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You can only understand baseball if you've played it at some level...

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#31 scottz

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:23 PM

This post actually frustrates me as there's a lot not to like about it. In my mind, I imagine you and so many others with this attitude being the one's that boo at the game, be-it Mauer or any Yankee or any player/coach for that matter. Lesson to everyone. Don't boo. Oh, and another thing... "The Wave" is a DEFENSIVE rally cry. NOT for when our team is hitting.


In your mind, you imagine wrong, my brother. Really, you know nothing about me other than I played baseball until I was 15. You certainly don't know how I conduct myself at a ballgame. Lesson to my brother: throw away your broad brush - it's sloppy.

A lot of information can be learned by watching, listening, reading and diving head-first into the great game... but I often wonder if people truly understand how difficult the game is, if they wonder how good even the worst major leaguers are. yes, Drew Butera would hit .500 in your local amateur beer-league.
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I guess the other thing that playing at some of the post-little league or youth leagues has taught me that I think is often missed are the intangibles. I don't think they're the be all, end all, by any means, but I do know that they are very important on a team, or in a team concept. When I sat the bench in college a lot and kept book, I learned the game on a whole new level from when I was playing all the time. Looking at the big picture is eye opening. (That's why I don't think that great players often make great managers or coaches) There is a value in leadership. There is a value in guys that just get the job done. There a value in consistency. There is a value in knowing which players practice the hardest. There is a value in which bench guys handle that the best.


Seth and my brother, Haddyz - The point of my post here was to simply find out who played what level of ball. I've seen plenty of subtle mentions of who might have played, and I was just curious what the various TD members had for hardball experience.

That said, I did not and do not mean to imply that actually playing the game for many years and/or at a higher level than typical does not add greatly to overall baseball knowledge. Of course it does, as it does for anything. For example, someone with a degree in structural engineering and 10 years on the job knows a lot more about building bridges than someone who has a passion for taking photos of old bridges - we could all agree, yes? And although no one would hire the photographer to design the structural plans for a new bridge, simple observation cannot be undervalued as a path to having insight on how something works. Indeed, the 2nd paragraph I quoted from Seth is a great argument for observational knowledge.

A typical average my brother on the street has an opinion on what the weather might be tomorrow, and he may be right because if one pays attention to the skies and wind for long enough, one can pick up a good amount of information and, with reasonable accuracy, make a fairly accurate prediction. Now, my brother doesn't understand the atmospheric dynamics that are driving his forecast in the same way that the local meteorologist does, yet they can come to a similar conclusion. Substitute baseball for weather.

Anyway, thanks to all for throwing out your baseball experience.

#32 Shane Wahl

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:41 AM

After reading Seth's first post, I just stopped. That was good.

I made it to 16-year-old VFW and JV. I could have played Legion and Varsity as a utility infielder, but school was more important at that point. And while Bemidji was pretty good up through age 16, the high school coaches totally sucked. One of my teammates is now the coach and the team doesn't suck.

#33 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:48 AM

I'm a shopomore in high school, I've never hit a homer run but I get on base every game, whether its a walk, single or double. I'm also a 6-2 catcher who has exceptional defense skills behind the plate and at 3rd. Yet I don't know if I will make my high school team. The game has changed so much throughout the years. So all of you that say it was easy to make the HS team, it's not and you should be grateful that you had that opportunity to play HS ball.

The hardest thing to do is hit a round ball with a round bat.


Good luck Anorthagen. Thank you for reminding us that we were fortunate to play this greatest of games.
Wish you well.

#34 Haddyz

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:05 AM

Lesson to my brother: throw away your broad brush - it's sloppy.

A typical average my brother on the street has an opinion on what the weather might be tomorrow, and he may be right because if one pays attention to the skies and wind for long enough, one can pick up a good amount of information and, with reasonable accuracy, make a fairly accurate prediction. Now, my brother doesn't understand the atmospheric dynamics that are driving his forecast in the same way that the local meteorologist does, yet they can come to a similar conclusion. Substitute baseball for weather.


Perhaps you're right. Perhaps I paid attention to the skies and "hot air" long enough to pick up a good amount of information to make a fairly accurate prediction of conduct. I don't really care. You simply received the brush intended for many. It's just like when a manager makes an example of one players mistake for all to see.

I don't believe your post was ONLY intended to find out forum guest's experience with the game. If that were the case, I don't think you would have titled it as you did, with a jab at whomever said that. Oh well.

#35 drjim

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:59 AM

I really like this thread.

I played through my freshman year in high school and then quit to focus on football and basketball (both of which I played at a D3 college). Probably the biggest mistake I ever made in my life, I was a decent baseball player, was a 1B/OF type and could hit a little at that point. I still really enjoy playing softball, though it obviously isn't the same.

I like to play pickup basketball but I have become a bigger and bigger advocate for people not playing football. I have two wrecked shoulders and a couple of concussions to try and make my point.
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#36 scottz

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

Perhaps you're right. Perhaps I paid attention to the skies and "hot air" long enough to pick up a good amount of information to make a fairly accurate prediction of conduct. I don't really care. You simply received the brush intended for many. It's just like when a manager makes an example of one players mistake for all to see.

I don't believe your post was ONLY intended to find out forum guest's experience with the game. If that were the case, I don't think you would have titled it as you did, with a jab at whomever said that. Oh well.


You know what, you're right - it is just like when a manager makes an example of one player's mistake for all to see...except you know...you're not the manager at Twins Daily, I'm not a player on your Twins Daily team, and I made no mistake. Other than that, it is identical, and I commend you for both your analogy and your ability to view things from perspectives other than your own. Kudos, my skipper...er...my brother!

You can believe what you wish about the intent of my post. I told you what my intent was and you - because you know me so well - are able to discern the "real" intent. Yeesh. I gave it the title I did, because the comment from the other thread was the inspiration for my thought to ask what everyone's level of play was. Not to take a jab at anyone...I guess until I started reading your posts. Then I felt compelled to jab.

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#37 scottz

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

I really like this thread.

I played through my freshman year in high school and then quit to focus on football and basketball (both of which I played at a D3 college). Probably the biggest mistake I ever made in my life, I was a decent baseball player, was a 1B/OF type and could hit a little at that point. I still really enjoy playing softball, though it obviously isn't the same.

I like to play pickup basketball but I have become a bigger and bigger advocate for people not playing football. I have two wrecked shoulders and a couple of concussions to try and make my point.


I agree on football...I love watching it, but I don't want my son to play...though I'd probably not stop him if he wanted to.

#38 biggentleben

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

I really like this thread.

I played through my freshman year in high school and then quit to focus on football and basketball (both of which I played at a D3 college). Probably the biggest mistake I ever made in my life, I was a decent baseball player, was a 1B/OF type and could hit a little at that point. I still really enjoy playing softball, though it obviously isn't the same.

I like to play pickup basketball but I have become a bigger and bigger advocate for people not playing football. I have two wrecked shoulders and a couple of concussions to try and make my point.


Yet I played offensive line up to walking on with the Gophers, and I never suffered an injury or concussion in the game, and it certainly wasn't from lack of hitting hard. The game of football is safe. The glorification of "impact" hits has made the game what it is today, and that's a shame. I'll be very happy to let my kids play the game. Among my brothers, there were 5 concussions suffered in high school, none in football. There's a lot of reasons we could debate this, and I've stated my comments previously on the BYTO board. I'd rather avoid that level of discussion again.
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#39 old nurse

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:37 PM

Did not do ball sports as I had a lot of problems with depth perception. I have propelled myself down roads, paths, and trails though. Everybody has a sport that they can do.
Generally those that did not play the sport do not learn the nuances of the game but if you pay attention and talk to people you do pick up a lot.

#40 old nurse

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

The nuance of the game I never understood though is a catchers had spent a lot of time watching baseballs leave a pitchers hand and track where they go to catch them. Shouldn't they be as a group better hitters?

#41 Haddyz

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

You can believe what you wish about the intent of my post. I told you what my intent was and you - because you know me so well - are able to discern the "real" intent. Yeesh. I gave it the title I did, because the comment from the other thread was the inspiration for my thought to ask what everyone's level of play was. Not to take a jab at anyone...I guess until I started reading your posts. Then I felt compelled to jab.


It's fun. Glad you stand by it. Your inspiration, inspired me too.

#42 Thrylos

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

The nuance of the game I never understood though is a catchers had spent a lot of time watching baseballs leave a pitchers hand and track where they go to catch them. Shouldn't they be as a group better hitters?


This comes from someone who was never a good hitter :)

It is much easier to figure out where a ball can end and place a mitt and have the ball fall in it, than time a swing with the bat to hit a moving ball mid flight square on with the thick part of the bat and keep it fair and off the ground.
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#43 Willihammer

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:58 PM

I think having played (I played SS, 3B. I pitched quite a bit through high school, and then later did a lot of catching in amateur ball and that was like a whole new appreciation for the sport), maybe I have a bit more of a sensitivity for how hard this game is than some (and I don't mean that judgmentally). When I hear that people think that it would be no problem for Joe Mauer to move to 3B, I just shake my head. When I hear that 3B should be easy for Trevor Plouffe because he played some much SS, I wonder if people realize just how different the positions are in terms of reaction time, range needed, etc.). And it just bugs me to no end when I hear things about how "horrible" guys like Pedro Florimon or Drew Butera are.


I thought it went without saying that the judgments made here of MLB players who play for our favorite MLB team, is against other MLB players and other MLB teams? The fact is, Drew Butera is an awful hitter, among the worst MLB hitters of all time. And so far, Florimon appears to be not a lot better. I wonder what kind of reverence for these players you expect of posters. Would it be better to qualify that judgment with, "but even so, Butera and Florimon are a whole lot better at hitting than I would be?"

#44 TheLeviathan

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

I thought it went without saying that the judgments made here of MLB players who play for our favorite MLB team, is against other MLB players and other MLB teams? The fact is, Drew Butera is an awful hitter, among the worst MLB hitters of all time. And so far, Florimon appears to be not a lot better. I wonder what kind of reverence for these players you expect of posters. Would it be better to qualify that judgment with, "but even so, Butera and Florimon are a whole lot better at hitting than I would be?"


This deserves at least a billion likes.

#45 biggentleben

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 07:29 PM

This comes from someone who was never a good hitter :)

It is much easier to figure out where a ball can end and place a mitt and have the ball fall in it, than time a swing with the bat to hit a moving ball mid flight square on with the thick part of the bat and keep it fair and off the ground.


This and just logic of size means it's a lot easier to put a ball into a mitt than it is to hit it just right with a bat.
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