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View Full Version : The baseball season is a grind... just ask a player.



westofyou
09-24-2007, 11:15 AM
http://38pitches.com/2007/09/23/one-celebration-down-4-to-go/



The Grind

Contrary to some local beliefs, we didn't fold and we didn't screw it up. We made the post season. Not to belittle any of the other major sports, more because I never played hockey or basketball seriously, but I can't imagine a more grinding schedule than the MLB schedule. Not really for pitchers, though I certainly feel a lot different in September than I did in February, but more the position players.

If you get to the dance and play all the way through you pretty much play close to 200 games in about 225 days. Most of those off days are spent traveling or at the park receiving treatment or working on your swing or something. Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan, both All Pro NFL players and damn good major leaguers said that the ML season and the NFL season weren't even close. The MLB schedule was 10 times the grind of the NFL schedule. It's not any one thing, but the fact is, aches, pains and bruises aside, you suit up every single day and compete against the best players in the world once every twenty four hours.

Don't take that as a whine, it's not life or death, but for the guys suiting up every day it has to be incredibly tough physically, to be good.

RedsManRick
09-24-2007, 11:19 AM
I know many people find Schilling arrogant, abrasive, and self-promoting, but I find his blog a very interesting read. While he certainly isn't the most humble guy, he is honest and forthcoming.

I'd rather arrogance and honesty than have another guy blow smoke up our collective rear ends.

Chip R
09-24-2007, 11:21 AM
I know many people find Schilling arrogant, abrasive, and self-promoting, but I find his blog a very interesting read. While he certainly isn't the most humble guy, he is honest and forthcoming.



He is all of those things and it doesn't make him wrong.

RFS62
09-24-2007, 11:21 AM
Arrogance is a quality you may find in a lot of top athletes. Sometimes serves them well.

westofyou
09-24-2007, 11:24 AM
Most of those off days are spent traveling or at the park receiving treatment or working on your swing or something.

I thought they spent all their free time in play patterns similar to Ferris Buller.

At least that's what I hear day in and day out on the intraweb.

SunDeck
09-24-2007, 12:44 PM
But work is still play for them. If they don't love the grind they shouldn't be in the MLB.
I understand the point that it's tough, incredibly so. It doesn't make me feel a bit sorry for them though, especially since they make a bazillion dollars a year.

oneupper
09-24-2007, 01:02 PM
Well if you love the game, you want to play EVERY DAY. In that sense, there's no "I can't wait till Sunday". In Baseball you don't have to wait.

George Anderson
09-24-2007, 01:14 PM
I just think it makes us realize and appreciate what the old time players went thru. Having to play day games in wool uniforms in 90 plus degree heat with no air conditioned clubhouses or hotel rooms had to really take its grind on a player. Also factor in train travel as opposed to air travel, you had to really be hurt to go on the DL, training and medical personnel and equiptment wasnt nearly as advanced as it was today and then to top it all off once the season was over the players had to work a job during the winter months to provide for their families.

Now thats what I call a grind!!!!

SunDeck
09-24-2007, 02:00 PM
Back then I think a lot of guys were playing baseball because it's all they could do and because many of them used the game to avoid "making a real living". But it was work, nonetheless and my guess is that it was a lot harder than it is today, simply because there wasn't the enormous support infrastructure surrounding ballplayers that there is now. They played on fields that were like goat pastures by today's standards, they rode buses, worked on loading docks in the off season and the only supplements they were using came in the form of barley and hops.

Now, kids are pampered from an early age and they are not encouraged to play with pain. Heck, when I was a knothole pitcher I'd go the whole game, while kids today are on strict pitch counts. And I used a hand me down glove that looked like the Hamburger Helper hands....

I'll stop- I'm starting to sound like Bob "I don't like the looks of those Teenagers" Feller.

IslandRed
09-24-2007, 06:51 PM
Now, kids are pampered from an early age and they are not encouraged to play with pain. Heck, when I was a knothole pitcher I'd go the whole game, while kids today are on strict pitch counts.

Not to totally redirect the thread, but while I agree that in some cases kids are more pampered and not as tough as they used to be, having young kids not pitch in pain today is something I'd call "knowing better."

On the pro level, the structure of the game today is such that teams just can't afford to be Darwinian about pitchers. There was a time where clubs could run pitchers out there until their arms fell off, then they'd toss them away and get some more. That doesn't work these days. A team can't afford to treat everyone that isn't a rubber-armed freak as a disposable part.

blumj
09-24-2007, 07:26 PM
I think there's some context missing. They've clinched a playoff spot, but the NYY are only 2 games back in the division with 6 left to play, and they're really pretty banged up. He's rationalizing, in advance, possibly losing the division to prepare for the playoffs.

TeamBoone
09-24-2007, 08:00 PM
In addition to what's already been stated, baseball is not just game in today's world.... it's BIG BIG business. And every single player knows that. If they screw up or mail it in, they aren't going to last long.

They may not ride buses, but they ride planes much longer distances and they're not much more comfortable than a bus... especially for the big guys, and they're away from home for 10-14 days at a time. Plus, they have to be at the ballpark 3-4 hours before the game begins. And in order to succeed, they must also keep up a training regimen during the off season; even then, their time is not completely their own.

Yes, it is a grind... but that doesn't mean they are not dedicated, just that they're tired out at the end of the season.

I'm sure it's no piece of cake. Yeah, they get paid big bucks... if they didn't, I'd be willing to bet that a lot of them wouldn't play, or at least not for very long.

traderumor
09-24-2007, 11:35 PM
Athletes wanna be rock stars, rock stars wanna be athletes, the rest of us want to be either. I understand exactly what Schilling is saying. Besides the physical and competitive side of it, I imagine the divorce rate in baseball is traditionally higher than most fields due to travel, infidelity, and workaholism (out of necessity, but...). I've thought many times how impossible it must be to have a real personal life during the season.

Spitball
09-24-2007, 11:52 PM
Not to mention coaching, I played from eight years of age right through the forty-and-up league. I didn't realize what life was like without persitent aches and pains until my eyesight began to fail and just couldn't play with glasses. It was the failure to perform at a respectable level and not the constant pains that persuaded me to hang them up.

I still can't lift my right arm above my head without stopping and wincing in pain.

Hoosier Red
09-24-2007, 11:59 PM
I just think it makes us realize and appreciate what the old time players went thru. Having to play day games in wool uniforms in 90 plus degree heat with no air conditioned clubhouses or hotel rooms had to really take its grind on a player. Also factor in train travel as opposed to air travel, you had to really be hurt to go on the DL, training and medical personnel and equiptment wasnt nearly as advanced as it was today and then to top it all off once the season was over the players had to work a job during the winter months to provide for their families.

Now thats what I call a grind!!!!

I think the fact that the guys were not as good of athletes actually helped in that. Wool uniforms in 90 degree heat probably sucked, but they had a little chub to burn off anyway. It was less common to get hurt because they didn't work out every muscle to the point where it was practically straining just by getting up in the morning. I have a feeling today's athletes are actually in too good of shape.