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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Chris Davis benched by Orioles after 3 strikeouts in opener

NEW YORK (AP) It didn’t take long for Chris Davis’ first benching of the season.

The first baseman with the $161 million contract was out of the Baltimore Orioles’ starting lineup against the New York Yankees on Saturday, two days after going 0 for 3 with three strikeouts in the opener.

Rookie manager Brandon Hyde started right-handed-hitting Trey Mancini at first base against left-hander James Paxton rather than the left-handed-hitting Davis.

At the rate it’s going, there’s a good chance that he won’t be suitable for our annual softball game….

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2019 at 05:29 AM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bench, chris davis, orioles

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   1. Paul D(uda) Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:10 AM (#5827162)
I know it's a flippant comment, but much better would a bad mlb player be than the average Joe softball Er? I assume Davis would hit every pitch 450ft,kendry Morales would look like a defensive wizard at first, etc
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5827163)
don't bother providing this b.s. artist with a click.

a LH batter not starting vs a LH pitcher? SHOCKING!

a team looking to get each hitter a start in the opening few days? NEVER!

Pass.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:16 AM (#5827164)
Was he really benched because of the three strikeout game or was it just a platoon thing. Managers like to mix the lineup early in the year toget everyone some at bats.
   4. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:25 AM (#5827165)
In the opener Davis had 3 PAs against RHP and was lifted for a pinch hitter against a LHP. In the second game he sat against a LHP. He's being platooned.

If you feel you have to play Davis because he's being paid the GDP of a Central American country then this is probably the best strategy to try to fluke your way into 375 non-useless PAs from him. It's still hopeless, of course.

EDIT: Much soda.
   5. flournoy Posted: March 31, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5827180)
I know it's a flippant comment, but much better would a bad mlb player be than the average Joe softball Er? I assume Davis would hit every pitch 450ft,kendry Morales would look like a defensive wizard at first, etc


Yes - far, far better. I played in a mens baseball league ten years ago, and the league was made up mostly of early twenty-something guys who played in high school and college, and a few who were still playing in college who joined after their college season ended. So, in other words, guys generally much better than "average Joe." A guy who had just retired from the minors joined (in other words, not as good as a "major leaguer"), and he was head and shoulders above everyone else on the field. I'd never seen home runs hit as far as the ones he crushed.
   6. Rally Posted: March 31, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5827183)
Not surprising. Chip Cannon had elite raw power by any league’s standards. Just not enough contact ability to demonstrate that at upper levels.

I assume a guy like Morales would look like a great defender at third or even short if playing with amateurs. If playing in an amateur baseball league he would be Babe Ruth. Hitting homers wherever he plays, and taking a turn in the rotation. As a guy who pitched a scoreless MLB inning last year and throws in the mid 80s, don’t think we would do much damage against him.
   7. Rally Posted: March 31, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5827184)
Chris Davis on the other hand, would probably have to bat 10th on a slow pitch softball team.
   8. bookbook Posted: March 31, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5827185)
So, what happened to Chris Davis? Did his eyesight just fall off a cliff or something. I get that aging is a thing, but geez.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 31, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5827186)
Chip Cannon had elite raw power by any league’s standards.
With a name like that, he kind of had to, no?
   10. eric Posted: March 31, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5827187)
I played softball with a guy who's brother was a 26yo backup catcher in A ball. So he (the catcher) and his minor league buddies came out one day to play beer-league softball. Surprising to no one they were the three best players on the field, by a wide margin. One ended up later having a few cups o' coffee in MLB, and for him every hit was a line drive to the gap and every throw was a laser right between the shoulders. He was a SS in MiLB (and, eventually, MLB) so he was a SS for us.

The most impressive was actually the A-ball backup catcher. Our field had these huge nets behind the fields to protect the parking lot. Just barely hitting the net was a notable feat. One day I saw the biggest, strongest guy I'd seen at the complex hit these softballs farther than I'd ever seen: he was hitting them halfway up the net. I'd never seen anyone come even close to that in three years of four games a week play. Then came this A-ball backup catcher.

First swing in a game, from the heels, complete with loud grunt, and the ball just became a speck in the night sky. It completely cleared the net and for all we know the parking lot beyond--we never heard it land which suggests it hit the grass in the field beyond the parking lot (feeling "shown up" this almost started a fight with the other team, this being beer-league softball and all). He played LCF and he could thrown the ball from the warning track on a rope seemingly shoulder-high the entire way perfectly to our catcher, chest-level (our catcher, the worst player on the team, would invariable drop it, this being beer-league softball and all.)

Suffice to say, I suspect Chris Davis would make a complete mockery of slow-pitch softball, even in his current state.

   11. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 31, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5827189)
Yeah, when I was a senior in HS, we had two guys on our team who later went on to pitch in the low minors. The rest of us sucked. We went to the state title game on the backs of those two guys pretty much alone. They were like adults among children.
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 31, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5827190)
a LH batter not starting vs a LH pitcher? SHOCKING!

Yeah, they can't wait to get him in there against righties, since he batted .178 with a .557 OPS against them last year.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 31, 2019 at 12:28 PM (#5827191)
Yeah, when I was a senior in HS, we had two guys on our team who later went on to pitch in the low minors. The rest of us sucked. We went to the state title game on the backs of those two guys pretty much alone. They were like adults among children.

OTOH the Orioles great pitching coach, Ray Miller, made it up to AAA. But when I played with him in the Clark Griffith League on the Washington Ellipse, he wasn't the best pitcher on our team, and not even that hard to hit, since all he ever threw were fast balls in the high 80's. He figured out the changing speeds bit after his playing career was over, but he didn't practice himself what he later preached.
   14. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 31, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5827198)
My one shining moment in intramural softball in college came on the receiving end of a throw like described in [10]. Runner on 2nd, single to center, I'm catching. I don't know the background of the guy in center, but he charges in and unleashes a throw like it's been shot out of a cannon. I can *hear* the damn thing coming from probably before it passed the pitcher's mound. Like a good solid catcher, I'm completely straddling the baseline. I make the catch right at my face, have just enough time to turn to the runner, and BAM! he plows my ass over knocking me flat onto my back. From a big cloud of dust, I hold up my glove with the ball still in it.

OUT!

I spike the ball on home plate Pete Rose style and run off the field to the high-fives of my teammates.

From center field, dude threw the ball on a line straight to my face. If I'd have missed it, it would have hit me on the bridge of the nose and probably killed me.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 31, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5827207)
Realistically, though, I doubt many beer league softball teams could take on Davis’s contract, and they probably couldn’t give back enough in terms of prospects to get the Orioles to eat the money.
   16. caspian88 Posted: March 31, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5827209)
Just trade the beer for Davis plus the money to pay him.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 31, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5827210)
Plus, he’s a 10-and-5 even if he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. Although you have to wonder if, at this point, he’d welcome the opportunity.
   18. The Rare Albino Shrieking Goat of Guatemala. Posted: March 31, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5827220)
From center field, dude threw the ball on a line straight to my face. If I'd have missed it, it would have hit me on the bridge of the nose and probably killed me.


In one softball game, which wasn't league, so we were using red dots and an OG Miken, someone barreled up and pulled a line drive to 3rd so hard that the guy playing there didn't even have time to move before it hit the bill of his hat. A half inch higher, he was going to the E.R. with at least a concussion. A half inch lower, he was going in with a fractured face. As it was, the ball crumpled the bill and dropped at his feet. Out of instinct, he picked it up and threw the batter out, but afterwards, he took off his cap, looked at the damage and walked straight to his car.
   19. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: March 31, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5827231)
I used to sponsor Steve Jeltz's BBREF page and was sent this email as a result (the writer of it did give permission to reproduce it):

I grew up with Steve in Lawrence, Kansas, and was one of his good childhood friends. During my law school days at Kansas University, I put together a fall ball slow pitch team consisting mostly of fellow law students, and short of players towards the end of the season, asked Steve to ring for us (the major leaguge season had just ended, and Steve had recently returned to Lawrence). Of course, he played shortstop. His fielding was like a ballet peformance. But he went oh for four at the plate. OH FOR FOUR???. Slow pitch??? I asked an opposing player that game what he thought of my short stop. “Decent glove,” he responded. “Is that all you have to say,” I stated in mock disbelief. “He plays for the Philadelphia Phillies in the off season.” The guy laughed at me.
   20. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 31, 2019 at 05:49 PM (#5827250)
I played with a guy who coached Mike Carp in high school. Not major leaguer Mike Carp, but the guy who coached him. He dominated the league to the point that other teams were walking him in rec league softball.
   21. Tom Riddle Posted: March 31, 2019 at 08:17 PM (#5827275)
This is a fantastic thread and a topic that I love following across sports.

There are so many folks out there with stories of playing a sport with someone whose credentials were "tiers above" - shooting hoops with a former college basketball player, pick-up soccer with an out-of-shape adult who was once in a professional academy, softball with a former minor leaguer, and so on.

Invariably what you hear is that these players are consistently unimaginable levels above everyone else on the field. They make the game look so easy it's inconceivable. The basketball players make literally every shot, the now-overweight soccer players can dribble everyone else without an issue, and so on.

I don't really know what to make of it other than (1) be humbled that every time I want to criticize a professional or start to feel good about my own skill, remember that there's an unbelievable chasm between us in terms of commitment and ability, and (2) simply be awed by the ability of the human race to reach high levels of skill and execution in whatever field is out there. In some ways it's depressing to know that anyone who had a modicum of exposure to professional sport will dominate the hell out of you for the rest of your lives in that game; in some ways it's reassuring to know that yeah, professionalism matters, and if you stick your mind to something to the level where you're practicing sports professionally (or if you commit to anything professionally, or just really work at it) you will indeed see the kind of results that put you tiers above anyone who hasn't.

Reminds me of a debate class I took as a kid. Our teacher went on some little speech at some point on how any practice in anything makes you far better than someone who hasn't. Like if you've even read the rules of chess and played once you have a huge advantage over someone picking it up for the first time. I think it's nice to know that advantage and skill are built up so much by human work than by natural talent.

Anyway, long rant, but I always love hearing stories of people playing with professionals. Makes me desperate to play soccer or basketball or baseball or anything with someone who was a professional - feel like you could learn and appreciate so much by seeing that in person. When you actually do something for your primary focus all day every day, you'll get better than any amateurs could even imagine.
   22. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 31, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5827286)
In some ways it's depressing to know that anyone who had a modicum of exposure to professional sport will dominate the hell out of you for the rest of your lives in that game; in some ways it's reassuring to know that yeah, professionalism matters, and if you stick your mind to something to the level where you're practicing sports professionally (or if you commit to anything professionally, or just really work at it) you will indeed see the kind of results that put you tiers above anyone who hasn't.
I don't know if this will make you feel better or worse, but they didn't just "get exposure" and practice and work hard--though undoubtedly they did those things as well. They have innate talent that (most) of us simply don't have, and no amount of hard work is going to develop.
   23. John Northey Posted: March 31, 2019 at 09:32 PM (#5827291)
My best was hockey - worked at a truck company in the office and I sucked royally as a player. One game a former OHL player (high school semi-pro top league for it though so he would've played against & with a ton of guys who made the NHL) who was now a driver came out to play one game. He told me to just go to the net and that's what I did, then he'd shoot it and it'd bounce off my stick into the net - never scored that many goals. It was crazy fun for me, sucked for the other team. He never came out again though as it was probably boring to him. That is what must suck for guys who never made it to the top - if they just love to play they can't as they dominate unless the league is just old pros and that would be very hard to put together.
   24. Chris Fluit Posted: March 31, 2019 at 10:09 PM (#5827296)
So, what happened to Chris Davis? Did his eyesight just fall off a cliff or something. I get that aging is a thing, but geez.
He always had trouble with breaking balls but, all last season, it looked like he no longer had the bat speed to catch up to fastballs either. He had a pretty good eye and could draw walks because pitchers were afraid of his power. Not anymore. There's no reason to throw a breaking ball out of the zone and hope he'll chase. Pitchers are challenging him in the zone and he's just late on everything. The loss of bat speed is an aging thing. And, yeah, it's brutal. There are also complaints coming out of Baltimore about Davis' unwillingness to make adjustments. He's never going to be the "Crush" Davis of old but he could opt to shorten his swing and be Justin Morneau for a year or two. He's apparently too stubborn to do that. IMO, the Orioles know his contract is a sunk cost and are running him out there because they don't have anybody better coming up from the minors to replace him yet. As soon as they have a big prospect who needs playing time, they'll drop Davis like a hot rock.

I'll always appreciate what he did for the Orioles in 2013 and '15. And I'd love to be wrong on this. It'd be great to see Davis have a bounceback season (or at least a deadcat bounce season). But I have no expectation of it actually happening.
   25. akrasian Posted: March 31, 2019 at 10:51 PM (#5827299)
And the great thing is that since he deferred some money - he's going to be paid until 2017!
   26. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:07 AM (#5827306)
2017 was two years ago.
   27. akrasian Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:18 AM (#5827307)
Off by 20 years. 2037
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:47 AM (#5827309)
I played mixed doubles tennis about 30 years ago against Billie Jean King and a partner, and with Anne Smith - her longtime Grand Slam-winning doubles partner.

I was dating a recently-graduated college varsity tennis player at the time, and I was young, a whippet, and left-handed. we were competitive (she killed me on hard courts; I could beat her sometimes on clay by outrunning the damn ball).

We played a few points, and Smith then pointed out to me the exact optimal spots on the court from which to prepare for each kind of return. I "got it" the moment she told me - and it was revolutionary.

Billie Jean - btw, one of the people I highly recommend for that "if I could have dinner with 4 people on Earth" game - of course instantly recognized this, and raised the level of the game accordingly. It was fascinating (her partner in the set was an amateur, also, and probably got her own free tips as well).
   29. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2019 at 02:50 AM (#5827312)
I went to one of the Harvards of the Midwest ... the baseball team captain was drafted in like the 60th round or something (decided to skip playing minor-league ball). Anyway, he was a ringer (for the opposing side) in one of our intramural softball games. I think he got a hit every time up but he wasn't anything particularly special -- he was also pretty tiny.

On the other hand, I once played a rec league game against Rick Fox and Pete Chilcutt. You might recall they were basketball players. Fox got some hits but was completely uncoordinated at first (and we all agreed not to end his career by stepping on his foot which was firmly planted in the middle of the bat). I don't recall anything about Chilcutt in the field but I do recall him hitting a very, very long home run.

Unfortunately Fox did not bring his bevy of beauties with him that evening. Did see him out at a few bars that year too (he was legal by then, season was over) and the man did attract just a smidgen of female attention.

And Kendrys ain't got nothing on me at first base!! (Semi-seriously, I doubt he could have picked softball throws any better than I could in my prime (I said softball throws) ... but he'd have been much smoother in the field with much better range.)
   30. bookbook Posted: April 01, 2019 at 03:14 AM (#5827316)
My 5'10" dad played intramural basketball against Bill Bradley at Princeton. Dad's gone now so I can't get a refresher on the details, but my recollection is that Bradley was such a nice guy that he didn't dominate the scholarly scrubs he was playing against.
   31. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:46 AM (#5827325)

all last season, it looked like he no longer had the bat speed to catch up to fastballs either.
Not sure how you could tell, given how rarely he took the bat off his shoulder.

But seriously, yes. He's really strong, and that’s the only thing he still has going for him. But at some point (which he has long since passed) that ceases to be enough. I know Yankee Stadium has a deep left-center, but that ball he hit in the 1st inning would've gone out in his prime. Instead, just a long fly to the warning track.

I still wonder about his eyesight. He never seems to have any idea what's coming.
   32. Rally Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:50 AM (#5827326)
Reminds me of a debate class I took as a kid. Our teacher went on some little speech at some point on how any practice in anything makes you far better than someone who hasn't. Like if you've even read the rules of chess and played once you have a huge advantage over someone picking it up for the first time. I think it's nice to know that advantage and skill are built up so much by human work than by natural talent.


Doesn't always work that way. Saw a story once about a guy playing basketball with Bo Jackson. Bo had never picked up a basketball before. Didn't matter, because he was Bo Jackson.
   33. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 01, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5827337)
Reminds me of a debate class I took as a kid. Our teacher went on some little speech at some point on how any practice in anything makes you far better than someone who hasn't.
In college I was in a tennis PE class with Hubert Davis, who went on to have a 10 year NBA career. I'd been playing tennis since I was about 8, he'd never picked up a racket. On day 1 I was a lot better than him, on day 2 we were about even, and then a lacrosse player transferred into the class and took over the role of Hubert's opponent, so I didn't have the opportunity to get beaten by a guy who'd been playing the game for three days.
   34. dlf Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5827348)
On the other hand, I once played a rec league game against Rick Fox and Pete Chilcutt. You might recall they were basketball players.


The latter went to high school with my wife. I met him at a reunion some years back. Nice guy, even if I got a neck strain trying to talk to him.

...

I "played" high school baseball with a guy who briefly played in the O's organization. We also had another guy on the team who played college ball at a Division II school. The difference as teenagers between one good enough to play in college and one good enough to play in Single A was pretty significant.

(By "played" I mean that I sat on the bench, occasionally warmed up pitchers between innings, and got to wear the uniform. I was horrible, but kept figuring that if I had a lucky day when the scouts were there to see Brad, just maybe ...)

...

The most embarrassed I was in anything athletic was trying to skate with a future US Olympic women's hockey player before she was even out of elementary school. Back then, she was just the annoying little sister of a friend who could already shoot and skate circles around boys 4-5 years older.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5827355)
The most embarrassed I was in anything athletic


I played pickup badminton with some high school girls in Thailand. They discovered a weakness of mine and then ruthlessly exploited it, laughing right in my face after every point. That was a low moment.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5827358)
Saw a story once about a guy playing basketball with Bo Jackson. Bo had never picked up a basketball before.
So Bo was what, six years old? Is it even plausible that Bo would not have picked up a basketball before then?
   37. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5827359)
I was college dorm-mates with a guy who was taken in the early rounds of the NHL draft, although he ended up only having a brief NHL career. He came out to play intramural softball a few times and was certainly the best player on our team, probably the best player on the field but that part was debatable. He hit terrifying line drives every time up; if someone had told him about launch angle he probably would have hit a home run every at-bat :)
   38. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5827363)
My high-school's basketball camp (for elementary and middle-schoolers) always had a guest appearance from a Tar Heel. Chilcutt came two years in a row. Henrik Rodl came another year, and so did Rick Fox.
   39. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: April 01, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5827364)
A friend of mine faced Jason Bere in high school. He whiffed twice and hit a little dribbler back to the mound. He said that dribbler to the mound was the highlight of his high school career and that Bere was just beyond anyone else they ever encountered.

Another friend has a sister 9 years younger than him who became a star college basketball player (all Big East team, Boston College Hall of Famer). By the time she was 15 she would totally dominate us the rare times we shared a court. Blew out her knee before she was able to get to WNBA unfortunately.
   40. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5827367)

So Bo was what, six years old? Is it even plausible that Bo would not have picked up a basketball before then?

I was going to make this comment. I can believe Bo Jackson never played on an organized basketball team, but I am skeptical of the claim that he never picked up a ball before.
   41. base ball chick Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5827374)
i think that a whole lot of the pete rose worship is due to the belief that

- anyone can be anything if they want it bad enough and practice hard enough

and pete rose was just some ordinary dude who was just like anyone else in ability, he just wanted it more and practiced more and that is why he became a great baseball player. if he can do it, anyone can do it

and this is horsestuff

some people have, as john brattain put it, souped up DNA
an ability they are just born with that makes them far far far better to start with than the rest of us.

just like people who are ultra talented musicians. do people really think that someone with no ear and no sense of rhythm could be ededie van halen if only they practiced like he did? pls

just like people who are math geniuses. people like me need a calculator to add. some people can look at a list of numbers and add it up almost instantly without a calculator. i couldn't do that if i spent the rest of my life with stacks of numbers. any more than i could have ever hit a ML fastball no matter HOW hard i tried

it is interesting that so many would sneer - of course you couldn't hit a ML FB no matter what, you're a grrrl (inferior from the get go) but can't believe that any other person could possibly be superior in ability from the getgo

   42. PreservedFish Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5827385)
it is interesting that so many would sneer - of course you couldn't hit a ML FB no matter what, you're a grrrl (inferior from the get go) but can't believe that any other person could possibly be superior in ability from the getgo


Sorry, do you really think that there's anyone alive that doesn't believe in natural talent differences? Nobody looks at Giannis Antetokounmpo and thinks, "oh yeah, that'd be me if I just practiced more."
   43. PreservedFish Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5827386)
   44. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5827395)
I can believe Bo Jackson never played on an organized basketball team, but I am skeptical of the claim that he never picked up a ball before.


I'm sure every gym teacher Bo ever had was excitedly trying him out in new sports. He definitely played a little basketball.

   45. base ball chick Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5827398)


PF

yeah, i do - weird as that sounds
especially with males who are average size and build like, say, pedroia
i mean, i have actually HEARD guys say stuff like that - i could do that too if i had just not quit baseball after high school - or some such nonsense

i actually know one mother who told her poor kid that he could be isaac stern if he would just practice more. pls

i remember reading some article saying something about how people who do something astonishingly great like that practice (is it) 50,000 hours - and imply, if not say, that if you did this too, you would be as great as them. no

   46. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5827405)
Random guy's purported story about Bo Jackson diving. What do we think...plausible?
   47. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5827406)
just like people who are ultra talented musicians. do people really think that someone with no ear and no sense of rhythm could be ededie van halen if only they practiced like he did? pls

I was thinking along these lines too. Some would call me a fairly well accomplished trumpet player (first chair All-State Band as a high schooler, and I would certainly hope I'm better now) and through a series of fortunate coincidences -- luck meeting opportunity -- I've had a chance to play in the major leagues of music for the last 8 years or so touring with The O'Jays as part of their horn section when they're in the TX/OK/AR/LA part of the country. When you have the likes of Chaka Khan opening for you, you know you've made it (ha!). Anyway, I always feel like I'm by far the weakest player in these horn sections. The other cats have such phenomenal technique, creativity, and just general presence of sound that they make me sound like I've been playing the horn for about a month. There aren't enough hours left in my life to practice enough to even approach getting as good as these guys.

And yet none of them are "famous" players by any measure. Most are completely unknown outside of their home town.

Trying to extrapolate from their level to the level of trumpet players you might have actually heard of -- Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, Chris Botti, etc -- is something I can't even fathom.
   48. base ball chick Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5827417)
pat

i'm sure that if there were some way possible to say that wynton is only that good because of (whatever would be the horn playing equivalent of steroids) then some people would

remember when barry bonds was playing and his own peers told media that barry was just on another level - and the barry hating media just tried to deny it in some way?

some people just can't handle that some people simply have a rare talent, they really can't

and there is a reason that most baseball players crap out in the low minors and it isn't because they don't have the drive to want to be ML players
   49. Davo Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5827419)
I’ve been wondering what the best Baltimore could hope for going forward out of Chris Davis, and realized he has an almost perfect comp in Adam Dunn: LHH first basemen with off the charts TTO skills.

And Adam Dunn’s first year (2011) of his 4-year deal with Chicago was as bad as Davis was last year: Dunn hit .159/.292/.277 in 500 PAs, a 54 OPS+. And that winter he turned 32. (Chris Davis just turned 33.)

So what did Dunn do for the final 3 years of his contract? Well:

2012: .203/.333/.468, 114 OPS+
2013: .219/.320/.442, 105 OPS+
2014: .219/.337/.415, 115 OPS+

Obviously not good, but he was still rosterable, which is the big hurdle with Davis going forward. You don’t need him to go back to being an All-Star, you need him to get the WAR into the positive column again.

There’s a part of me that wonders whether Baltimore has pushed Davis into playing other positions. He’s athletic and has experience in the outfield and third base; second base doesn’t seem impossible (Mike Moustakas is doing it for a playoff team!) And he famously pitched well in college and the final 2 innings of a marathon game back in 2012 or so.

If he can turn himself into a non-terrible 1B/2B/3B/OF/blowout pitcher utility guy....I mean, he doesn’t even need to “bounce back” to even Adam Dunn levels to be a rosterable player, he’ll just need an OPS+ in the 90s to not actively hurt the team.

I guess we’ll see. It seems like they have a lot of leverage over him (“learn second base or we release you and getting released by the Orioles means your career is over”).
   50. base ball chick Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5827420)
and speaking of wynton - wiki says he didn't practice much until he was TWELVE, then won a contest to play with the new orleans philharmonic at FOURTEEN

that is 2 years of practice, started later than most parents start their kids playing and i sure nuff don't see all these other kids doing that after 2 years of practicing

and that is what is called inborn TALENT
   51. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5827428)
Well, sure, Wynton's dad was a well-known jazz pianist (and his brother turned out to be a world-class saxophone player), so he obviously had some very strong musical genes.
   52. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5827430)
I don't know that I trust the report that has Wynton not practicing till he was 12. This is from Wynton's own website:

Edison’s reference was to Marsalis’ upbringing in the hothouse musical culture of ‘70s New Orleans, where, as Marsalis put it, “musicians work—the gigs don’t pay that much, but you play. I always had a job. I would come home at 1 or 2 in the morning and go to school at 7. I played as much as I could possibly play.”

From 13 to 16, Wynton and Branford earned up to $100 a night with a funk band called the Creators, playing covers of ‘70s R&B hits at outdoor dances, receptions, weddings and the like, subverting the surroundings, Branford recalls, with segues from, say, a Parliament line into a tune by Deodato.


So he was playing professionally at the age of 13.
   53. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5827433)
I was in New Orleans several years ago to perform at the Loyola Jazz Festival and got to hear the top jazz combo from the arts magnet HS in New Orleans. All great players and likely future professionals on stage. Even with that much talent throughout the group, the drummer is who stood out to me above the rest. Great technique and a maturity of concept that was far beyond his years. At the end of the set, he was was introduced as Jason Marsalis. Yeah, those Marsalises and the youngest brother of the bunch.
   54. Greg Pope Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5827454)
And yet none of them are "famous" players by any measure. Most are completely unknown outside of their home town.

I was thinking about this the other day. I got dragged to see Air Supply a couple of weeks ago, and their band had a keyboardist, drummer, and lead guitarist. I can't judge the others, but to my layman's ear the guitarist was pretty good. I go to local restaurants that have music nights on the weekends with local bands. This guy was way better than any of them. Which on the one hand you'd expect, but on the other hand, the pinnacle of his career is playing a 2,400 seat theater in Waukegan, IL with a 40-year old soft rock band.
   55. alilisd Posted: April 01, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5827455)
A guy who had just retired from the minors joined (in other words, not as good as a "major leaguer"), and he was head and shoulders above everyone else on the field. I'd never seen home runs hit as far as the ones he crushed.


Similar experience in my Men's league. Older league, 27+, but Mike Farmer https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/farmemi01.shtml played OF and crushed ridiculous HR's pretty much every game, and he was a former MLB pitcher! Well, sort of anyway, 7 Games and 28 IP in 1996.
   56. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5827493)
I can't judge the others, but to my layman's ear the guitarist was pretty good. I go to local restaurants that have music nights on the weekends with local bands. This guy was way better than any of them. Which on the one hand you'd expect, but on the other hand, the pinnacle of his career is playing a 2,400 seat theater in Waukegan, IL with a 40-year old soft rock band.

And then I go to Aaron McLain's website which reads in part:
Aaron has electrified audiences as a guitarist traveling the world with and recorded for the likes of Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Tears for Fears singer Oleta Adams, Patti LaBelle, Terrance Trent Darby, Boys Don't Cry, Beto Cuevas, music director for Rebbie Jackson and currently lead guitarist for the hit pop group Air Supply, among others. Mclain has performed with artist on many TV shows including, Marc Anthony Live at Madison Garden HBO Special, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Today Show 07', Latin Billboard Awards 2006, Victoria Secret Fashion Awards 2003, Winter Olympics 2002, Marc Anthony CBS Special 2002, Grammy Awards 2002, Miss Universe 2002, Billboard Awards 2002, Blockbuster Awards 2000, Gloria Estefan Special, Mad TV, Rosie O'Donell, The View, Craig Kilborn, and many more. Aaron received a Latin Grammy for his guitar work on the 2013 Beto Cuevas Album "Transformacion", which won in the "Best Pop/Rock Album" category.

and would guess playing a 2400 seat venue in Waukegan, IL, isn't the pinnacle of his career. But Air Supply is a steady gig, and he's credited as the Music Director on AS's site so wherever they go, there he is too.
   57. Greg Pope Posted: April 01, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5827500)
Ah, my fault for making assumptions. So, the guy is better than I thought. But that's still kind of the point. He's really good (probably) but he's not the guitarist for Coldplay or Imagine Dragons. Much less Eddie Van Halen.
   58. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 01, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5827504)
If you're a musician and you're able to make a living playing music, you're one of the winners.
   59. PreservedFish Posted: April 01, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5827508)
Cold Play and Imagine Dragons don't require technical geniuses.

You can go to Youtube and find 11 year olds that can nail Page and Hendrix solos note for note. There's a lot more to that job than mere virtuosity.
   60. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5827518)

Random guy's purported story about Bo Jackson diving. What do we think...plausible?

I believe the story but I doubt that Bo had never dived before.
   61. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 01, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5827522)
The other thing is that rock bands tend to get their lineup when they're nobodies, and so there's often a member or two who aren't especially good technical players. To take an easy example, Adam Clayton is a thoroughly mediocre bass player who could never land a job as a session musician, and he's been playing with U2 for 42 years.
   62. BillWallace Posted: April 01, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5827535)
I play pickup hockey with some former pros and the occasional current pro. Highlight was being the other goalie a few times from still active Evgeni Nabakov (during the offseason). He was pretty crazy, he'd catch the puck, drop it immediately onto his (goalie) stick and start toe-dragging everyone. Once he went end to end to shoot on me (I saved).

There was a guy I played once in a league game, 50 yo former Bruin with a 2-3 year career as a fighter but don't remember the name. Got off a snapshot on me that I didn't read the release at all. Must have been 80-85 at least with no visible load or windup. Still one of the best shots I've seen. I didn't react at all but it hit me in the palm and stung like a mfer.
   63. . Posted: April 01, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5827537)
I went to one of the Harvards of the Midwest, too and lived with the freshman/sophomore football players in the same dorm. Their football talent didn't really carry over to other sports, though I was a late bloomer and pretty good IM athlete. Me and my basketball friends played a team of 1985 football players in like the quarterfinals of the basketball tournament and wiped the floor with them in what is still one of my all-time favorite personal sports moments. For whatever reason -- likely because of the example of the QB (now coach), the mid-80s football guys were way douchier than the guys from even like three years before. I'm sure they thought they were going to coast and beat us and like 10 minutes in we were already up like 15 and just running them off the floor. Pretty good crowd, too. The QB, now coach, started the game by guarding me and it was entirely one-sided in my direction and his legendary (insane, really) competitiveness started coming out along with the absurd gratuitous elbows to try to "intimidate" me. Another eight points or so and maybe five minutes later, he eventually gave up and they turned the job over to one of the star WRs, a good player and good guy who I'm pretty sure played for the football Cardinals for at least a year. Obviously a great moment to blow those douches away, the ultimate point being that the "carryover" from elite status in football really wasn't there to any great degree. They were good basketball players, to be sure, but nothing super special.

Golf is probably the better example. Our rival high school team was led by the son of the Michigan State golf coach, and the kid was probably one of the top-five amateurs in the state when he was like 14. Pretty sure he won the state individual golf championship as a freshman.(*) He was really good in basketball, too (**), and played for Michigan State for at least a year. As good as he was, he wasn't even close to tour-caliber, although it doesn't help in that regard to be from Michigan as opposed to California, Texas, or Florida where you can play year-round.

(*) In the conference individual championship round, in miserable bitter cold and rainy mid-October pre-global warming Michigan, he won with a 72 and was I'm sure entirely ho-hum about the whole thing. I shot 77 for second place and it was basically the round of my life. The year before, we beat his team on their home course to pretty much ensure the conference championship I'm pretty sure on the day of Bucky ####### Dent. (I know we had a match that afternoon, just can't remember for sure if it was that one.)

(**) In the second round of the 1979 state basketball tournament, we played at his school in front of a crowd bigger than your typical Cavs or Nets crowd of the day, and near the end of the third quarter, I was guarding him and we banged knees. He was quick and fast as #### and so of course on the bus ride home my knee blew up to like three times its size and put me on crutches for a day or two. He was only like maybe 5-10; if he'd been 6-6 or 6-7, there's no doubt he was high-caliber D-I quality.
   64. . Posted: April 01, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5827549)
some people just can't handle that some people simply have a rare talent, they really can't


Which is really strange, because some people obviously do. It's not that people with rare talents don't work hard at their talent -- most really do -- but it isn't the hard work that's even remotely the ultimate determinant.

A lot of this is cultural and ideological -- Americans like to think they got where they got because of something they did -- i.e., teh hard work -- rather than by primarily luck or fortuity. But even someone with a decent amount of baseball talent could have worked on it every hour, every day from five years old on, and he still wasn't becoming Barry Bonds.
   65. Greg Pope Posted: April 01, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5827578)
How much of the opposite happens? How many MLB players think that they got where they are not because of their natural talent, but because of their hard work?
   66. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 01, 2019 at 04:09 PM (#5827586)
For whatever reason -- likely because of the example of the QB (now coach), the mid-80s football guys were way douchier than the guys from even like three years before. I'm sure they thought they were going to coast and beat us and like 10 minutes in we were already up like 15 and just running them off the floor. Pretty good crowd, too. The QB, now coach, started the game by guarding me and it was entirely one-sided in my direction and his legendary (insane, really) competitiveness started coming out along with the absurd gratuitous elbows to try to "intimidate" me. Another eight points or so and maybe five minutes later, he eventually gave up and they turned the job over to one of the star WRs
I think I saw that movie. After the game, did you snub the beautiful popular girl who suddenly wanted you in favor of the plain girl who had been your true friend?
   67. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 01, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5827588)
How many MLB players think that they got where they are not because of their natural talent, but because of their hard work?
Over-under on 97 percent?
   68. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: April 01, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5827589)
Personally, I know whatever professional success I've had is in spite of my work ethic.
   69. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 01, 2019 at 09:29 PM (#5827703)

I think I saw that movie. After the game, did you snub the beautiful popular girl who suddenly wanted you in favor of the plain girl who had been your true friend?
Just because everything he has ever said about his life has been made up does not mean that everything he says about his life is made up.

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