Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Leon Joseph "Bip" Roberts

I saw an article, from our favorite player-writer (Todd Jones) and it spoke of the unwritten rules on retaliation (9-1-08 edition of the Sporting News). Here's a snipet of what I'm talking about...

Disclaimer: This is about pro ball. I'm not advocating throwing at a hitter.

When you play the game for a living, you sometimes do things because they are part of the game. That doesn't mean you're proud of doing them. (Todd is fond of the apology.)

The retaliation rules of thumb: (a) hit superstar for superstar, position for position or same spot in the order for same spot in the order.
(b) Do not let things linger. All sides, including the umpires, know what's happening. Umpires, for the most part, allow us to police ourselves.
(c) Go after a guy's legs or backside; never go above the head, uh I mean belt. When a pitch is sailing behind a hitter, his first movement is to back away; flinch. And he'll back right into the pitch with his backside. That's what you want.

Todd goes on to say: I've been told-not asked-to hit someone. It's not fun, though I was once told to plunk Bip Roberts, and because nobody-on my team- liked him, they enjoyed seeing Bip getting his.

Leon Joseph "Bip" Roberts was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round, during the secondary phase, and was the 13th overall pick of the 1982 amateur draft. (He would go to the Padres in 1985, thru the rule 5 draft.)

His career in the majors began with the San Diego Padres, then ventured over to Cincinnati before returning to San Diego. From there he went onto Kansas City, Cleveland, Detroit and finished up his career with the Oakland A's. He had AB-4147, H-1220, R-663, HR-30, RBI-352, SB-264 and was caught stealing bases 95 times. His lifetime batting average was .294.

Bip Roberts is now doing the pre-game and post-game show on the Comcast network for the San Francisco Giants with Greg Papa. The duo is dynamic because Bip is as energetic and informative as his very astute sidekick, Greg Papa.

Together, they come up with some perspectives I appreciate and applaud, since I myself hadn't thought of it. That's not to say I'm hip to that stuff, I just like the opportunity to learn things and by seeing them differently sometimes we get a better grasp of what's going on.

Bip Roberts once said, and I wish I remembered his exact words because they were poignant, to say the least, that baseball is not meant to be played by those who try too hard. It's a game of rhythm and balance and if you overdo- what it is you are trying to do- you will usually fail.

I think that's the way life is too. You just have to stay within yourself to get your best results. As long as you are giving it your best, it'll all somehow work out.

(thanks to Sporting News and Baseball Reference)

Kevin Marquez