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. Jefferson Manship (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. Jefferson Manship (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
Harry Balsagne
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP - 2016 February 8: There’s baseball, politics … and real problems
(762 - 11:52pm, Feb 09)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - February 2016
(465 - 11:50pm, Feb 09)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogThe Crack in the Defensive Spectrum
(18 - 11:12pm, Feb 09)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogKevin Maitan is Braves' primary target, compared to Chipper | www.myajc.com
(18 - 10:52pm, Feb 09)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogStick to Sports? NEVER! The Intersectionalist Manifesto – HardballTalk
(219 - 10:36pm, Feb 09)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogThe Private World Of The Negro Ballplayer
(24 - 10:04pm, Feb 09)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT Gaming: October 2015
(353 - 9:43pm, Feb 09)
Last: DJS, the Digital Dandy

NewsblogThe Uncertain Timetable for Cord-Cutting in Baseball's Future
(2 - 9:37pm, Feb 09)
Last: depletion

NewsblogCops: [Delmon Young] chokes, threatens to kill valet, unleashes slur-filled tirade
(67 - 8:28pm, Feb 09)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogOT: 2016 NFL Playoffs Thread
(2292 - 8:22pm, Feb 09)
Last: 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people

NewsblogMLB's top five smartest offseason moves | MLB.com
(22 - 7:43pm, Feb 09)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBlue Jays agree to two-year deal with Donaldson
(13 - 6:44pm, Feb 09)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread - February 2016
(86 - 5:27pm, Feb 09)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-9-2016
(12 - 2:57pm, Feb 09)
Last: Der-K eats all pumpkin everything

NewsblogThe time my family invited itself to Gaylord Perry’s house for lunch – HardballTalk
(17 - 2:38pm, Feb 09)
Last: zonk

Page rendered in 0.1818 seconds
47 querie(s) executed