thing is that the baseball oldtimers noticed that they could make use of Pierre’s tools even if sabermetricians didn’t: he was a regular for most of 14 seasons and played almost 2000 big league games.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder

    The funny thing is that the baseball oldtimers noticed that they could make use of Pierre’s tools even if sabermetricians didn’t: he was a regular for most of 14 seasons and played almost 2000 big league games.
     
    As I've said, the utility of veteran players isn't so much their upside as it is their lack of downside: with a vet, you know you've got a guy who can handle being on the road, chasing skirts and getting drunk and yet be able to show up the next day and deliver. Deion Sanders, etc.
    , @whorefinder
    How much of the 1960s-1970s decline in hitting power was due to artificial surfaces?

    The KC Royals for years had a very nice stadium with a very horrible artificial surface. George Brett's power numbers suffered but he probably got a lot more extra base hits thanks to the ball skittering around on that concrete tarmac.
    , @Anon87
    The better analytical metrics are not much better than what we've had in the past. I think they are a subtle reaction to the "OPS is racist" line of articles that popped up post-Moneyball.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. @Anonymous
    In the old days it was understood that the chances, even then , were very small that you would become a major leaguer. You did it knowing this and were not especially disappointed when it didn't work out. You chased the dream and when it turned out you didn't have the right stuff you got a job at the plant, married and had kids and that was that.

    It's the lie that "Anyone can be anything they want if the dream is big enough and they work hard enough" that has caused so much grief.

    You chased the dream and when it turned out you didn’t have the right stuff you got a job at the plant, married and had kids and that was that.

    It’s the lie that “Anyone can be anything they want if the dream is big enough and they work hard enough” that has caused so much grief.

    Not only the lie. Today, when the dream dies, there is nothing to fall back on.

    The plant closed down years ago. The divorce racket has all but destroyed the institution of marriage. And folks these days tend to have more dogs than kids.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  83. @E. Rekshun
    I remember a photo from long ago of Ted Williams in the locker room with a towel wrapped around his waist and a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other

    I remember BoSox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski smoked in the dugout between innings. And fro Seinfeld, I learned the NY Met Keith Hernandez was a smoker; who, by the way, won eleven consecutive Gold Gloves, more than any other first baseman, and was a lifetime .296 hitter!

    Richie — aka Dick — Allen of the Phillies was featured on the SI cover juggling baseballs with a butt in his mouth.

    “You could look it up.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. @Anon
    https://twitter.com/PeterSweden7/status/848597012207611905

    I count 4 inept EuroCopettes. And when Good Citizen Olaf steps in and single-handedly shows ‘em how it’s done, the Swedish Schoolmarms act like they’re going to arrest HIM!

    And these are the guardians of justice who are nominally supposed to protect the Swedes from the immivaders. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be hilarious.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. @Fredrik
    Apparently the 'refugee' was arrested soon afterwards by two male cops.

    The real story here is that women don't make good cops.

    But evidently they make excellent SpecOps commandos:

    http://natoassociation.ca/jegertroppen-norways-all-female-special-forces-unit/

    http://www.maxim.com/news/norway-hunter-troop-women-special-forces-2016-9

    There’s something very strange about the current Scandinavian psyche. The cognitive dissonance is overwhelming.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  86. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    Juan Pierre would have been a more effective player on the old hard surface artificial turf fields, like Willie Wilson in Kansas City in the 1970s.

    Without power you are always on the verge of trouble. Pierre much had to hit close to .300 to stay in the league. And it was hard for Pierre to bunt for basehits or get soft liners to fall in because defenses could play him shallow.

    By the way, I read somewhere recently that sabermetricians were always ragging on Pierre back during the Steroids Era, but now that they have better defensive analytical tools, they's recently noticed that he was a decent contributor when you properly weight his superfast outfield play.

    The funny thing is that the baseball oldtimers noticed that they could make use of Pierre's tools even if sabermetricians didn't: he was a regular for most of 14 seasons and played almost 2000 big league games.

    The funny thing is that the baseball oldtimers noticed that they could make use of Pierre’s tools even if sabermetricians didn’t: he was a regular for most of 14 seasons and played almost 2000 big league games.

    As I’ve said, the utility of veteran players isn’t so much their upside as it is their lack of downside: with a vet, you know you’ve got a guy who can handle being on the road, chasing skirts and getting drunk and yet be able to show up the next day and deliver. Deion Sanders, etc.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  87. whorefinder says: • Website
    @ganderson
    Rod Carew regularly bunted for hits. In fact a whole bunch of the late '70s Gene Mauch-managed Twins bunted for hits.

    Rod Carew is a good example of a latter-day bunter.

    According to Walt Hriniak, Wade Boggs was an excellent bunter, but Wade refused to do it regularly on the grounds that, to him, it felt like he was “giving up.” Too bad, had Wade not been an egomaniac, his batting average might not have fallen off so precipitously during his stint with the Red Sox and he might have gotten to legend status.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    re Wade Boggs - well, he is a first ballot Hall of Famer!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  88. whorefinder says: • Website
    @marty
    Wrong. Both Maury Wills and Matty Alou regularly bunted for hits. Brett Butler too.

    Please, those were speedsters who didn’t bunt based on skill, but on their speed.

    Steve Garvey and Rod Carew are better examples.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ganderson
    Carew wasn't Bob Hayes, but he was plenty fast. A really fun player to watch. Another player on those teams who might have been an all time great had he lived was Lyman Bostock.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    Juan Pierre would have been a more effective player on the old hard surface artificial turf fields, like Willie Wilson in Kansas City in the 1970s.

    Without power you are always on the verge of trouble. Pierre much had to hit close to .300 to stay in the league. And it was hard for Pierre to bunt for basehits or get soft liners to fall in because defenses could play him shallow.

    By the way, I read somewhere recently that sabermetricians were always ragging on Pierre back during the Steroids Era, but now that they have better defensive analytical tools, they's recently noticed that he was a decent contributor when you properly weight his superfast outfield play.

    The funny thing is that the baseball oldtimers noticed that they could make use of Pierre's tools even if sabermetricians didn't: he was a regular for most of 14 seasons and played almost 2000 big league games.

    How much of the 1960s-1970s decline in hitting power was due to artificial surfaces?

    The KC Royals for years had a very nice stadium with a very horrible artificial surface. George Brett’s power numbers suffered but he probably got a lot more extra base hits thanks to the ball skittering around on that concrete tarmac.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  90. @Anon
    https://twitter.com/PeterSweden7/status/848597012207611905

    Are you kidding me? Why don’t they shoot his ass? That’s the whole point of guns, you don’t have to be a big bruiser to win a fight with a crazy man.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Fredrik
    And spend the rest of their lives in prison for murder? Not many people outside the US want the police to be able to kill with impunity.

    Comments like yours makes me think BLM may have a point after all.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. @whorefinder
    Rod Carew is a good example of a latter-day bunter.

    According to Walt Hriniak, Wade Boggs was an excellent bunter, but Wade refused to do it regularly on the grounds that, to him, it felt like he was "giving up." Too bad, had Wade not been an egomaniac, his batting average might not have fallen off so precipitously during his stint with the Red Sox and he might have gotten to legend status.

    re Wade Boggs – well, he is a first ballot Hall of Famer!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  92. ganderson says:
    @whorefinder
    Please, those were speedsters who didn't bunt based on skill, but on their speed.

    Steve Garvey and Rod Carew are better examples.

    Carew wasn’t Bob Hayes, but he was plenty fast. A really fun player to watch. Another player on those teams who might have been an all time great had he lived was Lyman Bostock.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  93. whorefinder says: • Website

    lol. The HOF voters are sportswriters, perhaps the dumbest, most obsequious, most-p.c. reporters out there. They’ve been letting in marginal cases like Boggs for years, to the point that a HOF induction is really not proof of anything other than some consistency in the league. Many of these “experts” just go by numbers—Tom Verducci said that Boggs’s 3000 hits meant an automatic induction, despite the fact that to get to 3000 Boggs was basically the sad hanger-on type player spoofed by Bernie Mac in Mr. 3000.

    The HOF used to mean a lot more, because the sportswriters were a lot more selective. The first HOF inauguration was in 1936. By 1936, there had been at least 50 years of organized, professional baseball (the Cincinnati Reds, the oldest team in baseball, came into existence in 1882). So by 1936 there were literally thousands of players with great stats who would have been voted in by the bean heads today. But how many were voted in in 1936?

    Five. Only five.Only five players were considered worthy by the sportswriters of 1936 to be in the baseball HOF. Today’s sportswriters would have voted in 5000. That’s why “first-ballot HOF” means nothing today.

    I think sportswriters became weak-willed wusses as players salaries overtook theirs and, culturally, sportswriters had less impact. A sports writer in 1936 had a comprable salary to a ball player (not to mention his bookwriting salary), and his words were considered gold by millions, and ball players were considered low-class. Nowadays even the lowliest player makes at least 5x more than the best-paid sportswriter, and the sports column/ESPN report has almost no impact on the culture beyond a cheap throwaway joke.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon87
    You don't think Boggs is a Hall of Famer?? Screw the arbitrary 3000 hits, Boggs was an on base machine.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. @ganderson
    Would you expect, then that TX and CA would eventually catch up and surpass WNY in lax because of the weather advantage?

    Ganderson, Good question. My son is involved in Ohio Lax, but they have a long way to go to catch up to NY, especially from Rochester to Long Island. Denver won the National Championship last year and they had a few NY players, some from Colorado, some from Canada but I don’t remember either Texas or Cali players. Lax player need to start young to learn stick skills and field position. Victor, NY, outside of Rochester, won the NYSPHSAA Class AA Championship last year and had 11 D-I scholarship commits on their roster. That is how strong Lax is around here. I think young men aspire to play the sport that is strongest in their region, Lax for NY,MD,NJ and VA, football for Ohio, Texas and Florida.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  95. Fredrik says:
    @Formerly CARealist
    Are you kidding me? Why don't they shoot his ass? That's the whole point of guns, you don't have to be a big bruiser to win a fight with a crazy man.

    And spend the rest of their lives in prison for murder? Not many people outside the US want the police to be able to kill with impunity.

    Comments like yours makes me think BLM may have a point after all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    The difference, Fred, is that in the US, the perp is almost always armed.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  96. Anon87 says:
    @whorefinder
    lol. The HOF voters are sportswriters, perhaps the dumbest, most obsequious, most-p.c. reporters out there. They've been letting in marginal cases like Boggs for years, to the point that a HOF induction is really not proof of anything other than some consistency in the league. Many of these "experts" just go by numbers---Tom Verducci said that Boggs's 3000 hits meant an automatic induction, despite the fact that to get to 3000 Boggs was basically the sad hanger-on type player spoofed by Bernie Mac in Mr. 3000.

    The HOF used to mean a lot more, because the sportswriters were a lot more selective. The first HOF inauguration was in 1936. By 1936, there had been at least 50 years of organized, professional baseball (the Cincinnati Reds, the oldest team in baseball, came into existence in 1882). So by 1936 there were literally thousands of players with great stats who would have been voted in by the bean heads today. But how many were voted in in 1936?

    Five. Only five.Only five players were considered worthy by the sportswriters of 1936 to be in the baseball HOF. Today's sportswriters would have voted in 5000. That's why "first-ballot HOF" means nothing today.

    I think sportswriters became weak-willed wusses as players salaries overtook theirs and, culturally, sportswriters had less impact. A sports writer in 1936 had a comprable salary to a ball player (not to mention his bookwriting salary), and his words were considered gold by millions, and ball players were considered low-class. Nowadays even the lowliest player makes at least 5x more than the best-paid sportswriter, and the sports column/ESPN report has almost no impact on the culture beyond a cheap throwaway joke.

    You don’t think Boggs is a Hall of Famer?? Screw the arbitrary 3000 hits, Boggs was an on base machine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Boggs was like an even better version of Pete Rose.
    , @whorefinder
    Marginal at best. Then again, compared with third rate guys in there like Tony Perez, he looks like a world-beater.

    Boggs was a great contact hitter for a the first half of his career and then all of a sudden his average dropped. He couldn't turn around on his fastball anymore. He never hit for power, and his fielding early on was poor, though he worked himself up to be better. He was never fast, either.

    Even with his phenomenally early high batting averages/OBP from the early part of his career, he was pretty lame as a candidate.

    I wish the HOF could allow people to be voted out of the hall, then we could cull these jokers and get back to having real legends enshrined only.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  97. Anon87 says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Juan Pierre would have been a more effective player on the old hard surface artificial turf fields, like Willie Wilson in Kansas City in the 1970s.

    Without power you are always on the verge of trouble. Pierre much had to hit close to .300 to stay in the league. And it was hard for Pierre to bunt for basehits or get soft liners to fall in because defenses could play him shallow.

    By the way, I read somewhere recently that sabermetricians were always ragging on Pierre back during the Steroids Era, but now that they have better defensive analytical tools, they's recently noticed that he was a decent contributor when you properly weight his superfast outfield play.

    The funny thing is that the baseball oldtimers noticed that they could make use of Pierre's tools even if sabermetricians didn't: he was a regular for most of 14 seasons and played almost 2000 big league games.

    The better analytical metrics are not much better than what we’ve had in the past. I think they are a subtle reaction to the “OPS is racist” line of articles that popped up post-Moneyball.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  98. @Anon87
    You don't think Boggs is a Hall of Famer?? Screw the arbitrary 3000 hits, Boggs was an on base machine.

    Boggs was like an even better version of Pete Rose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Not even close. Rose threw himself into everything at full force and willing to sacrifice for his team's victories (I'm talking as a player of course).

    Boggs was accused at times of being more interested in personal stats than team victories and playing at less than full speed. He got on base a lot but never was close to the hustle Rose had on the paths.

    One time he and Roger Clemens had a spat because a play at third base was a close call between being an error by Boggs or a hit against Clemens. A runner happened to score as a result of the play; if it was an error, there would be no damage to Clemens's ERA (players scoring off errors are unearned runs, not earned runs) but Boggs's fielding percentage would have been hurt.

    Even after the game was over, the two were still trying to convince the official scorer to score the incident more favorable to help their individual stats at the expense of the other. Quite telling about both men, really, since it was a ticky-tack incident.

    Another incident was how Boggs would fight managers on where to place him in the lineup, even if the lineup wasn't working and even when a shakeup was needed. During the playoffs against the Oakland A's of Jose Canseco's time the Red Sox manager tried to shake up the flailing lineup and Boggs publicly acted crabby about it.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  99. @EriK

    - bunt for hits, since many young fielders aren’t prepared to defend against bunts, and first base is still the place many poor fielding power-hitters are put.
     
    All hail, Lee Mazilli! Bunt King!

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/12/10/3748738/best-bunter-all-time-career-bunt-hits-bases-empty-mlb

    Steve, I see Garvey was highly effective in bunting for a hit with the bases empty(46 hits in 56 AB's).

    Steve, I see Garvey was highly effective in bunting for a hit with the bases empty(46 hits in 56 AB’s).

    That is astonishing. Where did you dig that up?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Anon87
    You don't think Boggs is a Hall of Famer?? Screw the arbitrary 3000 hits, Boggs was an on base machine.

    Marginal at best. Then again, compared with third rate guys in there like Tony Perez, he looks like a world-beater.

    Boggs was a great contact hitter for a the first half of his career and then all of a sudden his average dropped. He couldn’t turn around on his fastball anymore. He never hit for power, and his fielding early on was poor, though he worked himself up to be better. He was never fast, either.

    Even with his phenomenally early high batting averages/OBP from the early part of his career, he was pretty lame as a candidate.

    I wish the HOF could allow people to be voted out of the hall, then we could cull these jokers and get back to having real legends enshrined only.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ex-banker
    Where do you have Boggs among third baseman all-time? His peak is slightly behind Schmidt and comparable to Brett, Santo and Matthews. Career value on par with anybody, even though he languished too long in the minors (24 in his first season). Third base is probably underrepresented in the Hall, though that will be less obvious when guys like Beltre and Chipper Jones get in.

    He's also clearly "off," in an Aspergian way. He was notoriously selfish (not unlike Ted Williams), claimed to be a sex addict and was reputed to regularly pound a case of beer on cross country flights.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  101. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    Boggs was like an even better version of Pete Rose.

    Not even close. Rose threw himself into everything at full force and willing to sacrifice for his team’s victories (I’m talking as a player of course).

    Boggs was accused at times of being more interested in personal stats than team victories and playing at less than full speed. He got on base a lot but never was close to the hustle Rose had on the paths.

    One time he and Roger Clemens had a spat because a play at third base was a close call between being an error by Boggs or a hit against Clemens. A runner happened to score as a result of the play; if it was an error, there would be no damage to Clemens’s ERA (players scoring off errors are unearned runs, not earned runs) but Boggs’s fielding percentage would have been hurt.

    Even after the game was over, the two were still trying to convince the official scorer to score the incident more favorable to help their individual stats at the expense of the other. Quite telling about both men, really, since it was a ticky-tack incident.

    Another incident was how Boggs would fight managers on where to place him in the lineup, even if the lineup wasn’t working and even when a shakeup was needed. During the playoffs against the Oakland A’s of Jose Canseco’s time the Red Sox manager tried to shake up the flailing lineup and Boggs publicly acted crabby about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Errors are worse for teams than sabermetrics suggest.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Errors and plays that the defender could have made but didn't so it gets charged to the pitcher are worse for teams than sabermetrics suggest because they undermine team morale.

    The sabermetrics people try to be super-rational about everything so they don't see errors as any worse than a play that a defender just couldn't get to because he's slow, but they don't have the same effect on morale.

    , @Ex-banker
    In round numbers, Wade Boggs would need 10 seasons of getting on base at a .230 clip to lower himself to Pete Rose's level. Cartoonishly inferior as a baseball player.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  102. @whorefinder
    Not even close. Rose threw himself into everything at full force and willing to sacrifice for his team's victories (I'm talking as a player of course).

    Boggs was accused at times of being more interested in personal stats than team victories and playing at less than full speed. He got on base a lot but never was close to the hustle Rose had on the paths.

    One time he and Roger Clemens had a spat because a play at third base was a close call between being an error by Boggs or a hit against Clemens. A runner happened to score as a result of the play; if it was an error, there would be no damage to Clemens's ERA (players scoring off errors are unearned runs, not earned runs) but Boggs's fielding percentage would have been hurt.

    Even after the game was over, the two were still trying to convince the official scorer to score the incident more favorable to help their individual stats at the expense of the other. Quite telling about both men, really, since it was a ticky-tack incident.

    Another incident was how Boggs would fight managers on where to place him in the lineup, even if the lineup wasn't working and even when a shakeup was needed. During the playoffs against the Oakland A's of Jose Canseco's time the Red Sox manager tried to shake up the flailing lineup and Boggs publicly acted crabby about it.

    Errors are worse for teams than sabermetrics suggest.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  103. Ex-banker says:
    @whorefinder
    Marginal at best. Then again, compared with third rate guys in there like Tony Perez, he looks like a world-beater.

    Boggs was a great contact hitter for a the first half of his career and then all of a sudden his average dropped. He couldn't turn around on his fastball anymore. He never hit for power, and his fielding early on was poor, though he worked himself up to be better. He was never fast, either.

    Even with his phenomenally early high batting averages/OBP from the early part of his career, he was pretty lame as a candidate.

    I wish the HOF could allow people to be voted out of the hall, then we could cull these jokers and get back to having real legends enshrined only.

    Where do you have Boggs among third baseman all-time? His peak is slightly behind Schmidt and comparable to Brett, Santo and Matthews. Career value on par with anybody, even though he languished too long in the minors (24 in his first season). Third base is probably underrepresented in the Hall, though that will be less obvious when guys like Beltre and Chipper Jones get in.

    He’s also clearly “off,” in an Aspergian way. He was notoriously selfish (not unlike Ted Williams), claimed to be a sex addict and was reputed to regularly pound a case of beer on cross country flights.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder

    Where do you have Boggs among third baseman all-time?
     
    Not even close to top 10. No homeruns, no speed, fielding while it improved was poor at the start. Astronomical average/OBP for the first 6-8 years or so tapered off and became normalized. Mediocre teammate with a more-than-average share of selfishness. Hyped up by the Boston-East Coast media bias and the Red Sox playoff trips during those years, which made for excitement, since the Curse was still around.

    Schmidt is the gold standard for third basemen. Brooks Robinson wasn't the offensive force Schmidt was, but his glove was the best all time. Plenty of other third basemen were better. If not for his super-high average for the first 6-8 years no one would mention him.

    He’s also clearly “off,” in an Aspergian way. He was notoriously selfish (not unlike Ted Williams), claimed to be a sex addict and was reputed to regularly pound a case of beer on cross country flights.
     
    And don't forget his famous other weird habit: eating chicken before every game. And then you read about his other weird superstitions: he had to take a jog at precisely the same minute before every game, and step onto the field the same way, and always drew the same thing in the dirt before every at bat.

    Such eccentricities are common enough in baseball, but usually the dude who does them is loose enough to laugh at them/poke fun at themselves for it. Boggs didn't have that self-reflection---he used to argue with people that chicken really was a superior pre-game meal, and get angry at those who mocked them.

    i think the guy was just an ego-maniac, myself.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  104. @whorefinder
    Not even close. Rose threw himself into everything at full force and willing to sacrifice for his team's victories (I'm talking as a player of course).

    Boggs was accused at times of being more interested in personal stats than team victories and playing at less than full speed. He got on base a lot but never was close to the hustle Rose had on the paths.

    One time he and Roger Clemens had a spat because a play at third base was a close call between being an error by Boggs or a hit against Clemens. A runner happened to score as a result of the play; if it was an error, there would be no damage to Clemens's ERA (players scoring off errors are unearned runs, not earned runs) but Boggs's fielding percentage would have been hurt.

    Even after the game was over, the two were still trying to convince the official scorer to score the incident more favorable to help their individual stats at the expense of the other. Quite telling about both men, really, since it was a ticky-tack incident.

    Another incident was how Boggs would fight managers on where to place him in the lineup, even if the lineup wasn't working and even when a shakeup was needed. During the playoffs against the Oakland A's of Jose Canseco's time the Red Sox manager tried to shake up the flailing lineup and Boggs publicly acted crabby about it.

    Errors and plays that the defender could have made but didn’t so it gets charged to the pitcher are worse for teams than sabermetrics suggest because they undermine team morale.

    The sabermetrics people try to be super-rational about everything so they don’t see errors as any worse than a play that a defender just couldn’t get to because he’s slow, but they don’t have the same effect on morale.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Errors really get to most young pitchers, because usually the errors come after the pitcher got the ball right where he wanted it and the batter did what the pitcher wanted him to do and suddenly the teammates let him down.

    Sabermetrics guys remind me of libertarians in that while they deliver a lot of value their conclusions often leave things like emotion and character and race out of the equation, and when asked about it discount those things. Autistic or just protecting themselves from non-p.c. answers.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  105. Ex-banker says:
    @whorefinder
    Not even close. Rose threw himself into everything at full force and willing to sacrifice for his team's victories (I'm talking as a player of course).

    Boggs was accused at times of being more interested in personal stats than team victories and playing at less than full speed. He got on base a lot but never was close to the hustle Rose had on the paths.

    One time he and Roger Clemens had a spat because a play at third base was a close call between being an error by Boggs or a hit against Clemens. A runner happened to score as a result of the play; if it was an error, there would be no damage to Clemens's ERA (players scoring off errors are unearned runs, not earned runs) but Boggs's fielding percentage would have been hurt.

    Even after the game was over, the two were still trying to convince the official scorer to score the incident more favorable to help their individual stats at the expense of the other. Quite telling about both men, really, since it was a ticky-tack incident.

    Another incident was how Boggs would fight managers on where to place him in the lineup, even if the lineup wasn't working and even when a shakeup was needed. During the playoffs against the Oakland A's of Jose Canseco's time the Red Sox manager tried to shake up the flailing lineup and Boggs publicly acted crabby about it.

    In round numbers, Wade Boggs would need 10 seasons of getting on base at a .230 clip to lower himself to Pete Rose’s level. Cartoonishly inferior as a baseball player.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    If you compare both Boggs and Rose from age 24-38, 15 seasons in the heart of their careers, they look a lot alike. Rose's OPS+ was 130, Boggs' 135. Rose was more durable, Boggs a better defensive player. Boggs was better at the peak of his career, but Rose's peak went on longer.

    The numbers say Boggs, but I'd pick Rose for my team.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  106. @Ex-banker
    In round numbers, Wade Boggs would need 10 seasons of getting on base at a .230 clip to lower himself to Pete Rose's level. Cartoonishly inferior as a baseball player.

    If you compare both Boggs and Rose from age 24-38, 15 seasons in the heart of their careers, they look a lot alike. Rose’s OPS+ was 130, Boggs’ 135. Rose was more durable, Boggs a better defensive player. Boggs was better at the peak of his career, but Rose’s peak went on longer.

    The numbers say Boggs, but I’d pick Rose for my team.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Rose's drive and team play worked out a lot better. Let's not forget he was a good part of the Phillies team in 1980 that won their first championship.
    , @Ex-banker
    Source: FanGraphs -- Wade Boggs, Pete Rose

    The offensive level of their respective eras closes the gap, but much of the if you cut it off at 33, the WAR difference is about 16. We're all a bit biased toward the guys we watched in our relative youth.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  107. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Ex-banker
    Where do you have Boggs among third baseman all-time? His peak is slightly behind Schmidt and comparable to Brett, Santo and Matthews. Career value on par with anybody, even though he languished too long in the minors (24 in his first season). Third base is probably underrepresented in the Hall, though that will be less obvious when guys like Beltre and Chipper Jones get in.

    He's also clearly "off," in an Aspergian way. He was notoriously selfish (not unlike Ted Williams), claimed to be a sex addict and was reputed to regularly pound a case of beer on cross country flights.

    Where do you have Boggs among third baseman all-time?

    Not even close to top 10. No homeruns, no speed, fielding while it improved was poor at the start. Astronomical average/OBP for the first 6-8 years or so tapered off and became normalized. Mediocre teammate with a more-than-average share of selfishness. Hyped up by the Boston-East Coast media bias and the Red Sox playoff trips during those years, which made for excitement, since the Curse was still around.

    Schmidt is the gold standard for third basemen. Brooks Robinson wasn’t the offensive force Schmidt was, but his glove was the best all time. Plenty of other third basemen were better. If not for his super-high average for the first 6-8 years no one would mention him.

    He’s also clearly “off,” in an Aspergian way. He was notoriously selfish (not unlike Ted Williams), claimed to be a sex addict and was reputed to regularly pound a case of beer on cross country flights.

    And don’t forget his famous other weird habit: eating chicken before every game. And then you read about his other weird superstitions: he had to take a jog at precisely the same minute before every game, and step onto the field the same way, and always drew the same thing in the dirt before every at bat.

    Such eccentricities are common enough in baseball, but usually the dude who does them is loose enough to laugh at them/poke fun at themselves for it. Boggs didn’t have that self-reflection—he used to argue with people that chicken really was a superior pre-game meal, and get angry at those who mocked them.

    i think the guy was just an ego-maniac, myself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ex-banker
    Was Boggs an egomaniac? No $h#t, Sherlock. But you're telling me Rose wasn't?

    So who are the ten guys better than Boggs? You mention Schmidt and Robinson, basically a league-average hitter for his career (which is pretty great for 23 years). Boggs was 40% better than average. I'll concede Brett and Beltre as equals. Nobody else is close to Boggs.


    If not for his super-high average for the first 6-8 years no one would mention him.
     
    Boggs hit .307/.392/.412 (OPS+ 115) for years 9-21 of his career.

    On a lighter note, my buddy had a t-shirt they were selling in Boston after the Margot Adams affair became public that said. "Don't Trade Wade for Getting Laid." Still cracks me up.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  108. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    If you compare both Boggs and Rose from age 24-38, 15 seasons in the heart of their careers, they look a lot alike. Rose's OPS+ was 130, Boggs' 135. Rose was more durable, Boggs a better defensive player. Boggs was better at the peak of his career, but Rose's peak went on longer.

    The numbers say Boggs, but I'd pick Rose for my team.

    Rose’s drive and team play worked out a lot better. Let’s not forget he was a good part of the Phillies team in 1980 that won their first championship.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  109. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    Errors and plays that the defender could have made but didn't so it gets charged to the pitcher are worse for teams than sabermetrics suggest because they undermine team morale.

    The sabermetrics people try to be super-rational about everything so they don't see errors as any worse than a play that a defender just couldn't get to because he's slow, but they don't have the same effect on morale.

    Errors really get to most young pitchers, because usually the errors come after the pitcher got the ball right where he wanted it and the batter did what the pitcher wanted him to do and suddenly the teammates let him down.

    Sabermetrics guys remind me of libertarians in that while they deliver a lot of value their conclusions often leave things like emotion and character and race out of the equation, and when asked about it discount those things. Autistic or just protecting themselves from non-p.c. answers.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  110. Ex-banker says:
    @Steve Sailer
    If you compare both Boggs and Rose from age 24-38, 15 seasons in the heart of their careers, they look a lot alike. Rose's OPS+ was 130, Boggs' 135. Rose was more durable, Boggs a better defensive player. Boggs was better at the peak of his career, but Rose's peak went on longer.

    The numbers say Boggs, but I'd pick Rose for my team.

    Source: FanGraphsWade Boggs, Pete Rose

    The offensive level of their respective eras closes the gap, but much of the if you cut it off at 33, the WAR difference is about 16. We’re all a bit biased toward the guys we watched in our relative youth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Boggs was more spectacular at his peak, but Rose kept doing stuff for a very long time, such as each season from age 37 through 40, Rose led the league each season in some moderately important category such as doubles, hits, or on-base percentage. By that point, Rose had been famous forever already.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  111. @Ex-banker
    Source: FanGraphs -- Wade Boggs, Pete Rose

    The offensive level of their respective eras closes the gap, but much of the if you cut it off at 33, the WAR difference is about 16. We're all a bit biased toward the guys we watched in our relative youth.

    Boggs was more spectacular at his peak, but Rose kept doing stuff for a very long time, such as each season from age 37 through 40, Rose led the league each season in some moderately important category such as doubles, hits, or on-base percentage. By that point, Rose had been famous forever already.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  112. Brutusale says:
    @Fredrik
    And spend the rest of their lives in prison for murder? Not many people outside the US want the police to be able to kill with impunity.

    Comments like yours makes me think BLM may have a point after all.

    The difference, Fred, is that in the US, the perp is almost always armed.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  113. Ex-banker says:
    @whorefinder

    Where do you have Boggs among third baseman all-time?
     
    Not even close to top 10. No homeruns, no speed, fielding while it improved was poor at the start. Astronomical average/OBP for the first 6-8 years or so tapered off and became normalized. Mediocre teammate with a more-than-average share of selfishness. Hyped up by the Boston-East Coast media bias and the Red Sox playoff trips during those years, which made for excitement, since the Curse was still around.

    Schmidt is the gold standard for third basemen. Brooks Robinson wasn't the offensive force Schmidt was, but his glove was the best all time. Plenty of other third basemen were better. If not for his super-high average for the first 6-8 years no one would mention him.

    He’s also clearly “off,” in an Aspergian way. He was notoriously selfish (not unlike Ted Williams), claimed to be a sex addict and was reputed to regularly pound a case of beer on cross country flights.
     
    And don't forget his famous other weird habit: eating chicken before every game. And then you read about his other weird superstitions: he had to take a jog at precisely the same minute before every game, and step onto the field the same way, and always drew the same thing in the dirt before every at bat.

    Such eccentricities are common enough in baseball, but usually the dude who does them is loose enough to laugh at them/poke fun at themselves for it. Boggs didn't have that self-reflection---he used to argue with people that chicken really was a superior pre-game meal, and get angry at those who mocked them.

    i think the guy was just an ego-maniac, myself.

    Was Boggs an egomaniac? No $h#t, Sherlock. But you’re telling me Rose wasn’t?

    So who are the ten guys better than Boggs? You mention Schmidt and Robinson, basically a league-average hitter for his career (which is pretty great for 23 years). Boggs was 40% better than average. I’ll concede Brett and Beltre as equals. Nobody else is close to Boggs.

    If not for his super-high average for the first 6-8 years no one would mention him.

    Boggs hit .307/.392/.412 (OPS+ 115) for years 9-21 of his career.

    On a lighter note, my buddy had a t-shirt they were selling in Boston after the Margot Adams affair became public that said. “Don’t Trade Wade for Getting Laid.” Still cracks me up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Think of how great he'd have been if he actually swung at first-pitch fastballs down the middle!

    My Margo Adams story. In the late 80s I was in St. Petersburg with some fantasy baseball friends to attend spring training games, play golf and enjoy the springtime Florida sun. We went to the 2nd Rotisserie Baseball Spring Banquet, where former Mets GM Al Harazin was the keynote speaker. He gave a great, funny speech, and made himself available for questions after. He hit it off with the 4 guys from Boston, so we adjourned to the resort's bar for more baseball talk (yes, he picked up the tab).

    Boggs and Margo came up, and he told this story. He was in San Francisco for a weekend series to scout a Giant that was a potential trade subject. He was flying back to New York early Sunday morning. He returned his rental and was waiting on the courtesy bus when two women got on and sat nearby. He said he was listening in to their conversation, which basically concerned sleeping with MLB players, specifically Red $ox and particularly Boggs. The driver got on the bus and one of the women got off. Harazin described himself as an incorrigible buttinski, and he went up to the remaining woman, identified himself as "an MLB official" and asked if she knew "that Adams woman". The woman identified herself as Margo and showed Harazin her ID. He told her he found some of the stories he heard hard to believe, like the sex parties with Boggs and teammates. She reached into her purse and took out a sheaf of photos, all showing naked Red $ox players and pretty young things cavorting in various settings. He said he had to stop looking at them when he came across a shot of portly reliever Bob Stanley bare-assed, which may have broken the camera!

    Where you find healthy, wealthy young men, you'll also find pretty women more than willing to ease the pressure of their daily grind. For a price.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  114. Brutusale says:
    @Ex-banker
    Was Boggs an egomaniac? No $h#t, Sherlock. But you're telling me Rose wasn't?

    So who are the ten guys better than Boggs? You mention Schmidt and Robinson, basically a league-average hitter for his career (which is pretty great for 23 years). Boggs was 40% better than average. I'll concede Brett and Beltre as equals. Nobody else is close to Boggs.


    If not for his super-high average for the first 6-8 years no one would mention him.
     
    Boggs hit .307/.392/.412 (OPS+ 115) for years 9-21 of his career.

    On a lighter note, my buddy had a t-shirt they were selling in Boston after the Margot Adams affair became public that said. "Don't Trade Wade for Getting Laid." Still cracks me up.

    Think of how great he’d have been if he actually swung at first-pitch fastballs down the middle!

    My Margo Adams story. In the late 80s I was in St. Petersburg with some fantasy baseball friends to attend spring training games, play golf and enjoy the springtime Florida sun. We went to the 2nd Rotisserie Baseball Spring Banquet, where former Mets GM Al Harazin was the keynote speaker. He gave a great, funny speech, and made himself available for questions after. He hit it off with the 4 guys from Boston, so we adjourned to the resort’s bar for more baseball talk (yes, he picked up the tab).

    Boggs and Margo came up, and he told this story. He was in San Francisco for a weekend series to scout a Giant that was a potential trade subject. He was flying back to New York early Sunday morning. He returned his rental and was waiting on the courtesy bus when two women got on and sat nearby. He said he was listening in to their conversation, which basically concerned sleeping with MLB players, specifically Red $ox and particularly Boggs. The driver got on the bus and one of the women got off. Harazin described himself as an incorrigible buttinski, and he went up to the remaining woman, identified himself as “an MLB official” and asked if she knew “that Adams woman”. The woman identified herself as Margo and showed Harazin her ID. He told her he found some of the stories he heard hard to believe, like the sex parties with Boggs and teammates. She reached into her purse and took out a sheaf of photos, all showing naked Red $ox players and pretty young things cavorting in various settings. He said he had to stop looking at them when he came across a shot of portly reliever Bob Stanley bare-assed, which may have broken the camera!

    Where you find healthy, wealthy young men, you’ll also find pretty women more than willing to ease the pressure of their daily grind. For a price.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation