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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper are no Steph Curry, and that’s on baseball

Yea, why can’t Aaron Judge be more like that showy self-promoter Steph Curry?

That admiration for self-restraint is something with which baseball must grapple, because it is simultaneously admirable and constraining. Baseball players who adhere to the traditions and mores of the sport believe no one player is more important than the team, that showmanship designed to draw attention to yourself has no place in the game, that individuality should be suppressed. On one hand, that’s what you want to teach your kids. On the other, it’s why a celebratory bat-flip can cause controversy, why a shoe contract or endorsement deal can be seen as a player’s distraction rather than the sport’s promotion.

“Honestly,” Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said, “a lot of the baseball guys just don’t like to do that kind of stuff.”

So here was Judge, announcing himself with his violent, athletic swings Monday night, but then walking it back afterward with his words, saying, “I try to take everything one day at a time.”

“He is a tremendous talent on the field, a really appealing off-the-field personality, the kind of player that can become the face of the game,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday.

Manfred knows what his sport has here. And yet, in the same breath: “People talk about marketing the game and players becoming the face of the game. Our game is a team sport. And that means inherent limitations in terms of how big a star any individual player is going to become. It actually creates a reluctance among players, sometimes, to market themselves.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 04:48 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, bryce harper, face of baseball, popularity

 

 

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