Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Individualistic Sport

According to the author (Jason Turnbow), in the conclusion of "The Baseball Codes," baseball is now more than ever an individualistic sport, with many players more beholden to their agents than to the teams that employ them.
Although I must say, in hearing an interview with Marty Lurie and Clay Hensley, it was refreshing to hear Hensley say he always wanted to play for the team that first recognized he had the ability to play in the major leagues. (Clay was an 8th round pick in the 2002 amateur draft.) It took how Hensley did in San Diego and Florida (15-18 with SD from 2005-2008; W9 L11 with Florida in 2010 and 2011) to prove he was major league capable and now that he has that proof it'll be good to see how he helps his new club, the San Francisco Giants. Note: He shined as a set-up man but don't let the won/loss record fool you.  Hensley is a tough at-bat.

"The overall respect for the game has declined," said Pete Rose. "The only thing the guys respect now is money."  That could be spot on.  Because these are words coming from the all-time major league hit leader (who was banned from baseball because he bet on his own team).  Unfortunately, this once great ballplayer is also one who sells his signature for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. Where is his respect for humankind?

Is the modern player just as concerned with appearing on Sports Center as he is with winning the game?  Are there umpires who make calls so they can see themselves on the highlight reels that review game films each and every night?

"I honestly believe that what you learn in this game is not yours to possess, but yours to pass on," said Dusty Baker.  "...You can't run off to the woods and keep it to yourself, because it isn't yours to keep.  And what you teach other guys is the torch you pass. I don't make this up- it was passed to me."

If the majority of coaches, players and managers take this frame of reference baseball will be just fine.

(thanks to Jason Turnbow's book, "The Baseball Codes" and the good stuff inside it.)

Kevin J. Marquez