October 14, 2009

Baseball v. Football

My Wednesday Taki column is up. I reflect on some differences between the two sports at center stage in October: baseball and football.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard about Coach Kevin Kelly?

http://www.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=888058

ironrailsironweights said...

People who've timed games with stopwatches have determined that the ball is in play for an average of about 12 minutes in both baseball and football.

Peter

TGGP said...

Don't forget George Carlin on baseball vs football.

Ian said...

1. To my mind, the biggest difference is that baseball rewards a high IQ fan/observer with deeper and deeper levels of nuance and meaning, the more one pays attention. You can study the game of baseball with a passion for years, and then one day read an article that makes the game fresh to you the next time you watch (and indeed makes game 97 of the 162 game season riveting).

In my experience, with football, what you see is pretty much what you get.

2. Steve wrote "Fifth, baseball is more of a game of nature, of selection, while football is one of nurture, of training."

It is true that football players drill and prepare constantly, and have since they were young.

That said, no one is going to make a college football team, much less the pros, without being a statistical outlier for various genetic physical attributes. If one bumps into a football team in civilian clothes, in the moments before it dawns on one who this collection of massive meat is, it's clear that that they are not a random collection of humanity.

Increasingly, a baseball pitching staff is similarly unusual, in that, in civilian clothes, you might mistake them for an unusually white basketball team (being tall gives one better leverage in pitching, and a release point closer to home plate).

But, among position players, one will still find men who aren't unusually tall, muscular, or fast. I suppose the paradigmic example among current players is Padres second baseman David Eckstein, who is reported to be about 5'6", 155 pounds.

3. I hate it, but the classic : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_yq4L3M_I

Anonymous said...

Good commentary Mr. Sailer. However, while reading this I couldn't help but think of that maxim(Bill Bryson?), 'football is a game created by gentlemen but played by hooligans while rugby is a game created by hooligans but played by gentlemen.' In a way, social class plays a big part of who plays and watches these sports. For the social elite, baseball, cricket, tennis, and gold are perfectly acceptable to play and watch while the unwashed masses and working class plebians play football, rugby, and hockey.

BTW, why no mention of pointed headed and bespectacled baseball afficianado George F. Will? He's the epitome of the erudite baseball writer and he's conservative no less-well, as far patrician beltway types go. Compare Will to any of the semi-literate personalities in football, rugby, or hockey who can barely form and annunciate a multi-syllabic sentence. Look at football personalities for a glaring contrast; Mike Ditka, Lee Corso, John Madden, Bill Cowher, Bob Stoops. The only person from football I can remember that came close to being erudite was former college football announcer Keith Jackson. Here's a 'Whoa Nellie!!!' for you Mr. Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Ian,

Football is just as intellectually deep as baseball. It just isn't as widely adopted by geeks because (as you elucidate) they cannot easily imagine themselves as high-testosterone football players, whereas many baseball players are skinny wimps (especially in the pre-steroid era).

Anonymous said...

You can study the game of baseball with a passion for years, and then one day read an article that makes the game fresh to you the next time you watch (and indeed makes game 97 of the 162 game season riveting).

POIDH.

The only thing even remotely interesting about the game of baseball is how you can use the stitching on the ball to alter its course aerodynamically - but that takes years [maybe even decades?] of practice for a boy to master*, and in games played in stadiums, there are only maybe four people in the entire stadium [the pitcher, the catcher, the batter, and the umpire] who can really see it happening - you can't even see it on television [although maybe hi-Def television might have changed things - I dunno - I've never seen a baseball pitch in hi-Def and Super-Slo-Mo].

In reality, you go to baseball games to relax, eat some junk food, catch some rays, and talk smack to the tipsy babes who are sitting all around you in their skimpy attire & sipping on their brewskies & getting playfully obnoxious with you - NONE of which carries over to the view-from-home television experience.


*Under the careful tutelage of his father - and most boys nowadays don't even have fathers.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that Steve would argue that football so lags baseball in sabermetric-style research. It's just not publicized by a single breakthrough guy like Bill James. It's proprietary info. Play design is so complex and you can bet it's driven by deep statistical research, not just trendiness.

albertosaurus said...

Gee, Steve you are a movie critic yet you have failed to point out the obvious. Baseball movies are sweet, sentimental and often supernatural while while football movies are crude and brutal. Baseball movies sell hope. Football movies sell resignation.

Consider the movies of Kevin Costner - Field of Dreams ,Bull Durham, or For the Love of the Game. Or consider Dennis Quaid's The Rookie. Finally there is the Robert Redford classic The Natural.

All of these basball movies are deeply romantic and life affirming.

Now consider some football movies like Al Pacino's Any Given Sunday or Nick Nolte's North Dallas Forty. These are tough, depressive, noisy and even disturbing films.

I can't think of a single football film whose plot turns on divine intervention like Angels in the Outfield, The Natural or Field of Dreams.

Steve Sailer said...

Right, that's what I was trying to get across in talking about nerdy quality control coaches and the like -- football has long been more open to hiring smart guys to be assistant coaches.

Anonymous said...

Peter Gent's North Dallas Forty is a classic, though of the Jim Bouton, not the Roger Angell, variety.

Agricola

Anonymous said...

Seems like something went out of baseball when middle-class kids stopped routinely fighting with rocks, brickbats, and sticks.
Howard Pyle described these mass combats well, and so do diaries through the 1930s. Then, about the time respectable kids stopped seeing the milk cart horse whipped up icy streets every day, respectable kids stopped mass rock fights.
No, I don't have a point.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
I donb't know if you gat UK Channel 4 but if you can you might find these programmes interesting.
Here is a Daily Mail link:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1220343/Channel-4-controversy-documentary-claims-race-linked

Richard

Andrea said...

"...baseball is more of a game of nature, of selection, while football is one of nurture, of training."

This may be true from the coaching angle but not from the recruiting angle.

I would argue nature counts for less in baseball. All football players have to incredibly fast, tough, and/or big(with the possible exception of kickers who rarely have to the rough stuff). This explains why NATURE is crucial in football. The great majority of players are black, and the rest are big white guys.

But, baseball, because it is a less physically demanding sport, can rely more on the X factor(some impenetrable talent on the part of the player, which is part of nature to be sure, but elusive and subtle) or on intensive training. It's virtually impossible to imagine any Japanese guy playing in the NFL(with the possible exception as kicker), but there have been excellent Japanese baseball players in the professional baseball, both in Japan and the US. Japan has even beaten US and Cuba in the Olympics on occasion. Such could never happen in football.

Baseball is more a skill sport than a he-man rah-rah sport. So, athletes who train and practice A LOT on how to hit and catch the ball can do pretty well. The lack of physical contact is the great equalizer in baseball--just as the near impossibility of making the goal is the great equalizer in soccer.
Even Asian teams have, on occasion, defeated Latin and European teams in soccer. I can't imagine that happening in rugby or football. Soccer is a very physical sport but not the rough-and-tumble contact sport football is. And the near impossiblity of making-the-goal makes soccer viable for even a sucky team playing against a much better team. If goal size were doubled in soccer, it would cease to be 'the most popular sport in the world' since Germany would beat Japan 20-2than 2-0. And Brazil would probably beat Mexico 30-3.

Finally, baseball still has something in common with hockey(and Nascar). It is still largely white whereas NFL has become much like the NBA--black-dominated.

Though less physical, baseball can be just as nerve-wracking and suspenseful, especially when it's the ninth inning, 2 outs, and 3 men on bases. And, though most of baseball is pretty humdrum, there is nothing in football--not even the hail mary--that can match the excitement of the grand slam in the 9th inning.
And, because there's a greater element of chance and luck in baseball, there is a kind of poker game aspect to it. A grand slam by the team behind-on-points in the bottom of the ninth inning with 2 outs is like beating 4 aces with royal straight-flush. People don't just go crazy but pee in their pants. Indeed, the very look of the field--diamond--and designs of the uniforms make it look like a giant conceptual poker game.

It's also like poker in the passion for stats and in the art of 'reading' and 'psyching' out the other side. The battle between pitcher and hitter is as much psychological as physical. Though football too is about 'reading' and 'feinting' and 'fooling' the other side too, it all comes down to brute strength and speed at the end. In baseball, the mind-battle between pitcher and hitter(and between the opposing coaches)is like bluff in poker.

I wonder if Japanese love baseball because of their samurai tradition and also because the minimalist zen-aspect to the duel between the pitcher and the hitter. The ideal in a samurai duel is to strike the opponent with ONE PERFECT BLOW. European broad sword fighting is about brute strength and quantity--like football--, but the samurai duel--and certain more elegant European dueling--is about psyching oneself(and psyching out the opponent)for that single moment of truth when you fell the opponent with a movement which is at once ruthless and graceful.

One could also say the pitcher/hitter confrontation is like the one between matador and the bull, and that may explain why baseball has caught on in certain Latin countries.
It goes to show each nation imprints its own culture/values onto baseball or any other sport.

RF Interference said...

Speaking of the East Coast writer's affinity for baseball over football, Thomas Boswell's 1987 list of reasons why baseball is better than football holds up fairly well after more than 20 years. I'd argue the claims about steroids are still partially true, given that no one gives a damn when NFL players are caught using. Alex Rodriguez gets outed by the feds seizing what was supposed to be a confidential survey conducted between the league and the player's union and he gets booed everywhere he goes. Shawne Merriman gets caught by the NFL and he gets a four game suspension while pundits talk about if the missed time will prevent him from winning defensive player of the year again.

"I'm surprised that Steve would argue that football so lags baseball in sabermetric-style research. It's just not publicized by a single breakthrough guy like Bill James. It's proprietary info. Play design is so complex and you can bet it's driven by deep statistical research, not just trendiness."

Baseball also has more rigid play and a greater number of static states from which to measure changes in outcomes and probabilities. Baseball is much more accessible to outsiders and has had a greater number of people crunching its numbers.

They may be out there, but I don't know of anything comperable in the football world to Retrosheet or Baseball Primer (now Baseball Think Factory).

They're both subscriber sites but have some content for free, take a look at Football Outsiders which didn't get started until seven years after Baseball Prospectus was blowing nerds' minds.

Again, maybe it's out there and I'm unaware, but I've never seen anything as cool as Fan Graphs' win probability graphs for football games.

There is proprietary stuff out there the common stats nerd doesn't have access to. Many of the big names from the early days of Baseball Primer and the like now work for clubs and no longer share their work. A couple teams have also begun using cameras to triangulate the flight of batted balls to study their fielders (fielding metrics being perhaps that last remaining frontier for statistical analysis in baseball).

Anonymous said...

"repetitious drilling was required beforehand to desensitize the infantryman and build esprit de corps."

Almost certainly incorrect. One attribute of phalanx warfare was that it required little training. As Hanson notes in "The Other Greeks," "Outside of Sparta, hoplites spent little time training for war." (p. 305 of my copy)

Desensitization to violence was achieved through the use of alcohol before the battle. Hoplites usually went into battle at least buzzed. Hanson also discusses this in TWWoW.

Espirit de corps was achieved in the way the phalanx was organized: each hoplite fought with members of his own phratry ("brotherhood").

Whatever you can say about hoplite warfare, it's widely accepted that it did NOT require repetitious drilling (again, Sparta being an exception).

jamlin said...

Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins is a very funny, even witty book on football. But, basically you are right on target.

Anonymous said...

"Football embodies the Western conception of the organized, decisive infantry battle that evolved, as Victor Davis Hansonhas documented, in conflicts between city-states during the Greek Dark Ages."

I haven't read Mr. Hanson's book, but I doubt that the Greeks invented that kind of warfare. Or democracy, for that matter. The Greeks just happened to be the first Europeans who left a substantial amount of records about themselves. They were the first Europeans to borrow writing from Middle Easterners. Were the Celts, proto-Germanics and pre-historic Latins fighting the same way at the same time as the classical Greeks? Probably.

While one can try to make the case that Romans learned something about military strategy from the Greeks or from the Aegean-descended Etruscans, one can't say the same of Celts and Germanics. When the Romans first encountered a Germanic enemy around 100 BC, battles ensued instead of skirmishes.

Whiskey said...

Steve, total misreading of England vs. Italy fortified towns. England's main threats during the Dark Ages were Viking raiders, once the Vikings were repulsed by CONSIDERABLE Norman Castles (also handy for pacifying locals), various games could be played in the relative peace and prosperity of a people not facing invasion.

As Victor Davis Hanson pointed out, recently, the fortifications in the Mediterranean up through the early 1800's shows how Muslim raider threats (the coasts of Spain, Italy, and Southern France were deserted for this reason) kept the area in turmoil.

Peace is found through being strong enough to deter attacks by neighbors, either Western shock battle conquerors (Romans, Napoleon, Germans) or tribal raiders (Muslims, Goths, Vikings).

The better argument is that football is the outgrowth of peace, with guys whose main talent is teamwork not hand-eye coordination using that for athletics not baseball or golf.

[Anon-- Football is luxury boxes and part-time celeb owners like JLo. Baseball is a stadium of box seats. Madden is certainly a great communicator in football concepts. Will is just a snob.]

Football is far more complex (and changing) than Baseball, particularly the interplay between gambling/zone/man defenses and various offensive schemes. There is a reason Madden NFL is so popular. As Steve points out, guys like Bill Walsh, Eric Mangini, Urban Meyer, and Tony Sparano are known for a "brainy" approach to football bucking perceived wisdom.

ricpic said...

The action in football is so fast and furious and the bodies are so tightly packed that it is awfully hard to see the intricate patterns at play. Baseball, on the other hand, is the premiere positional game, in which each player occupies a distinct space. The spacial and positional nature of baseball - for example, in a 6-4-3 double play - satisfies the deep male affinity for patterns as they unfold across space.

Anonymous said...

Steve's inclusion of a pic of a small portion of the Bayeux Tapestry in his article made me think of a great spoof of that tapestry done in 1944 by the New Yorker.

John Seiler said...

One big difference is that the NFL players' union has never had as much clout as the MLB players' union. Fortunately for the NFL, that prevented the folly of the cancellation of the world championship, which baseball suffered in 1994.

On chemical enhancements, which Steve has written about, I was reading Ken Stabler's "Snake: The Candid Autobiography of Football's Most Outrageous Renegade." He writes how, in the 1970s in the Raiders' locker room before and during games, always available was a bowl of uppers, which the players popped like candy.

John Seiler said...

One area where baseball and football seem to be equal is in ripping off taxpayers to build stadiums that would make the Roman emperors envious. This pushes up player salaries and owners' profits.

Southern California, fortunately, has been largely immune to this sports robbery, which is why we don't have an NFL team. Even though the politics of L.A. (but not Orange County) is high-tax, big-spend liberal, for some reason there's not much interest in blowing tax dollars on getting a team. The politicians want the money for other stuff. And now the state's broke.

Anonymous said...

FYI

All and more of this ground is covered in "The Joy of Sports" by Michael Novak, amazon link: http://bit.ly/26TQEy

Worth a read.

Anonymous said...

I’ve long lamented the relative lack of big money college football in New York City and Washington D.C.

College football is blessedly free of the two main reasons I hate baseball -- Yankees and foreigners. Can't you let us poor plebs have something to call our own?

Anonymous said...

Steve: For statistical analysis of the NFL see footballoutsiders.com.

DCThrowback said...

@RF Interference:

Check out advancednflstats.com for in game probabilities of teams winning. Makes gambling in game on the live markets at, say, Matchbook.com, quite fun.

I have read/followed/breathed football outsiders's work for years and find it innovative and thought provoking - what correlates to a successful season is very interesting (like %age of third downs made the previous year and number of fumbles recovered). But Steve is basically right - 10 years ago, this stuff never existed for the lay fan. If the NFL teams have done work on it, it has remained "on the inside".

Anonymous said...

Rush Limbaugh was right about the media being more favorable to black athletes. See article below:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NDA5NmMyZDlmZTg3ODg5Nzk1YzBlZGYyYjAxYjY1YTA=

Truth said...

Favorable? To T.O, and Vick, and Barry Bonds, and Mayweather, and Ochocinco, etc. etc.?

Andrea said...

Football is more like big band Jazz, marching band music, or rap music. It's loud and in your face and very competitive.
Baseball is more like classical music, with the pitcher as the conductor. No wonder they played 'take me out to the ballgame' in NIGHT AT THE OPERA.

The funny thing about baseball is the asymmetry. In football, it's about 11 guys vs 11 guys. In a typical inning in baseball, it's one guy from team A at the bat while everyone else on the field(unless there are men on bases)is from team B. Everyone else on team A is in the dugout. I wonder if baseball is the only game as asymmetrical as this. The lone batter faces the numerous enemy. It's almost like he's a cornered animal, especially given the dimensions of the field. One guy has to face the entire field of pitcher, basemen and outfielders. And just behind him is the catcher. Yet, he wields the club or bat. He possesses the mightiest weapon. Though the ball is thrown at the catcher, there is almost a primal sense that the pitcher is out to hit the batter who must fend off the missile with his bat. It's like a swordman deflecting an arrow.

But baseball is essentially a pitcher's game. The quarterback is the most important player in football but he's the captain, not the maestro. The pitcher, perched high on the mound and setting the pace of the game, really is the maestro.

I wonder if the pitcher represents an element of aristocracy. He's the conservative force trying to keep the field free of brutish upstarts at the bat. The batter, in contrast, represents the rebel, the prole, the maverick. He's out to disturb the stability of the field. He's out to challenge and destroy the masterful power of the maestro on the mount. His goal is to hit the ball and send it out of the field and land it among the people in the stands and bleachers--to return the trophy to THE PEOPLE(like Robin Hood).

So, we root for the pitcher as the conservative aristocratic symbol and we root for the batter as the revolutionary proletarian hero. So, maybe baseball appeals to both our conservative and liberal side, to both elitism and proletarianism.

Peter A said...

unwashed masses and working class plebians play football, rugby, and hockey.

Not any more. Rugby is a sport for elite prep school kids, and has been in the US for a long time. Hockey is also very popular among the WASP set, especially women's hockey. Harvard and Yale still have competitive men's hockey teams as well. In general lower class whites rarely participate in organized team sports any more - other than football to which they are usually recruited by coaches - they have other ways to stay entertained.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if baseball is the only game as asymmetrical as this."

Cricket has been around a lot longer than baseball has. It is also "asymmetrical".

Baseball/rounders in England is where we get our version of baseball from. Baseball's "invention" in the USA is a myth; Google "rounders schmounders" and check out a book called "Baseball before we knew it". Our baseball is not derived from the English game of rounders; it is derived from the English game of baseball (right down to the "three strikes" rule).

There are "baseball-like" games throughout the world: Google British baseball, rounders, Finnish baseball (pesäpallo), brännboll, lapta, oina, etc. These kinds of asymmetrical bat and ball games are very ancient and widespread.

Dutch Boy said...

My son's youth league days left me with a firm impression: a crowd at a Little League game looks like a PTA meeting, a crowd at a Pop Warner game looks like visitors day at San Quentin.

Anonymous said...

For anyone with a microgram of testosterone in their veins, there is no more exciting moment in sport than when a running back breaks free from the line, out into the open, for a long touchdown run. There's nothing like it in baseball.

(OK, I lied, a knockout punch is almost as good, as are some dunks ;-)

Steve Johnson said...

I find it interesting that the culture around football and baseball are so opposed to the essence of the games.

In football strategy and planning matter for much much more. Watch Peyton Manning pick apart a defense because he can guess correctly on what the defense is going to do. On most teams this role is played by coaches. They guess what the defense will play in a certain circumstance and call in a plan with a primary and back up options to be executed by the local commander.

Baseball, on the other hand, has basically no strategy outside of the duel between pitcher and hitter which is (almost) entirely between the hitter and pitcher. Ichiro on the Mariners has a plan and an approach at the plate but no one else on his team is involved. It's an individual contest.

The culture around the sports almost the exact opposite. Football writers talk about individual players making great plays when the reason for the great play is almost always misdirection that the whole team executed that caused the other side to pick a bad tactic. Baseball writers talk about team character and chemistry when success is almost perfectly predictable from individual performance.

Baseball has the reputation as the more cerebral game while football's reputation is that it's for knuckle-dragging meatheads and screaming proles but football requires much much more planning and intelligence to be successful.

Robert said...

"The English led the world in the development of sports precisely because they were so domestically well-ordered. "

The English also had an obsession with the Greeks and Romans in the 19th century whick culminated, in regards to sports, with the founding of the modern Olympic Games. Back then the Americans did whatever the English did and sports grew in importance from there.

albertosaurus said...

The ideal in a samurai duel is to strike the opponent with ONE PERFECT BLOW. European broad sword fighting is about brute strength and quantity--like football

Gasp! More Samurai nonsense. Before you draw all sorts of conclusions based on Samurai lessons be sure you are talking about real Samurai not just those seen in movies.

Real Samurai weren't very good swordsman and didn't have very good swords.

The Japanese are a remarkable people. Both Iran and Turkey tried to model their governments on Japan - but it was the Meiji they admired not those silly Samurai.

The cult of the sword was a Tokugawa method of gun control. That need ended with the arrival of the Black Ships. Get over it.

Fred said...

"If goal size were doubled in soccer, it would cease to be 'the most popular sport in the world' since Germany would beat Japan 20-2than 2-0. And Brazil would probably beat Mexico 30-3."

It's not the size of the goal in soccer that makes the game low-scoring, anymore than it's the size of the goal in hockey; it's the impossibility of advancing the ball or puck from one end of the field/rink to the other unmolested. For an example of how easy it is to score in either sport when shooters are unmolested, see penalty kicks/shots, where the odds are awfully against the goalies (particularly in the case of soccer goalies).

Evil Sandmich said...

My buddy is a baseball nut and I had him over to watch a football game and there was some oddball penalty that takes five minutes to explain and he was basically of the 'wtf?' attitude.

My reply was that football is a highly regulated game for a highly regulated society.

Truth said...

"Real Samurai weren't very good swordsman and didn't have very good swords."

Well that's the first time I've ever read that, and I've practiced Zen for 15 years.

Concerned Netizen said...

Speaking of Rush, I wonder what everyone thinks about the the black supremacist Playa's Union preventing him from engaging in a legitimate private transaction. Thoughts? Has something like this ever happened before?

Cossack in a Kilt said...

Whiskey's Scotch-Irishness is showing again. The Normans, umm, were Vikings, who settled in France. Norman=Norseman/Northman. It was the Sassenach (Saxons, i.e., English of Anglo-Saxon stock) who fought against the Vikings.

By the time William the Bastard showed up (that whole 1066 thing), Harald Hardrede was dead, and the whole kibosh had been put to the Viking era.

But hey. That's not something most Scotch-Irish know, right?

Anonymous said...

Before you draw all sorts of conclusions based on Samurai lessons be sure you are talking about real Samurai not just those seen in movies.

What does "real" got to do with it? All that matter is the myth.

Anonymous said...

"There are "baseball-like" games throughout the world: Google British baseball, rounders, Finnish baseball (pesäpallo), brännboll, lapta, oina, etc. These kinds of asymmetrical bat and ball games are very ancient and widespread."

A lot of those are just regional variants on the anglo-american game. "Pesapallo" is very obviously just the English word Finnicized.

"Boys still like it. When my son was between 18 months and four-years-old, he couldn’t step five feet out of the house without immediately picking up a stick and then brandishing it menacingly throughout his walk around the block."

Hm. Take a stick, say two and a half to four feet long, two to six pounds or so, and swing it around for a few minutes. Then tell me it's just boys who like doing that. I realized some time ago that my prediliction for swinging a stick around was completely innate and pretty universal among human males; there's just something fun about it.

That's why most men secretly think swords are more excellent than guns, and feel it is an unforunate trick on the part of reality to make guns so much more useful. A lot of people, falsely, think swords and guns appeal to men as phallic symbols, but the gun is much more phallic than a sword in appearance and function...so why was Star Wars, i.e. the triumph of futuristic laser-swords over futuristic laser-guns, such a huge hit? Because swords, clubs, light-sabers or whatever all agree with our instinct for the proper way of killing people. A sword is swung, as God intended. A gun is just...triggered.

"Anthropologists discovered that nomads who make their living hunting big game and attacking their neighbors don’t actually work that hard."

I think modern anthropologists were scooped, just a little bit, by a fellow named Tacitus.

Truth said...

"Speaking of Rush, I wonder what everyone thinks about the the black supremacist Playa's Union preventing him from engaging in a legitimate private transaction. Thoughts."

No black person "prevented" Rush from doing anything. A few players simply said that they would not play for him if he were made an owner. In a democratic society, this is legal. Subsequently, the group assembled to buy the franchise dropped him the ownership group. Again in a democratic society, this is legal.

Now Rush, in his inherent cowardlyness has not said one word of criticism to his "ex" business partners for dropping him. He knows that making enemies with these rich white men would have had consequences down the road; he has instead continued with his own tired diatribes against "the lib-ur-al me-dee-ah" and blacks.

Anonymous said...

A little off-topic, but if you choose to take up the question of the Rush Limbaugh scandal, then consider the following list of names at the Patterson Belknap Sports Group, which led the efforts to plant the disinformation on Rush's Wikipedia page:

Saul B. Shapiro, Litigation
Daniel S. Ruzumna, Investigations
Daniel C. Glazer, Transactional
etc

Notice any pattern emerging?

Anonymous said...

In a democratic society, this is legal.

Not if they already signed contracts committing to play for x amount of seasons.

NeameShepherd said...

Didn't that Carlin bloke beat you to it? Oh wait TGGP beat me to it... Damn.

"But, among position players, one will still find men who aren't unusually tall, muscular, or fast. I suppose the paradigmic example among current players is Padres second baseman David Eckstein, who is reported to be about 5'6", 155 pounds.

Eleven stone sounds pretty beefy for a athletic (as opposed to fat) man of that height.

" wonder if Japanese love baseball because of their samurai tradition and also because the minimalist zen-aspect to the duel between the pitcher and the hitter. The ideal in a samurai duel is to strike the opponent with ONE PERFECT BLOW. European broad sword fighting is about brute strength and quantity--like football--, but the samurai duel--and certain more elegant European dueling--is about psyching oneself(and psyching out the opponent)for that single moment of truth when you fell the opponent with a movement which is at once ruthless and graceful. "

You have just repeated several samurai worshipping myths that I do not have time to destroy. Suffice to say the sword you think is called a broadsword isn't. Are you are one of those irritating grown men who really likes Japanese cartoons?

"Real Samurai weren't very good swordsman and didn't have very good swords."

If my memory serves me well I believe Bushido can be roughly translated to mean 'way of the bow and the horse' and there true expertise lies in those areas, in addition to lazing about painting and mooching off terrified peasants.