Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Glanville: Dream to Nightmare

I happen to know that Doug’s brother is staying out of trouble by playing the Strat-O-Matic online game!

The closer you are chosen to the first round [of the MLB draft], the better your odds of making it. In fact, first-rounders make it about 65 percent of the time, whereas those drafted in the 16th to 20th rounds have a 6.5 percent chance. That’s 10 times less likely.

The reason is talent, for sure, but also opportunity and investment. These amateur players have benefited from both, because when talented people receive more consistent expert education, they gain exponential advantage.

In 1991, I was one of those first-rounders… But that same year, the player picked over everyone on earth, by the New York Yankees, was Brien Taylor… Taylor, a left-hander, flirted with 100 m.p.h… In his first two seasons, he did not disappoint. He baffled professional hitters in the minor leagues just as he had high-schoolers. But one day, while trying to protect his older brother from being bullied by a man in a North Carolina trailer park, Taylor ended up hurting his pitching shoulder… The Yankees let him go in 1999 and two other teams gave him brief looks before deciding that he no longer had a future in the game…

Earlier this month, Taylor was indicted on federal drug charges, including three counts of distributing crack cocaine. This stemmed from an arrest in March after he had been accused of selling directly to an agent. Now he is facing a new kind of inevitability — not one having to do with major league stardom, but one that makes a jail sentence a mere formality. He is 40, a shell of the person he was on draft day…

In that trailer park, Taylor did what anyone would have done for a brother who was being threatened. Sure, he should have fought with his non-pitching hand, or tried to be the negotiator, but such things are not always options in that split second it takes for life to change. The kind of thing that happened to him could have happened to anyone.

Meanwhile, here I was, 11 picks after Taylor, able to get my time in the big leagues. I made my major league debut, earned a multiyear deal, had a locker next to Alex Rodriguez’s. I try to tell myself that it was because of my better judgment about what risks to take, or my Ivy League opportunities, but comfort does not come. For me, reading about Brien Taylor is haunting.

All this points to the illusion of inevitability. You can engineer the perfect diet and workout routine, be a good citizen and work at your craft year-round, and still have your dream destroyed by something out of your control. It could even happen while you’re doing what you wholeheartedly believe is right.

The District Attorney Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:09 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brien taylor, doug glanville, draft, history, legal, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam M
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER
(73 - 2:19pm, Sep 30)
Last: Jesse Barfield's Right Arm

NewsblogMLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.
(54 - 2:18pm, Sep 30)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogBrown: Winners And Losers: MLB Attendance In 2014, Nearly 74 Million Through The Gate
(15 - 2:17pm, Sep 30)
Last: Misirlou's been working for the drug squad

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Discussion
(13 - 2:15pm, Sep 30)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogMadden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness
(164 - 2:14pm, Sep 30)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(4056 - 2:14pm, Sep 30)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(442 - 2:13pm, Sep 30)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(396 - 2:13pm, Sep 30)
Last: Der-K and the statistical werewolves.

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Ballot
(11 - 1:59pm, Sep 30)
Last: Mark Armour

NewsblogMets close season optimistic for next year
(68 - 1:55pm, Sep 30)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8165 - 1:36pm, Sep 30)
Last: JL

NewsblogThe Captain’s Log: Derek Jeter’s Lady-Killing Past, From ‘Yeah, Jeets!’ to Gift Baskets
(30 - 12:52pm, Sep 30)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

NewsblogFangraphs/Cistulli: Post-trade WAR for deadline trades
(9 - 12:40pm, Sep 30)
Last: Don Malcolm

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014
(13 - 12:35pm, Sep 30)
Last: esseff

NewsblogThe Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014
(95 - 12:19pm, Sep 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

Page rendered in 0.1844 seconds
51 querie(s) executed