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

Monday, July 15, 2013

NYT: Before Football, Jets’ Ryan Mastered Table Baseball

“I love coaching football, don’t get me wrong,” Ryan said. “But I just love baseball.” Dig it!

“I have sets, literally, of almost every single year of Strat-O-Matic baseball,” Ryan said. “That’s how huge I was into it.”

This revelation — that he engaged in a hobby he would call “a bit egghead-ish” — does not square easily with Ryan’s public image as the brash and swaggering coach of the Jets. The same guy who encouraged cheap shots while playing football with his two brothers and who recently ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, would also jockey to draft Manny Mota, a Strat-O-Matic superstar. By day, Ryan would plot aggressive schemes as one of the N.F.L.’s more creative defensive coaches. By night, in his slivers of spare time, he would scour the Internet for player-card sets that had eluded his collection.

It was bound to happen, what with being a head coach and all, but his obsession has waned. Neither of his sons was that interested. Names aren’t as familiar — certainly there is no more Saenz, who retired in 2008. Until our three-inning duel on a rainy afternoon last month, it had been a while since Ryan’s last Strat-O-Matic game. Perhaps not since his days at Southwestern Oklahoma State, where he and Rob would stay up late drinking beer, playing full seasons and keeping stats. They created their own scoresheets.

“Instead of studying,” Ryan said, “we were doing this stuff.”

...We shook hands and talked for a few minutes. He lamented some of the enhancements that Strat-O-Matic has made over the years, introducing advanced fielding charts, ballpark factors and updated base-stealing options. They took away from his enjoyment, he said.

“When all these things came up, I stopped playing it,” Ryan said. “I think the quality went down. Even the quality of the cards isn’t nearly the same. I never wanted to turn to this sheet or that sheet or whatever. Just the feel of it, it’s not the same to me.”

For the first time in our 45 minutes together, Ryan had turned wistful. But when I mentioned how those enhancements had not stopped him from whipping me after a hiatus of nearly three decades, he laughed.

“It doesn’t mean,” Ryan said, “that I forgot how to play.”

 

 

Repoz Posted: July 15, 2013 at 08:56 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: f-football, strat-o-matic

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.

   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4494499)
Maybe he'd be a better baseball manager than he is a football coach?

He has no clue how to run/oversee an offense in the 2010s era NFL.
   2. Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4494566)
Yeah, probably not, if he considers Manny Mota a Strat-O-Matic superstar. Mota had a couple nice seasons, but a d3/d4 LF with a noodle arm and a 120 OPS+ is pretty far from superstardom.
   3. stratosaur Posted: July 15, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4495184)
#2, he's probably referring to Mota's 1977 card that was based upon his 38 AB, .395/.521/.500 season. A lot of people did not limit a player's usage back then. Ringers ruled!
   4. Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2013 at 07:56 PM (#4495187)
Yeah, I guess that would be a superstar. Point taken.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam S
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - Politics January 2015 - Mario Cuomo, New York Governor and Minor League Ballplayer, Dies at 82
(4150 - 10:41am, Jan 30)
Last: Bitter Mouse

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(479 - 10:40am, Jan 30)
Last: NJ in DC (Now with Wife!)

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(11715 - 10:37am, Jan 30)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogMake relievers face more than 1 batter for faster game, more runs | FOX Sports
(247 - 10:35am, Jan 30)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogPitchfork: Jack White Gets His Own Baseball Card
(221 - 10:34am, Jan 30)
Last: GregD

NewsblogBILL JAMES ON FIELDING, PART 7
(6 - 10:22am, Jan 30)
Last: cercopithecus aethiops

NewsblogOT: Soccer January 2015
(384 - 10:08am, Jan 30)
Last: The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward

NewsblogOrioles Do Something, Add Lottery Ticket in Travis Snider | FanGraphs Baseball
(33 - 10:02am, Jan 30)
Last: Yeaarrgghhhh

NewsblogWhich prospects will make the Top 100 cut? | mets.com
(1 - 9:54am, Jan 30)
Last: Batman

NewsblogFangraphs: Last Year’s Minor-League WAR Leaders, If That Existed
(14 - 9:54am, Jan 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOmar Minaya to leave San Diego Padres, join MLBPA as special adviser
(2 - 9:52am, Jan 30)
Last: eddieot

NewsblogIs old school Pat Gillick the right man for his new job?
(9 - 9:35am, Jan 30)
Last: Jesse Barfield's Right Arm

NewsblogMontreal threat a reminder of how MLB once touted Tampa | TBO.com and The Tampa Tribune
(51 - 9:22am, Jan 30)
Last: Hal Chase School of Professionalism

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-30-2015
(5 - 8:54am, Jan 30)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogHow Has BABIP Held Up as Leaguewide Offense Slides Ever Lower? | Banished to the Pen
(34 - 8:48am, Jan 30)
Last: bobm

Page rendered in 0.1705 seconds
50 querie(s) executed