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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rickey Henderson’s views on the state of baseball

Why wait until July for Rickey month!

• What’s your feeling about the debate whether or not to include players who used performance-enhancing drugs in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

RH: “In their era everyone was trying to compete, that’s why it go so large and got out of hand because if you didn’t do certain things to keep your body up to go out and compete, then you wouldn’t be on the ballclub. It’s hard for me to try to judge a ballplayer who did so well and whatever he took. I think mentally you still have to prepare yourself to play the game. … It’s all in (the voter’s) hands. For me, I didn’t understand the steroids era and whatever they were doing.”

• How has the game changed since you played?

RH: “The game has changed a lot. Modern technology, computers. They know about all the players on every team. To me the game has changed too much because we share so much information with the kids that they’re losing the ability to trust themselves. That’s what’s making the game not as well-played as in my era.”

• Do you see yourself staying in baseball as long as you can?

RH: “I’m hoping I can stay in the game until the day I die.”

Repoz Posted: June 28, 2012 at 06:58 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. TomH Posted: June 28, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4168313)
I was ready to snark on Rickey! as soon as I saw the article title. But I'm impressed with the snippet answers given here.
   2. Kranepool Society Posted: June 28, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4168325)
Same here I was ready for a Rickey being Rickey interview and thankfully I was wrong good stuff out of Rickey
   3. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 28, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4168340)
RH: “I’m hoping I can stay in the game until the day I die.”


God, so are we Rickey. So are we.
   4. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4168348)
It's friggin' Rickey Henderson. He gets to say whatever he wants.
   5. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4168350)
I really regret sending him a disparaging letter in 1993.
   6. GEB4000 Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4168367)
Rickey can't hit .300 anymore, so he's ok. Evil Rickey comes out when the batting average goes up. I still remember him being the model clubhouse guy for a few years when his average was below .250. Then he hit .315 for the Mets, and he started having problems with management. I love Rickey!
   7. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4168382)
Rickey can't hit .300 anymore, so he's ok


Rickey can. Rickey just doesn't want to any more.
   8. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4168392)
He comes across as rational and thoughtful, which is not what I hope for in Rickey quotes.
   9. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4168398)
He comes across as rational and thoughtful, which is not what I hope for in Rickey quotes.

Yeah, but that middle answer in the excerpt is a bit perplexing. I'm not sure what he's going for there. And ironically, the Billy Ball A's used to advertise about their use of computers. Dwayne Murphy, for one, thrived on information to position himself defensively.
   10. TerpNats Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4168553)
Say what you will about Rickey, but he loves the game. That's all I need to say.
   11. Lujack Posted: June 28, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4168691)
The obligatory top 25 Rickey stories:

Rickey
   12. ecwcat Posted: June 28, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4168762)
TomH: I was ready to snark on Rickey! as soon as I saw the article title. But I'm impressed with the snippet answers given here.


That's your problem, Tom- always ready to snark for no reason. I'm sure Rickey is glad you were impressed with his snippets.

Shooty: Yeah, but that middle answer in the excerpt is a bit perplexing. I'm not sure what he's going for there. And ironically, the Billy Ball A's used to advertise about their use of computers. Dwayne Murphy, for one, thrived on information to position himself defensively.


Okay, allow me to translate, Shooty. Now, more than ever, players have access to better scouting reports, instant video, more data, and stuff that makes Fangraphs look like the back of a 1990 Bowman baseball card. But not only do they have access to where they should position themselves (Davey Johnson was a "computer guy" in the 1980s as well) it is pretty much mandatory/socially accepted for players to "follow the algorithms" as opposed to relying on their natural instincts. That's all Rickey is saying: that with so much information players trust the stats (how to pitch to batters, when to steal, what pitch is coming on which count, etc.) players lose confidence in their natural abilities- the "just do it" aspect.

Did Rickey like to study video of pitchers or did he memorize a list? Actually he felt more comfortable reading pitchers on his own or just running when he felt like it compared to say, Bret Gardner who looks "stuck" or afraid sometimes at 1st, even though Joe Girardi gave him a permanent green light on him.


   13. Morty Causa Posted: June 28, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4168794)
Sounds like Rickey wants to make a clean breast of it.
   14. Obo Posted: June 28, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4168832)
I really regret sending him a disparaging letter in 1993.

So send him a nice one today.
   15. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4168926)
Good idea!
   16. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4168938)
Seconded. Rickey likes getting mail.
   17. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4169083)

Seconded. Rickey likes getting mail.

When I read a post like this I like to imagine it might have been Rickey who wrote it.

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