August 04, 2004

Who really cares about Fred McGriff's 500th homer?: "Baseball loyalists cite the game's legendary numbers—300 wins, 500 homers, 3,000 hits—as evidence of the sport's elegance, beauty, and gravitas. What no one mentions is how wretched and painful it is to actually watch a former star gasp and sputter his way toward a legendary number."

posted by justgary to baseball at 02:45 PM - 11 comments

What no one mentions is . . . Actually, it seems like lots of people talk about his, and quite a few of them write about it. Naturally I can't cite any off the top of my head, except maybe that thing on ESPN's Page2 about Ripkin's streak, but my first reaction was that this revelation pops into writers' heads pretty regularly. Not that the link and the writer's point aren't valid, justgary. I imagine watching old guys chase milestones can irritating for up-and-comers. "Yay, Pops. Now siddown, willya?"

posted by jason streed at 03:16 PM on August 04, 2004

I'm really tired of sportswriters ragging on athletes for hanging on too long. The next sportswriter to quit at the top of his game will be the first in the history of journalism.

posted by rcade at 03:24 PM on August 04, 2004

I'm really tired of sportswriters period. Given access to all of the papers in the US throught the 'net, I'm confounded by the fact that less than 1% of sports articles I read are worth anything. I can count on my hand the number of sports page pieces I still recall fondly and that's only because I used to subscribe to the Boston Globe which has a very good (relatively speaking) sports section. That said, Ripken and Boggs were painful to watch. Ripken because he sucked and Boggs because it was as though he was making a point to prove the "Only Cares About Himself" rap true. Trying to get into the HoF as a D-Ray was the bestest part of all.

posted by yerfatma at 04:46 PM on August 04, 2004

Oh Fuck off with the hating. McGriff wants to play, can find a job and maybe make it to a absolutely magical number. I still don't think it puts him in the Hall, but the debate about whether or not it's 'worth it' or how 'painful it is' to watch is completely misplaced and so agonisingly mean-spirited that it should be discarded with yesterday's sports section. The fact that he is a shadow of his former consistentcy is the very reason I root for him all the more. And I hope he succeeds. Newsflash - 99% of althletes 'hang on too long' as we like to say. But none of the people talking about it are anything close to an actual athlete which makes the argument pretty dismissable.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:56 PM on August 04, 2004

>Newsflash - 99% of althletes 'hang on too long' as we like to say. And those that do leave at the top are often criticised. Not tough enough, not competitive enough, don't love the game. Mario Lemieux, say. Bill Nyrop. Miami's Williams.

posted by Philfromhavelock at 08:04 AM on August 05, 2004

Shouldn't the criticism be leveled at the team, rather than the player? If someone offers to pay me millions to hit major league pitching (which I can't), I'm going to say yes. Sabermetrics says there are players in AA and AAA who could replicate over-the-hill veterans' production for a small percentage of their salary. Unless the player is a long-time fan favorite playing out a victory lap in the one city he's always played in, what are these teams doing? There have to be dozens of guys in the minors who could replicate McGriff's output this year for $500,000.

posted by yerfatma at 08:13 AM on August 05, 2004

If someone offers to pay me millions to hit major league pitching (which I can't), I'm going to say yes. Lately, I've been considering an offer to bat clean-up for the Brewers. It's nearly certain that I can't do any worse than Geoff Jenkins, and I stand to earn enough money to retire after a year.

posted by rocketman at 09:34 AM on August 05, 2004

Eh, once you're in the Players Union the last thing they want is for you to retire. So make sure you get a 3 or 4 year deal.

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on August 05, 2004

Thanks for the advice. I suppose with a multi-year deal I can chase some obscure milestone that may guarantee my election to the Hall of Shame.

posted by rocketman at 01:22 PM on August 05, 2004

# of times ejected in a season.

posted by yerfatma at 03:38 PM on August 05, 2004

SportsCenter, here I come!

posted by rocketman at 03:53 PM on August 05, 2004

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