October 19, 2013

Yasiel Puig is the new Pedro Guerrero

A rare but funny play in baseball is when a batter thinks he's bashed a homer so he stands at the plate posing in celebration of the magnificence of his blast, only to have the ball bounce off the fence back into the field and the hitter suddenly have to start running. Los Angeles Dodger rookie Yasiel Puig, who led the majors this season in bizarre stuff happening, did this during the recent playoff loss to St. Louis. The 245-pound Puig is so fast that he still wound up on third with a stand-up triple. (In the Dodgers' 9-0 loss in the last game of the series, the rightfielder made two errors, tying my career high for a rightfielder.)

When I was young, hitters always made a show of running as soon as they made contact, no matter how certain they were of having hit a homer. It was part of the anti-showoff etiquette of the age. (Also, in baseball, pitchers can throw at your head if they don't like you.) You owed it to your teammates not to take a chance you were wrong, and you weren't supposed to show up your opponents.

A friend of mine once noticed that his cabdriver was Nate "Sweetwater" Clifton, one of the first black NBA players. He asked him if they ever dunked in the early 1950s. Clifton replied that they dunked all the time in practice, but didn't in games because you weren't supposed to "show up" the other team.

To go back about as far as we can on Youtube, here's film of Babe Ruth's record-setting 60th homer of 1927. We know that Babe was pretty fired up at breaking his own record -- in the locker room afterwards he exulted, "Sixty! Count 'em, sixty. Let's see some other son of a bitch top that!" -- but he had immediately started jogging toward first while he watched the ball. 

Even with the most resounding home run of my youth -- Reggie Jackson's 1971 All Star Game blast off a light tower on top of the third deck in Detroit -- Reggie immediately started sauntering toward first base, although the only way that ball was staying in the park was if it hit the Goodyear Blimp. (By one estimate, the ball would have traveled 532 feet if it hadn't hit the lights.)

I'm not sure exactly when the transition to posing happened. Here's a video of Reggie Jackson's three homers in the final game of the 1977 World Series. On his mighty third homer, he still leans in the general direction of first base as he admires the ball's flight. Unlike Puig's triple, Jackson didn't immediately throw his arms up in celebration. So, the long-term trend toward posing was definitely continuing in the 1970s, but even Reggie felt some of the weight of the old ethos at the peak moment of his career in 1977.

By 1983 (e.g., Gary Matthews' playoff homer against the Dodgers) it seems like a corner had been turned, but that's just my recollection. My impression at the time in 1983 was that Matthews' flinging his bat away in a gesture of dominance was something new in baseball (and the announcers' retrospective comments seem to suggest this), but I'm sure it had precedents. (Throwing your bat like that would get you called out in Little League, but it was okay for Matthews.)

My previous memory of a player winding up with a triple after failing to run is Pedro Guerrero during his record-setting June 1985. Guerrero was perhaps the best National League hitter of the era (although his stats don't look like much due to park effects), but the Dodgers wanted him to play third base, where he racked up horrific fielding percentages. When they finally let him go back to playing the easier position of left field, Guerrero immediately set an all-time record for most home runs in the month of June. One homer he didn't hit that month was a 410-foot blast to straightaway center in St. Louis on which he only started to run after it hit the top of the fence.

A popular rhyme was:

Pedro, Pedro, Pedro Guerrero
His brain is as big as a sparrow

From the Associated Press in 2000:
A former major league hitter was acquitted of drug conspiracy charges Tuesday, after his attorney argued that his low IQ prevented him from understanding that he had agreed to a drug deal. 
Federal prosecutors argued that Pedro Guerrero, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, told an undercover agent and an informant that he would guarantee payment for a $200,000 cocaine shipment. 
But Guerrero's lawyer, Milton Hirsch, told the jury that the four-time National League All-Star and co-MVP of the 1981 World Series was duped by his friend, Adan "Tony" Cruz. 
"He really never understood that he was being asked to involve himself in a drug deal," Hirsch said. 
The jury acquitted Guerrero after four hours of deliberation. 
Guerrero, 43, retired from baseball in 1992. Hirsch said he dropped out of sixth grade in his native Dominican Republic, and has an IQ of 70, Hirsch said. The Miami resident can not perform simple tasks, such as writing a check or making a bed, and receives a small weekly allowance from his wife, Hirsch said.

By the way, here's O.J. Simpson's 911 call in which Pedro's name comes up.

44 comments:

peterike said...

Has an IQ of 70... can not perform simple tasks, such as writing a check or making a bed.

And on the backs of these people we will build a new nation. Yours truly, the Powers that Be.

Anonymous said...

As someone who, in my college days, taught daily living skills to retarded people in group homes with IQs lower than 70, I call bullshit on not being able to make a bed. He just doesn't want to. I saw (and stopped) them throwing a package of bacon, shrink wrap and all, into a frying pan, but one must be very low functioning indeed to not be able to make a bed. On another note, why the hell did his wife marry him? Can't imagine there's a lot of scintillating conversation over dinner.

MC said...

I think Griffey Jr. is the one who popularized it early in his Mariners days. He would hit one out and just admire it nonchalantly while walking sloooowly for the first few steps out of the box. He made it look cool because he was The Kid. I don't remember him ever being caught out on it.

peterike said...

Emotionalism is a sure sign of the lower orders and inferior civilizations. Back when the British ruled the world, they were noted for the stiff upper lip and all that. British men -- explorers, soldiers, etc. -- had levels of endurance for hardship that are simply staggering. And all the founding stock of America -- British, German, Scandinavian -- was the same way: stoic in the face of tragedy.

Not anymore. I knew England was over as a nation when Princess Diana died and the whole country blubbered like a bunch of Italians at a funeral.

A great deal of black dysfunction is precisely because they are overly emotional. Same of course for Hispanics and Arabs, hot headed, fly off the handle types. Even Asians -- not so much Japs but the rest -- can go bonkers in the face of tragedy.

The West is going down in flames because of emotionalism. Everyone's a 12 year old now.

Anonymous said...

Guerrero, 43, retired from baseball in 1992. Hirsch said he dropped out of sixth grade in his native Dominican Republic, and has an IQ of 70, Hirsch said. The Miami resident can not perform simple tasks, such as writing a check or making a bed, and receives a small weekly allowance from his wife, Hirsch said.

Is this true or just lawyerly BS?

There are greater cognitive challenges in a baseball game than basic tasks like making a bed. Things like knowing the situation on defense i.e. how many outs, which base to throw to first, whether to hit the cut-off man or not, etc. And in batting, lots of hitters study the pitcher and situation to predict which pitches are likely to come.

Of course it's possible that Guerrero was completely oblivious to this mental side of the game, and that for him every single pitch was a random event for all intents and purposes.

It's just hard to believe someone wouldn't be able to make a bed.

Anonymous said...

All our worries are over.

They have discovered how to turn low-IQ illegals into the sort of geniuses needed by the modern information economy.

Anonymous said...

But Guerrero's lawyer, Milton Hirsch, told the jury that the four-time National League All-Star and co-MVP of the 1981 World Series was duped by his friend, Adan "Tony" Cruz.

A good rule of thumb is to never trust anyone who goes by "Tony" that isn't actually named Anthony.

countenance said...

410 to straightaway center at the old Busch...yep, it was a pitcher's park.

When the Rams moved to St. Louis for the '95 season, they temporarily had to use Busch for home games until the Dome was ready. (The Football Cardinals used Busch II between its opening in '66 and their moving to Arizona after '87). Once the Rams moved into the dome, the Cardinals remodeled Busch II before the '96 season, shifting back to grass and moving straightaway center in to 402.

As for Pedro Guerrero, he's probably not that stupid, but I understand that boys and young men that have a credible chance at a professional baseball career in the DR are given school classes that are both few and easy.

Steve Sailer said...

"make his bed"

Pedro was good at not being able to do what he didn't feel like doing, even hitting For the first two months of 1985, when he was stuck playing third base and desperately trying to get out, he hit only 4 homers. On June 1, he got switched to left field and hit 15 homers that month.

Anonymous said...

I can't make a bed, and I have an IQ of 130+. Or that is my claim for not making up my bed.

Guerrero is likely on the dumb side, but IQ 70? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Guerrero is likely on the dumb side, but IQ 70? I don't think so.

The issue isn't so much whether he has an IQ of 70 but whether or not he knows how to make a bed.

An IQ of 70 is not implausible, and it's not implausible that he wouldn't be able to write a check, since he might be illiterate.

But not being able to make a bed is just a whole 'nother level.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quQODOvrWMs

showboat trick

----------

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EaJMr26F5w

Aint over til it's over

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2cK2D2Iams

This real?

Anonymous said...

The Spanish Paralympic Basketball won gold in Sydney in 2000 with normal players who pretended to have IQs of 70 or below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2umhVpCKe4

Anonymous said...

An IQ of 70 or below can qualify you for the paralympics games:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMNBXU1rP9M

Anonymous said...

Guerrero would qualify for the Paralympic Games:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T20_%28classification%29#Sport

"This classification is for disability athletics.[2] This classification broadly covers athletes with intellectual disabilities.[3] The classification by Buckley goes on to say "To become eligible to compete in the Paralympic Games, all athletes with an Intellectual Disability have to reach the primary eligibility criteria, which is determined by: • An IQ score at or below 75 (when IQ 100 is the score of the average person) • Significant limitations in adaptive behaviour (conceptual, social or practical adaptive skills) [Examples may include: communication, self care, social skills, home living, health and safety] • Onset acquired before the age of 18"[2] The Australian Paralympic Committee defines this classification as being for athletes who have the "Intellectually disabled athletes must have substantial limitation in intellectual function. The athlete’s intellectual function is approximately 70 – 75 or below. Limitations in two or more of the following adaptive skill areas; communication, self-care; home living, social skills, community use, self direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure and work. They must have acquired their condition before age 18." [4]"

jody said...

are you guys serious? it's totally possible his IQ is 70. that's ONE standard deviation below average for an african in the US.

ONE.

there are MILLIONS of africans in the US running around with an IQ of 70. MILLIONS.

and these are africans who are 18% european, and have access to the best nutrition, medicine, and education the world has ever seen. and that's with rounding up - their mean IQ is actually 82 or 83, not 85.

now think about how many africans from third world dumps are DUMBER THAN THAT. like this guy. it's TOTALLY possible he cannot write a check.

lol at him not being able to make a bed though. that's just BS. what next. he can't tie his own shoes? can't make a bed, but i bet he sure as hell purchased and drove many sports cars with his baseball money. new outrage for liberals to ponder - should people who cannot even make a bed, be allowed to have a driver's license?

as george carlin said....think about how dumb the average person is, then realize, half of them, are dumber than that.

Anonymous said...

are you guys serious? it's totally possible his IQ is 70. that's ONE standard deviation below average for an african in the US.

Yeah, not only that, it's close to the averages of Caribbean populations.

Jason Malloy did a close analysis of Richard Lynn's IQ figures at humanvarieties.org

Lynn and Jason Malloy agree that Haiti's mean IQ is 68. Lynn has claimed a mean of 72 and 67 for Jamaica, while Malloy argues it might be higher, around 79. Lynn claims a mean of 82 for the Dom. Republic, while Malloy claims that it's likely higher, though below 92.

Guerrero is Dominican but based on his appearance he's more African than the average Dominican.

Anonymous said...

as george carlin said....think about how dumb the average person is, then realize, half of them, are dumber than that.

It's worse, because the "average person" to most people here is a white person with a college degree.

Anonymous said...

now think about how many africans from third world dumps are DUMBER THAN THAT. like this guy. it's TOTALLY possible he cannot write a check.

Nearly half of Detroit residents can't do things like read and write a check:

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/05/04/report-nearly-half-of-detroiters-cant-read/

"According to a new report, 47 percent of Detroiters are ”functionally illiterate.” The alarming new statistics were released by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund on Wednesday.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with the Fund’s Director, Karen Tyler-Ruiz, who explained exactly what this means.

“Not able to fill out basic forms, for getting a job — those types of basic everyday (things). Reading a prescription; what’s on the bottle, how many you should take… just your basic everyday tasks,” she said.

“I don’t really know how they get by, but they do. Are they getting by well? Well, that’s another question,” Tyler-Ruiz said.

Some of the Detroit suburbs also have high numbers of functionally illiterate: 34 percent in Pontiac and 24 percent in Southfield.

“For other major urban areas, we are a little bit on the high side… We compare, slightly higher, to Washington D.C.’s urban population, in certain ZIP codes in Washington D.C. and in Cleveland,” she said."

E. Rekshun said...

"Guerrero...has an IQ of 70...and receives a small weekly allowance from his wife..."

How many children has this pair been blessed with?

Jon said...

You neglected to mention the quintessential example of American sports show-boating: the [expletive adjective deleted, starts with "j"] end zone dance

Ed said...

I guess one woman has a higher IQ than the other. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2468325/Wife-Mariners-football-player-Carlos-Peguero-accused-spending-180-000-luxury-items-online-Saks-Fifth-Avenue-using-OTHER-footballer-wifes-debit-card.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsMADf6EuB0

"Great Kid - True Sportsmanship during Middle School Wrestling Event"

What?

Anonymous said...

Joni Mitchell on the creative process

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFMrn-kcNeU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZY8aDg_dTI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEJuiZN3jI8

Anonymous said...

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2013/10/12/3-things-you-need-to-know-about-people-with-aspergers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BrazenCareerist+%28Penelope+Trunk%29

Cail Corishev said...

It's worse, because the "average person" to most people here is a white person with a college degree.

Yep. If not degreed, at least intelligent enough to use a computer and get online, figure out how to post (and answer captchas correctly), and in most cases, write using correct spelling and grammar. And commenting at a site like this, unlike say YouTube or Facebook, also shows a certain amount of intellectual curiosity. If you can put together a paragraph that's readable and on-topic here, and you have the desire to do so, your IQ is almost certainly above 100, probably noticeably higher.

I think our meritocratic society has become stratified enough that a person with a 110+ IQ rarely meets anyone below 70, unless he has a job specifically working with such people, like a special ed teacher. Otherwise, he just doesn't run into them because they don't move in the same circles as he does. When you're constantly surrounded by the upper half, such that the 90-IQ guy who works at the gas station seems pretty dopey, it's hard to imagine what a 70 IQ is really like.

Having said that, could a guy who learned to hit a curve ball learn to make a bed? Quite likely he could. But it's not just about ability, it's also about aptitude. You don't just have to teach him how to make the bed; you have to get him interested enough to pay attention while you're showing him, and make him care enough to store it away. It's like trying to teach a 4-year-old to read: you may know he has the ability, but if he just wants to look at the pictures or talk about the toad he saw yesterday, you get nowhere.

Anonymous said...

OT Anthony Cumia, radio host, has been in full Derbyshire mode on Twitter. I expect to be hearing him on VDare radio soon.

Jonathan Silber said...

An I.Q. of 70 would qualify Guerrero, in the terminology standard in the Bad Old Days, as a moron.

Jonathan Silber said...

Calling Bill Gates: Next White Man's- Burden project for throwing billions down a rat-hole: Send to Black Africa thousands of idealistic, naive Ivy League grads to teach the natives how to make their beds. Another giant leap for mankind!

Anonymous said...

But they're all college material, people! Every last one. Just ask DC charter schools.

Anonymous said...

Similarly amusing is the situation in rugby where a player crosses the try line and waits, perhaps 'showboating' a little, before grounding the ball for a try - but waits a little too long and gets bundled out of play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gpzFZadcQ

Or decides to cross the line with a spectacular dive, but forgets to take the ball with him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1914XF8afo

Anonymous said...

Mark Zuckerberg to hold hack-a-thon with low-IQ illegals.

It should be fun.

driveallnight said...

Juice. #66 is on the juice.

You heard it here first.

Discard said...

Regarding the necessary intelligence to be a ballplayer, it should be noted that dogs can catch frisbees.

Steve Sailer said...

"driveallnight said...
"Juice. #66 is on the juice."

I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Pedro was on the juice back in 1985. I think practically every L.A. athlete is suspect from about the era of O.J. and Wilt in the late 1960s, and some from before then.

Bone Daddy Dawg said...

Any truth the rumor that Pedro Guerrero is set to make a comeback as an Obamacare doctor?

Anonymous said...

I fucking hate making the bed. That and folding clothes are almost reason enough to get a wife or live-in girlfriend.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if "making the bed" was a ruse by the lawyer. That is, he was claiming that he literally doesn't know how to construct a bed.

Marc B said...

Puig's been the darling of the national sports media this season, so he's gotten a pass on the kind of missteps other players are routinely called out for.

Silver said...

Not anymore. I knew England was over as a nation when Princess Diana died and the whole country blubbered like a bunch of Italians at a funeral.

At least the Italians are related to the person. The English were blubbering over a freaking media creation, which is more akin to Brazilian masses turning out in droves to publicly mourn the passing of a telenovela character.

Silver said...

I watched every game of the NLCS this year, which is the first time I've watched baseball in years. How long have they players introduce themselves by saying their own names and where they hail from? ("Yasiel Puig. Soy de Cuba.")

Anonymous said...

Guerrero could qualify as retarded or borderline retarded according to the judicial system:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/us/justices-agree-to-clarify-mental-disability-in-capital-cases.html?_r=0

" The Atkins decision gave states substantial latitude in how to carry it out and gave only general guidance. It said a finding of mental retardation requires proof of three things: “subaverage intellectual functioning,” meaning low IQ scores; a lack of fundamental social and practical skills; and the presence of both conditions before age 18. The court said IQ scores under “approximately 70” typically indicate retardation.

A Florida law enacted not long before the Atkins decision created what Mr. Hall’s lawyers called an “inflexible bright-line cutoff” requiring proof of an IQ of 70 or below. Last year, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Hall was eligible to be executed because his IQ had been measured at various times as 71, 73 and 80.

In a concurrence, Justice Barbara J. Pariente noted that “Florida, while not unique in its use of a bright-line cutoff score of 70, is not in the majority, although there is no clear national consensus.” "

Larry Velasco said...

Yasiel Puig is an ILLEGAL ALIEN and should not be in OUR country. PERIOD. He is a great young talent but has too big an ego. He should be knocked down a couple of pegs. IF he was smuggled into this country then the LA Dodgers are criminals for picking him up. PERIOD. Get rid of him and ALL other ILLEGALS. Larry Velasco Long time fan of MLB. I am going to be 69 years old in July and have watch the then, New York Giants at six years old, til now. Sixty three years and baseball is slipping a little. If he is here ILLEGALLY, get RID of him. PERIOD. Larry Velasco