I havenâ€™t watched a full or partial major league baseball game since I was 10 years old. But, I check the standings and box scores every day like an addict because I have to know. I predict an Oakland Aâ€™s â€“ Pittsburgh Pirates World Series just because I want to see two of the poorest teams beat out all the rich teams. Using the word â€˜poorâ€™ in any major league baseball context is a joke. But I used it to make my point.
I find baseball and pro team sports insufferable because of Fâ€™d up attitudes. Iâ€™ve read and heard some major league absurdities made in the world of sports but there two recent beauties are two of the biggest hits:
Exhibit A: A June 13th, 2013, Sports Illustrated article reported that the Detroit Tigers invested almost $400 million on just two players – Miguel Carbrera and Prince Fielder. Tigers manager Jim Leyland was asked to comment about why these two play almost every game without taking a day off. Check this out:
â€œWhy are they so driven to play, when most players are willing to skip a game a month? In the Tigers’ clubhouse answers vary. Leyland points to Ilitch, who has committed almost $400 million to the two. “Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are very fond of Mr. Ilitch, they’re very respectful of what he’s done for the organization and the amount of money he’s paid them,” Leyland says. “They believe they have an obligation to him.”
What?? This may be the most absurd thing Iâ€™ve ever read. A sense of obligation for being paid millions to hit and catch a baseball. Wow.
Exhibit B: Los Angeles Dodgers have a $223 million dollar payroll. They signed rookie Yasiel Puig whoâ€™s been tearing up the major leagues in his rookie season. Check out what Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp said:
â€œHe had also provided a glimmer of hope to a club that despite its National League–high $223 million payroll is in last place. “We need his energy,” says Kemp. “We lack a little bit of intensity at the moment. To get a guy like that coming into your clubhouse, to shake things up, is always good.”
I guess $223 million dollars isnâ€™t enough motivation to be intense. Come on.
No sense of reality. Zero. The Dodgers needed a rookie to light a fire. A quarter of a billion dollars isnâ€™t enough to play intense.
Iâ€™ll stick to coaching amateur football. Despite all the hell attached with coaching modern student-athletes, I canâ€™t imagine coaching multi-millionaires who are out-of-touch with reality. Leylandâ€™s statement is right out in leftfield. Baseball players playing every day out of a sense of obligation. Is that the best that Leyland can come up with? How can the Dodgers justify a lack of intensity for what theyâ€™re getting pain?
Coaching amateur football has never been easy but itâ€™s almost insane in the twenty-first century. I believe thereâ€™s a trickle-down effect from the pros thatâ€™s Fâ€™ing up athletesâ€™ mind of all ages.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
owner â€“ X Fitness Inc.
head coach â€“ Niagara X-men football team