blueollie

Minor League Baseball, blank slates, and brats

Well, the Chiefs had a 6 game home stand against the Lansing Lug Nuts (Eastern Division leader) and the Great Lakes Loons. The Chiefs went 5-0 and I saw all 5 wins (double header on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday). The scores: 3-2, 1-0, 4-3, 5-2, 4-3. Great baseball!

Today’s game showed some of the peculiarities of minor league baseball. The Loons races out to a 3-0 lead and their starting pitcher gave up 1 hit and 0 runs through 5 full innings. But by then, he had the pitches that the Dodgers (the parent club) wanted him to have, so in came the first relief pitcher.

The Chiefs got a walk and 2 hits and 2 runs, though, to be fair, an error really caused at least one, if not both runs. With a runner at first breaking on “hit an run” the batter singled to right field. The ball rolled under the glove of the right fielder which enabled the base runner to score and the batter to reach 3’rd base. A shallow single scored the next run.

And the game continued into 11 innings where the Chiefs got 2 on base (2’nd and 3’rd)..and though there was one out, the Loons elected NOT to load the bases. It didn’t matter as a single brought in the winning run.

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The crowd was sparse; not many kids groups showed up (due to an initial threat of rain and rain earlier in the morning?). You have a few groups, retirees, students and lazy professors.

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Yes, though player development (and talent evaluation) is the primary goal of the minor leagues, the teams enjoy winning.

Blank slate
Many seem to believe that a human is a blank slate, to be molded by parenting and the environment. My dad believed this too; he started to pitch baseballs to me early on. He figured that I would become a baseball player (or football player) IF only I tried hard enough.

Of course, the “blank slate” belief is nonsense. Yes, hard work is a necessary ingredient for excellence, but it alone is insufficient. The talent needs to be there to begin with.

I asked my wife of 20 years “do you think there is anything I could have done to reach this level (“low A baseball”). She said “no.”

But that didn’t stop me from dreaming.

I remember the summer before my 10’th grade year. We’d sometimes go to the softball diamond with its 230 foot fence and do “home run derbies” with a baseball (baseball: Dozer Park is typical with its 315 down the foul lines, 400 dead center).

We thought we were bad asses because we’d sometimes hit one over. And high school girls would sit in the stands…we’d try to show off for them.

But we weren’t bad asses; we were merely brats.🙂

July 18, 2016 - Posted by | baseball, social/political | ,

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