Mike Schmidt Newsbeat
Saturday, November 22, 2014
An interesting perspective on the Stanton contract.
In the 1970s and again in ‘80s, I signed that era’s version of the Giancarlo Stanton deal.
I was considered the Giancarlo Stanton of those times. I had led the league in home runs and RBIs a few times, so the Phillies decided I was worthy of becoming the highest-paid player in baseball.
Now he’ll get to experience batting slumps as the highest-paid player, a totally different feeling. He’ll be at home plate with the bases loaded and strike out to a chorus of boos. He’ll miss a ball in right field and want to crawl in a hole because of what he hears. Work as hard as you want behind the scenes, it doesn’t matter, now you are expected not to fail.
Off the field, he will have choices to make. Undesirable people will find him and want a piece of his financial future. He will be able to buy anything and everything — planes, yachts and expensive automobiles. He will need financial advisers and personal assistants, leading to the usual entourage.
Gratuities will be expected to double. Cell phones will follow him everywhere. Facebook and Twitter will chronicle his every public minute. ESPN and the MLB Network will feature his performance, good and bad nightly.
For someone who likes to stay under the radar, the question becomes: Is it worth it? The answer, of course, is “hell, yes!”
Friday, August 08, 2014
One of the most telling stories was shared by George. He said when he was hitting instructor last year, there were two indoor cages, and he would be in one flipping balls and the assistant coach in the other. The young Royals hitters were lined up to hit in the cage with the assistant, and none to hit in George’s cage.
I find that hard to believe, but at the same time know why. George, one of the greatest hitters ever, was there to coach, to offer his expertise, to suggest mechanics that might make a young hitter better.
The other coach was there to coach as well, but not with a sense of urgency — rather, more by telling the hitters what they wanted to hear. George eventually quit because he felt he was wasting everyone’s time in a failing effort to connect with them.
There could have been other issues going on behind the scenes. Maybe his cage-side manner was uncomfortable, maybe he was too quick to criticize, perhaps his stature made them uncomfortable. But I got much the same report from all the HOF guys, which confirmed my personal experiences over the last 10 years that young hitters resist coaching, especially from the great ones.
They listen out of respect, but don’t hear.
Maybe they were terrified he’d tell them about the Bellagio?
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