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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Gardner: “I need to start running more”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Aug 01, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees Rays Baseball

Brett Gardner has been running lately. He seemed to be taking a bag every game early in the season, then he slowed down, and now he’s stolen a base in four of his past seven starts.

“Early in the season I was getting on base a lot and running a lot, and my legs just got a little tired,” he said. “With Curtis (Granderson) out, I didn’t want to push the issue. I need to start running more. I wish I had been running more recently in the last several weeks, but I will. When we need me to try to get into scoring position, I’ll try to. I’m healthy, and I was healthy, it’s just a matter of trying to be smart.”

I wrote this weekend about what it’s like to watch Gardner as he takes his lead off first base. Everyone in the building knows what might happen, but only Gardner knows what will happen. Even Joe Girardi has no idea when he’s going to run.

“With my speed I should probably be more successful than I am,” Gardner said. “It’s all a matter of learning the pitchers. It’s not about stealing as many bases as you can. I don’t like getting thrown out, so I don’t want to steal too many bases and get thrown out 20 times.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

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119 Responses to “Gardner: “I need to start running more””

  1. theREALkevin August 1st, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    news flash, gardner- scouting report on righty pitchers: when they pick their left leg to throw home, run as fast as you can to second base

  2. RalphieD August 1st, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    at least gardner knows he needs to improve in certain areas….i like that attitude in players

  3. Melk Man August 1st, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    4th outfielder

  4. G-C August 1st, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    This is certainly a concern of mine too.

    As players age, particularly guys who play at premium defensive positions (short and second in particular) you notice numerous examples of high batting average guys like Jeter losing a bit off that average but compensating for it with late career surges in power and, in some cases, plate discipline. Two good examples: Chuch Knoblauch and Craig Biggio. Knoblauch really fell off average wise here relative to his Minnesota days, but he remained almost as effective of an offensive player because he emerged as a home run threat and still maintained, or even improved, his walk rates. Biggio was able to stick around and attain 3000 hits without totally destroying the Astros because he had a late career power surge that compensated for his drastic decline as a contact hitter.

    I’ve been playing the unconcerned card with Jeter all year, but it seems like he’s having a difficult time maintaining any kind of mini hot streak that he goes on. The amazing thing is, even at his current level of production, he’s still among the top shortstops production wise in all of baseball. It speaks a lot to how much of an advantage the Yankees had over the competition when he was producing at his typical .840ish OPS levels from that spot.

    Jeter may very well not hit .330 again in his career, but he hasn’t shown any sign of developing a skill set that can compensate for his decline in batting average. His power is a bit below average from where it usually is and his plate discipline has fallen off a cliff.”

  5. IIOIIOIIO August 1st, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Gardner has the right idea about stealing bases in one respect–it is not useful to steal 50 bases just to get thrown out 20 times. At the same time, Gardner needs to realize that he has exceptional speed and therefore can afford to take more risks than the average base stealer.

  6. pat August 1st, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    “I need to start running more.”

    Amen.

  7. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    And bunting more. ;)

  8. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    As to psychological edge, the Yankees are a hardened veteran team who knows how to win. They already know how good the Rays are, so losing a series to them wouldn’t surprise them nor would it devastate them; they also know how good THEY are. The Rays also know they are a good team, so had they lost this series, it wouldn’t have meant much to them in terms of being down about it. At this point, I don’t think there’s much to the idea of a psychological edge – teams win, teams lose; such is life during a baseball season. Last year, when the Yanks had lost 8 straight to the Sox, they didn’t get down on themselves and start to worry about how they stacked up to the Sox – I believe they figured that things would even out in the end.

    Good stuff from Gardner………

  9. Crash August 1st, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    IIOIIOIIO August 1st, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    “Gardner has the right idea about stealing bases in one respect–it is not useful to steal 50 bases just to get thrown out 20 times. At the same time, Gardner needs to realize that he has exceptional speed and therefore can afford to take more risks than the average base stealer.”

    ———————

    Yeah I get what he is thinking. Because you hate to get thrown out trying to steal with this lineup. Because basically every other hitter is capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark. The yankees lineup is not built like rays or angels.

    But I think there are times where he needs to be more aggressive on the bases. Like with two outs. I mean catchers have difficulty throwing him out on pitch outs.

  10. pat August 1st, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Funny to read this because I was thinking this morning if the Yankees claimed him off waivers, would the Sox pull him back or appreciate the financial help?

    Yankees tried 3-team deal to get Lowell

    “The Red Sox were not going to trade Lowell directly to the Yankees, sources said. The deal would have involved the Rangers, who would have acquired Lowell and sent him to the Yankees with the Red Sox?s knowledge.”

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....t-deadline

  11. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    One loss seems have turned this place into a morgue ?

  12. Crash August 1st, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Lowell is washed up why would the yanks want him? Thames is a better right handed DH against lefties than Lowell at this point.

  13. kd August 1st, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    pat,

    i read that. really funny. i think it would be the perfect way to irritate the red sox, have lowell hit a home run against them!

    lowell is one of the red sox that i hated watching on tv, because he was so damn good and a gamer, not because he played for them.

    it’d be great to have him in pinstripes

  14. Melkmanisinhotlanta August 1st, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Maybe Girardi will give Wood super glue and keep his act together.

  15. ron August 1st, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    By Mike Axisa in Down on the Farm. · I’m two days late on this, but Brandon Laird was named the third hottest prospects in the minors in last week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. As a reward, he was promoted to Triple-A following today’s game. Corban Joseph goes up to Double-A. Congrats to both guys, the promotions were well deserved.

  16. GoYanks August 1st, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Team is in first place, healthy, stronger (w/pickups) and ready to make strong push and pull away in the next month. My story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    Gardner needs to get hungry again, swing earlier, run sooner – want the infielders moving with Jeter’s propensity for hitting ground balls.

    Gardner’s game is putting pressure on the other team – he adds the small ball dimension our offense needs when others are cold.

  17. G-C August 1st, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I don’t remember seeing ten minutes between replies at this hour since….ever.

  18. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    GC-

    That’s why I said it seems like a morgue in here.

    I missed the game. Went hiking.

    From the feel of it maybe I was lucky.

  19. the gay yankee fan August 1st, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Chad, while we’re on the topic of Gardner, could you pass along to him that he needs more frequently swing at the first pitch strike to keep the pitchers honest.

    Right now, the pitchers all know from scouting reports that he almost always takes the first pitch.

    As a result, he almost always gets a strike right down the middle about 98% of the time.

    He needs to also get into the “drive in the run(s), mentality instead of just having the “get on base” mentality that he has.

    Gardner is very talented and can be so much more dangerous if he can just think of driving in runs instead of just getting on base for other guys to drive in.

  20. IIOIIOIIO August 1st, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    # MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    GC-

    That’s why I said it seems like a morgue in here.

    I missed the game. Went hiking.

    From the feel of it maybe I was lucky.

    ———————-

    This is pleasant all things considered. Try reading the game thread, your head will explode.

  21. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Well. If no one feels like talking then I guess it’s time for bed.

    Two things I know.

    The Sun will rise tomorrow.

    And the Yankees are still in 1st place.

    Nite all. :)

  22. IIOIIOIIO August 1st, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    the gay yankee fan August 1st, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Chad, while we’re on the topic of Gardner, could you pass along to him that he needs more frequently swing at the first pitch strike to keep the pitchers honest.

    Right now, the pitchers all know from scouting reports that he almost always takes the first pitch.

    As a result, he almost always gets a strike right down the middle about 98% of the time.

    He needs to also get into the “drive in the run(s), mentality instead of just having the “get on base” mentality that he has.

    Gardner is very talented and can be so much more dangerous if he can just think of driving in runs instead of just getting on base for other guys to drive in

    —————–

    I’m not sure I agree with this. I don’t know if Gardner is ever going to be “drive in runs” sort of player. He doesn’t have much power. His value is derived from his knack for getting on base. Even if he is taking the first pitch for a strike with great frequency, he’s still leading the team, and most of the league, in pitches per plate appearance. As long as he continues to see pitches, work the count, and get on base, the only complaint most of us would have is that he isn’t aggressive enough at trying to swipe second base. Jeter’s tendency to swing early in the count isn’t really getting him anywhere. I don’t know that taking pitches is necessarily an indication that a hitter isn’t looking to drive in runs anyway.

  23. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I don’t read game threads for that reason.

    They aren’t worth the trouble.

    I come here to enjoy myself not to make myself miserable.

    Maybe you ought to consider doing the same. :)

  24. blake August 1st, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    MTU,

    Hope your day went well and you had a good hike….Eh, I’ve dropped by a few times and just haven’t felt like getting into another discussion on why Jeter “isn’t taking enough pitches” etc….most of the convo. tonight has been pretty played out.

    Yanks didn’t play very well today but Shields was really good. You only lose a game in TB. I liked what I saw from Wood tonight and think he has a chance to be a difference maker down the stretch….he may fall flat on his face but then again he may not.

  25. IIOIIOIIO August 1st, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    # MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I don’t read game threads for that reason.

    They aren’t worth the trouble.

    I come here to enjoy myself not to make myself miserable.

    Maybe you ought to consider doing the same. :)

    —————————-

    Haha, I’m learning. I probably won’t be able to resist chiming in during the game, but I’m starting to see that the more constructive conversation occurs in the pre or postgame threads.

  26. blake August 1st, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    MTU,

    I wasn’t around today but in general the game threads have been better since registration was put in. Still have to wade through some stuff but much more manageable than before. Sometimes I participate and sometimes I just like to watch the game…….

  27. SAS August 1st, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    MTU,

    Unless we are winning big time, I don’t follow the game threads either. I learn much more reading what you all say later on or the next morning.

    Hope you had a beautiful day for a hike.

  28. the gay yankee fan August 1st, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    IIOIIOIIO -

    Gardner absolutely can hit for more power IF he wanted to. If you watch his homeruns that do leave the ballpark, they are not cheapies. They are usually all the way back to the bleachers.

    What that means is that he does have power to right. He hasn’t shown that he has opposite field power (left field) though.

    He does have some power to center. I have seen him hit a deep fly ball all the way to the fence in centerfield at Fenway in that “cut out” area, which is very deep.

    The thing that keeps his power numbers down is all due to his mindset. He does not look to drive the ball i.e. swing as hard as you can, but instead, tries to just get the bat on the ball and put it into play.

    This is not a bad thing mind you. Many players should do that but with Gardner, he does it in every situation, even ones where he should be thinking “drive the ball hard and bring in the runs.”

    He doesn’t do that in those situations. That’s the only concern I have.

  29. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Blake-

    The hike was great. Made even greater by the presence of a Man who, if he were a ballplayer instead of a hiker, would certainly be in the hall of fame on the first ballot.

    He is 89 years young and hiked with us today at over 10,00 ft.

    A complete inspiration to be around.

    As for the Yankees. Well I can understand the disappointment but it is still only one game and we are still the 1st place team.

    CC will dominate again. The team will get it going.

    Gotta give some credit to Shields who obviously brought his A+ game to the fight. Sometimes the best man doesn’t win.

    Hope you’re right about Wood. We certainly could use another effective reliever.

    I’ll see you on the sunny side and we can talk sense. :)

  30. the gay yankee fan August 1st, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    With that said, I think Gardner will eventually turn to become that more aggressive hitter/base stealer that we want him to be more of.

    I love his patience and his getting on base mentality but he should also think about being aggressive in situations that warrants it.

    It will make him an even more dangerous player than he already is. This dude will only get better and stellar in the years to come.

    He reminds me of a Bernie Williams that first came onto the scene. People all had the same concerns with Bernie that they had with Brett and as we all know, Bernie became an absolutely fixture for the Yankees for a good number of years.

    I believe Gardner is the same as well.

  31. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    SAS-

    Thank you. It was just glorious. I will see you in morning if you happen to be around. :)

  32. blake August 1st, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    “He is 89 years young and hiked with us today at over 10,00 ft.”

    Thats super impressive….:)

  33. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I admit that with all the posting during the trade deadline and then all the posting today – I’m exhausted, lol.

    I don’t blame people for not wanting to recap a bad day – it’s a lot more fun when we have something positive to talk about.

  34. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Blake-

    It is really beyond belief. Trust me. And he is so positive and such a gentleman. He’s a superstar. Wish you could meet him. :)

  35. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Does anyone here ever watch Shark Week on the Discovery channel?

  36. blake August 1st, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    MTU,

    I hope I can climb out of bed when/if I make it to 89 :) …I would like to meet that guy for sure.

  37. blake August 1st, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I’ve been watching shark week this evening…what could be better than flying Great Whites….

  38. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Blake-

    Exactly. Or just not be pushing up daisies.

    Want to laugh. He just got married. :)

  39. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Blake, I taped it because I had to do a couple of other things, but I’m going to watch it as soon as I get off.

    I LOVE sharks, especially Great Whites; there is nothing more spectacular than flying Whites – it’s just about the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. I think my mother is still spooked by Jaws; I tried to convince her that more people die of bee stings than get attacked by sharks, but she’s just afraid to go back in the water, lol

  40. blake August 1st, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    “Want to laugh. He just got married. :) :

    thats crazy….and awesome.

  41. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Betsy-

    The game threads can kill a person a lot quicker than a great white. :)

  42. blake August 1st, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I bet Jaws has affected human behavior more than any movie in history. Its amazing how scary a mechanical shark that you hardly ever see can be. That was a masterpiece of a movie really……

  43. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    MTU, game threads are more deadly than Great Whites, lol. In fact, more people have died of troll postings than of shark bites.

  44. Bronx Jeers August 1st, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back into game threads….

  45. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Blake, no question……..and yet Peter Benchley regretted writing Jaws. Later in his life, he became an advocate of the shark, particularly the Great White. After Jaws, they were hunted and killed like there was no tomorrow – and because they are slow to mature and don’t give birth to many young, it really hurt the population.

    The Biography Channel just aired a special tribute to Jaws where all the surviving principals were interviewed; it was fantastic. Bruce the Shark was a mechanical disaster as it turns out……..they couldn’t get the thing to work, lol.

  46. sunny615 August 1st, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I have a severe kink in my neck and my two boys were driving me bonkers. So no game thread posting for me. Plus it gets difficult when the offense seems to have troubles. I genuinely worry more about the offense this year than last year.

  47. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Betsy-

    Have a good night, and picture Phil winning #13 in his next outing.

    That’s a good vision to go to bed with. :)

  48. sunny615 August 1st, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Especially in a short series where well be facing the teams’ top three starters.

  49. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    MTU, that’s a sweet vision, lol – hopefully it’s NOT unlucky #13. He’s at home against the Jays…………I would rather see him pitch on the road, lol.

  50. Betsy August 1st, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Oh, and good night your self……

    signing off

  51. Doreen August 1st, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Hi from California! It’s only 8:15 here. This is great!

    My mom went to today’s game. I made the mistake of calling her to see how the game went – well, really to find out if ARod hit his HR today. Ugh. She told me, “Girardi played all the new guys and they stunk.” She said ARod did get up later in the game and she said it was awesome in the stadium – electric. She felt like it was majority Yankees fans. She did not have a good time, because they lost.

    I didn’t read the game threads, just Chad’s posts. I understand Girardi not wanting to play guys on the turf three games in a row, but this is one of the first times I had questions about the lineup he put out there today. It’s like they went into Tampa thinking 1 of 3. I know he has to take the longer look, but……

    It’s gorgeous here in Anaheim. I could get used to this weather. I’ve been up since 5 am Eastern time. I’m a little loopy. Where do the Yankees go tomorrow? I forgot. Toronto? Kansas City?

  52. MTU August 1st, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Doreen-

    They’re at home against the Jays.

    Have a great trip. :)

  53. Doreen August 1st, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks, MTU -

    There’s no place like home…

  54. tyanksfan36 August 1st, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    I was at the game too. The Arod at bat was insane! it was like the whole place woke up. I think everyone knew he would strike out, at least the people around me did, but watching him up there to pinch hit was like no other plate appearance he had the whole weekend. I do think there were more Yankee fans at the sunday game than the saturday night game.

    a note also is that Matt Joyce got about the same treatment as Arod when they put him in to pinch hit. I was glad that he didnt get a hit but not too much that he walked.

    Also, very pleased with the bullpen this series. If only the offense could have shown up. but i guess you cant have it all.

  55. BronxBorn August 1st, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Doreen & MTU, I heard from Bodhi and he asked me to give you his love.

  56. m August 1st, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Jennifer,

    Nice to see you again. Don’t be a stranger. :)

    Doreen’s mom and tyanksfan36.

    What you couldn’t tell in the stadium (arena?) is that Alex did not strike out. That pitch was a ball.

    Just heard some Mike Salk on the radio. The topic was bold predictions for the rest of the season. After he panned St. Louis for giving up Ludwick for Westbrook he said the Twins would win the Central. And that going into the season he thought the Rays were going to win, but is now picking the Yankees. He panned Tampa Bay for not making any moves at the deadline. Said the Yankees are now the best team in the division (duh!).

  57. Tyler August 1st, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    This is a pretty big homestand for the Yanks. It would be great to take both of these series and maybe restore some breathing room in the division. I think the Rays and Sox play each other soon so the Yanks need to take advantage and try to put distance there. AJ can get the homestand off to a great start tom. I’d love a big homestand. Sweep Toronto and 3/4 against Boston. 6-1 homestand coming up.

  58. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I’m not worried about the Yankees. They’ve been there and done that and they know how to win. I have no question they will end the postseason taking the world series.

    So this post has to do with something I consider interesting in terms of the human nature aspect of baseball. I call this chapter “What a difference a closer makes.”

    Yankee players have talked a lot about the confidence they feel knowing they have Mo to close out their games. What really devastated the Rays when they were the Devil Rays was the bullpen implosions. I think they held the record for both taking leads into the later innings – and blowing games. Imagine how debilitating it has to be for both the starting pitcher and position players to go game after game wondering whether their hard work is going to go by the wayside as soon as the game is turned over to the pen. Obviously isn’t only the Devil Rays who have gone through this. Many teams have found themselves in that position during one season or another.

    I believe that what makes the Rays so potent is not their starting pitching, though it is obviously quite good; nor their offense, which really is nowhere near as good as the Yanks; but quite frankly, their bullpen is sick. When I heard they had added Rafael Soriano as their closer, it suddenly made me think of them as an unequivocal contender. Add to it Balfour, Wheeler, and Benoit, then Sonnanstine and now Qualls (whom I think they will manage to work to their benefit), I think they may now have one of the top pens in the league.

    I still put my money on the Yankees – but I believe the Rays are going to continue to play with a swagger because they likely now “know” that if they can bring a lead to the late innings, there’s a very good chance they are going to walk away with the game.

    For me anyway, it adds a little spice to the season – and I like that. I like seeing my Yankees challenged. If you’re challenged, then you cannot let any kind of lethargy become your constant companion.

    I think that Minny will continue to play with a renewed vigor now that they have acquired Matt Capps (sniff sniff). And I notice that Christian Guzman was traded to the Rangers (sniff sniff). Well, at least both went to contenders. That has to make them feel pretty good I would think.

    (Now we’ll see if Tyler Clippard has closer in him, as the Nats are going to go with closer by committee for a while, and that includes Tyler.)

  59. Doreen August 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Thanks Bronx Born. I miss him, but I understand his absence.

    Well, Good night, all.

  60. Tyler August 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

    m-

    living in st. louis, people are pretty upset about the westbrook deal. i think it came down to the fact that the cards didn’t want to pay ludwick 8 million next year. cards fans now are happy though because they killed the pirates this weekend like that’s a tough thing to do. cardinals fans are the most overrated in baseball imo. 95% of them have no idea what is going on when you go to a game but think they are great fans because they give standing ovations to guys who are barely hitting .220.

  61. m August 2nd, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Tyler,

    The Cards are America’s team. :roll: I can’t stand hearing about how wonderful they are. At least the shine came off of LaRussa a bit with his DUI and postseason failures. I can’t stand hearing about Duncan and Pujols. I don’t believe Pujols is a pure as he pledges to be.

  62. Tyler August 2nd, 2010 at 12:14 am

    m-

    Pujols is a good player but whatever team signs him for 8 years is going to have a play in decline imo. he’s still having a great year but it’s not up to his usual standards and the money it will take to sign him is not going to be worth it. i wouldn’t doubt he did juice at one time. he’s clean now but there have been rumblings of him in college potentially using. never liked larussa at all. he’s just too standoffish for me. always got the same vibes from duncan but the guy does have a great track record of reviving guys careers. anybody who can transform jeff weaver into a guy who in the world series clinching game throws 8 innings of 1 run ball deserves a tiny bit of credit. but all in all, it’s hard to me to go to busch stadium for games because i always get annoyed with the ppl sitting around me. it’s hick central and these people just don’t understand baseball. i had a lady yell in my ear behind me the last time i went complaining rasmus didn’t stretch a single into a double…. the ball was in cory hart’s glove before rasmus even touched first..

  63. BronxBorn August 2nd, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Tyler you should try going to a Rays game at the Tropicana. Were it not for the Yankee fans that go there, no one even knows what a baseball is, plus they have those horrendous cowbells. It is not a pleasant experience, plus their hotdogs are none too great.

  64. Tyler August 2nd, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Bronx-

    lol I bet. I can’t believe these were the first 3 games in arow they have ever sold out. You would think at least their first season in existance they would have sold out a ton of games when it was still a novelty…

  65. m August 2nd, 2010 at 12:25 am

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chic.....id=5428431

    Ozzie not happy again. He makes some good points, but…

  66. m August 2nd, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Speaking of sellouts, I read this interesting article in the print magazine yesterday.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....llers.html

  67. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 12:35 am

    # m August 2nd, 2010 at 12:25 am

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chic…..id=5428431

    Ozzie not happy again. He makes some good points, but…

    —————————-

    I may not like his presentation, but I think I agree with Ozzie here. The interpreter point is pretty dead on, and, on the whole, it seems that Latino players are viewed as a dime a dozen while those from Japan are like rare diamonds. We hear over and over about how Hispanic players are lazy and Japanese players are humble and hard working. Look at Cano, for instance–how many time did we hear that he isn’t trying or he is too nonchalant? It’s a strange situation, but I can’t help but think Ozzie, regardless of the way he goes about it, is making some pretty valid points. Baseball in Latin countries simply cannot be compared to the situation in which the Japanese born baseball players exist. Interesting stuff no doubt.

  68. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Latin players goes to the minors and make 10k a year, while Japanese players are either courted heavily and given huge signing bonuses, or remain in their native country where baseball players are not exactly playing for peanuts.

  69. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 am

    The interpreter point is pretty dead on, and, on the whole, it seems that Latino players are viewed as a dime a dozen while those from Japan are like rare diamonds.

    This is true. Latino players are a dime a dozen, Japanese players are rare diamonds. There is no hugely popular latino league, where latin players are paid appropriately to play baseball, where in the clubs can then post them to the united states. Japan has an established league and the only players who come over are usually superstars/established veterans that want to try their hand at the american league.

    They sign contracts and those often have stipulations.

    Most coaches can speak some spanish, because spanish players have been a part of the game for the better part of 6 decades. No coaches just happen to be speak japanese/korean/chinese.

    Not to mention asian languages are vastly different from western languages, making it hard for the asian players to pick up.

    I think it would be to everyones benefit to have a dedicated spanish interpreter that knew baseball lingo to help guys out. DEFINITELY agree with Ozzie on that, but to compare it to japanese/korean players I don’t buy the comparison.

  70. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Latin players goes to the minors and make 10k a year, while Japanese players are either courted heavily and given huge signing bonuses, or remain in their native country where baseball players are not exactly playing for peanuts

    Latin players are also drafted and acquired as teenagers. Japanese players are 28 or older generally. And established veterans.

  71. m August 2nd, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Interesting stuff to be sure. But there are no parallels in some cases.

    Japanese players must play in Japan until they’re ridiculously ripe. And rich. So when they come over, they’re pretty much ready to play.

    You won’t see any (many) in low A ball. And if you did, you can bet they wouldn’t have translators with them.

    I think most teams have Spanish speaking players and/or staff even if they aren’t necessarily from Latin America. They probably don’t have much personnel that speak Japanese, Korean, or Chinese. Thus, an interpreter is more of a necessity than a luxury.

    As for Matsui, and other players of his caliber, translators are a part of their contract. If a star player wanted a Spanish translator, then I’m sure it could be negotiated. But, that would be ridiculous right? With plenty of players/personnel that speak Spanish.

  72. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 am

    The interpreter point is pretty dead on, and, on the whole, it seems that Latino players are viewed as a dime a dozen while those from Japan are like rare diamonds.

    This is true. Latino players are a dime a dozen, Japanese players are rare diamonds. There is no hugely popular latino league, where latin players are paid appropriately to play baseball, where in the clubs can then post them to the united states. Japan has an established league and the only players who come over are usually superstars/established veterans that want to try their hand at the american league.

    They sign contracts and those often have stipulations.

    Most coaches can speak some spanish, because spanish players have been a part of the game for the better part of 6 decades. No coaches just happen to be speak japanese/korean/chinese.

    Not to mention asian languages are vastly different from western languages, making it hard for the asian players to pick up.

    I think it would be to everyones benefit to have a dedicated spanish interpreter that knew baseball lingo to help guys out. DEFINITELY agree with Ozzie on that, but to compare it to japanese/korean players I don’t buy the comparison

    ——————————

    You know what it is that bothers me most? It’s the baseball culture in Latin countries. Many of these kids are picked up at 15-16 years old and bred to be baseball players. It’s almost like herding cattle. You take a stud, ride it until the point of regression, then throw it aside. I have a lot of respect for Japanese culture and the baseball product that they put out; I can’t help but feel baseball in many Latin countries is more about financial gain for those who discover the player than about the success of the player himself.

    I understand all your points about Japanese players vs. Hispanic players, I think it’s the way they come up that I object to most. It’s not necessary a problem on the major league level, but in the minor leagues and below.

    On a side note, do you think Don Wakamatsu speaks Japanese? I always wondered. I’m not refuting your point that no coaches speak the Asian languages on the whole, I’m just curious whether he is an exception. I know he is Japanese on his father’s side.

    Either way, I think, for once, Ozzie has made an interesting argument. Definitely one worthy of some intelligent discourse.

  73. pistol pete August 2nd, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Really would like to see Joe move Berkman down in the order and take some pressure off him, it also helps Swisher who’s been awesome all year. Why fool with Swisher and why not ease Berkman in.

  74. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 12:55 am

    And I think your point about there being no “popular Latin league” is the problem. Because Japanese players are provided the opportunity to play competitive baseball in their native country and are educated on PEDs and the like, they are, in some respects, at an advantage. While there is no doubting the cultural differences are a distinct problem, I think that from a baseball standpoint, they are provided better opportunities for success.

  75. m August 2nd, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I have a feeling that Don Wakamatsu has the same racial mix that I do. Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s fluent in Japanese unless he spoke it in his home growing up.

    Here’s the thing with the Japanese players, they had a lot of media following them so the interpreter often did more than translate. I think that the Japanese players don’t want to be misinterpreted so to speak. Matsui had an interpreter years longer than was needed. I think he became more of a personal assistant than anything.

  76. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 12:58 am

    The best thing for MLB to do, because they can’t just build about South America into a first world country and make them a league, and is to put more money into the academies. Either make a MLB academy, or give the teams more resources/help creating their own. And then regulate the hell out of them. Get rid of the latin american scouts who skim bonuses and whatever.

    Get a system where kids who want to play baseball can come over and get education and learn baseball. They do that now a bit, but its not well regulated.

  77. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Matsui had an interpreter years longer than was needed. I think he became more of a personal assistant than anything.

    Its a buffer, they can use the translation time to think of an appropriate response.

  78. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Jerkface,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. There are Latin players who speak both languages fluently on almost every team. English is the language of the United States. I wouldn’t expect to move to a foreign country and not learn the language of that country.

    ———————————————————————————–

    I am sorry to hear kids are taken out of school to play baseball if that in fact is true. That is the problem of the countries they come from.

  79. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Most baseball players arent taken out of school to play baseball, they just don’t go to school and play baseball. Its a third world/second world issue.

    Not much MLB can do to help an entire country.

  80. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:04 am

    # Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 12:58 am

    The best thing for MLB to do, because they can’t just build about South America into a first world country and make them a league, and is to put more money into the academies. Either make a MLB academy, or give the teams more resources/help creating their own. And then regulate the hell out of them. Get rid of the latin american scouts who skim bonuses and whatever.

    Get a system where kids who want to play baseball can come over and get education and learn baseball. They do that now a bit, but its not well regulated.

    ————–

    Exactly. The most important thing is that those Latin players who come here to play baseball at 15-16 are not confined only to that. The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that when the player fails, he has no education to fall back on. There simply isn’t enough regulation of the Latin baseball system to ensure that the fringe prospect is provided the same opportunities that those failed American prospects are.

  81. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I believe at a certain very young age you are no longer required to go to school in latin america, so many kids don’t.

  82. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Matsui had an interpreter years longer than was needed. I think he became more of a personal assistant than anything.

    Its a buffer, they can use the translation time to think of an appropriate response

    ———————–

    It’s similar to what the Soviet athletes used to do. They could speak English perfectly, but when it came to dealing with the media, they either needed an interpreter, or simply could not answer the questions asked. It’s a pretty intelligent tactic, especially in a country where the media holds so much power in shaping an athlete’s image.

  83. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:07 am

    HOHOHOetc.,

    The Latino players who make it big can return money to their countries too. Mariano has. Why is it the responsibility of this country to help every other country financially.

  84. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:10 am

    # SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:07 am

    HOHOHOetc.,

    The Latino players who make it big can return money to their countries too. Mariano has. Why is it the responsibility of this country to help every other country financially.

    ———————–

    It’s not. I don’t claim that the US has any responsibility to change the situation, I am only acknowledging that the situation exists. It’s something Ozzie alluded to in his interview and I thought it was an interesting discussion. It’s a sad circumstance to be sure, but I can’t come up with a proper solution. I do think, however, that the MLB has a responsibility to those 15-16 year old kids signed from Latin countries to make sure that they are at least provided the opportunity to pursue other avenues should baseball not work out. I don’t think the MLB does enough to stop the perpetuation of the vicious cycle that starts in Latin countries. Sure, I may be naive, but I just like to think that there is something more they can do.

  85. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:12 am

    But it is not the responsibility of our country, just the organization that chooses to utilize the talents of the players from impoverished countries that mistreat the athletes.

  86. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Well stated HOHOHO.

    I just know that our families all came to this country; many didn’t have an education or speak English and it sort of galls me that in the 21st Century we have to change the rules so to speak. When I am in AZ which is half the year, the problems with the Mexicans is awful. Yet at least the young men who come to play baseball have the opportunity to learn a language and educate themselves further. I have never been a fan of Ozzie Guillen or La Russa for that matter.

  87. m August 2nd, 2010 at 1:17 am

    So, should mlb raise the age limit to 18? Should a high school diploma be required in order to qualify for international free agency?

    How does it work now? You can sign a 15 year old, but when does he come stateside? And what does he do for high school?

  88. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 1:20 am

    How does it work now? You can sign a 15 year old, but when does he come stateside? And what does he do for high school?

    You can sign at 16 and generally you start playing around 17.

  89. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:22 am

    # m August 2nd, 2010 at 1:17 am

    So, should mlb raise the age limit to 18? Should a high school diploma be required in order to qualify for international free agency?

    How does it work now? You can sign a 15 year old, but when does he come stateside? And what does he do for high school?

    ———————

    I don’t have the slightest idea. I think that’s the problem. As in many situations, it is easy to identify a problem, but much more difficult to find a solution. Again, the problem, at its core, is a Latin American problem. When it comes an MLB issue is when they sign these players at such a young age. If the MLB were to either provide these players with an education and alternatives to baseball should it not work out, or refuse to sign players who are beneath a certain age, maybe those in Hispanic countries would be less eager to forgo educational achievements for the athletic. It’s just a sad situation.

  90. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:22 am

    M…

    How are you doing tonight?

  91. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:24 am

    HOHOHO,

    You are right. It is much easier to find the problem and harder to solve it. True with many things in life.

  92. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:25 am

    SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Well stated HOHOHO.

    I just know that our families all came to this country; many didn’t have an education or speak English and it sort of galls me that in the 21st Century we have to change the rules so to speak. When I am in AZ which is half the year, the problems with the Mexicans is awful. Yet at least the young men who come to play baseball have the opportunity to learn a language and educate themselves further. I have never been a fan of Ozzie Guillen or La Russa for that matter

    —————–

    But do they really have this opportunity? I think the vicious cycle is that they focus all their efforts on baseball so that if/when they fail, they are 25 year old minor leaguers with no real prospects for further education. Sure, they might pick up the language, but even a 25 year old American without a high school education isn’t going to go far. Like I said, it’s mainly an issue with the way the Latin American countries develop their baseball players, and that’s what makes the problem so hard to solve. By calling on the MLB to do more for these athletes, I know I’m probably asking too much, it’s just that I find it a shame that so many 15, 16, 17, or 18 year olds are giving up so much for a dream that very well might not become reality.

  93. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:27 am

    # SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:24 am

    HOHOHO,

    You are right. It is much easier to find the problem and harder to solve it. True with many things in life.

    —————–

    Yeah, it’s something that’s pretty tough to think about. Probably the number one reason I simply cannot stomach politics any more. We can all scream and yell about what’s going wrong, but who can really solve it? Thankfully, we have sports to try and take our mind off more pressing issues.

  94. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I just noticed your name since registration. Did you ever write on this blog before last winter?

  95. LGY August 2nd, 2010 at 1:28 am

    “There are Latin players who speak both languages fluently on almost every team. English is the language of the United States. I wouldn’t expect to move to a foreign country and not learn the language of that country.”

    ——————————————–

    A lot of people that move to this country to some degree literally have no use of the English language.

    If you go to many neighborhoods in NYC you will not hear or see a word of English.

    All their friends/family speak their primary language, all the stores/restaurants are in their first language, their jobs, etc.

    Even many children do not even start learning English until they really start their schooling. Many of the pre-school type programs are centered around the “neighborhoods language.”

    And this does not even take into account having the time or resources to learn English.

  96. LGY August 2nd, 2010 at 1:30 am

    no use *for* not not use of

  97. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I was just thinking that politics might enter this conversation. I am not going there. You seem to be young and very bright. I am female and old on this sight.

  98. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:33 am

    The older generation should if it doesn’t try to learn English if they wish to live here. The kids then make fun of parents who don’t in NYC and everywhere else.

  99. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:34 am

    # SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I was just thinking that politics might enter this conversation. I am not going there. You seem to be young and very bright. I am female and old on this sight.

    ——————————–

    I am (relatively) young, but have no desire to talk politics. I’m old enough to have learned that there is nothing to be gained from that. My only point was that because everyone can point out the problems and no one can truly find a solution, there’s no point in creating hostility.

    I have posted on here for a while, under several different names before registration. I chose to make my name completely unintelligible because I find that people tend to treat you differently depending on your sex, age, etc. I feel like people will simply judge what I have to say without any real attachment to the person who may be behind the thought.

  100. m August 2nd, 2010 at 1:35 am

    SAS,

    Doing good. The loss is further away now… :)

    Jerk,

    Thnx.

  101. tyanksfan36 August 2nd, 2010 at 1:36 am

    m – thanks for letting me know it was a ball, I couldnt tell if Arod was arguing with him or just talking to him. Watching him this series was so interesting. He talks to everyone on the field. when the Rays brought in their reliever, Arod was talking the whole time with the Rays third base coach. He also talked to the ump at third.

    As much as I enjoyed the two games I went to(minus the last one), i missed the instant replay that comes with watching it on TV(or mlb.tv) because at tropicana field, they of course only show the great plays that their team makes, not the ones the Yankees make. I had to come home to see all the stuff I missed, like robbies foul ball that they called fair.

  102. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:36 am

    # LGY August 2nd, 2010 at 1:28 am

    “There are Latin players who speak both languages fluently on almost every team. English is the language of the United States. I wouldn’t expect to move to a foreign country and not learn the language of that country.”

    ——————————————–

    A lot of people that move to this country to some degree literally have no use of the English language.

    If you go to many neighborhoods in NYC you will not hear or see a word of English.

    All their friends/family speak their primary language, all the stores/restaurants are in their first language, their jobs, etc.

    Even many children do not even start learning English until they really start their schooling. Many of the pre-school type programs are centered around the “neighborhoods language.”

    And this does not even take into account having the time or resources to learn English.

    ———————

    I live in NYC, and I find this to be one of the most charming aspects of the Italian, Chinese, Indian, and Russian communities. I simply love walking down a city block here and feeling transported to another time and place.

  103. LGY August 2nd, 2010 at 1:37 am

    “The older generation should if it doesn’t try to learn English if they wish to live here. The kids then make fun of parents who don’t in NYC and everywhere else.”

    ——————————–

    If it doesn’t really serve a significant benefit in their lives, why?

    I am not sure I follow the kids making fun of thing.

  104. Lost August 2nd, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Mike Lowell:

    In the end, Redsox didn’t want to see Lowell wind up a NYY. What’s worse is that Lowell has been great for them and they treat him this way. I know it is a business, but there doesn’t come a point where you have to let go for the sake of the players best interest. Mark my words, players will consider how the Redsox treated Lowell in the end.

    Me well, I am a bit disappointed. I have always wanted to see Mike Lowell a NYY from the moment he left us. It would’ve been a great way to finish his career for Mike..

    It’s possible Lowell can still be dealt, but it would be much more difficult for us to get him with others interested.

    You never know tho..

  105. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:41 am

    A person in my life is from Chile. She is in her mid 40′s. She took English classes, watches our TV, and reads books in English. Her children speak perfect English. She told me they make fun of her English which really upsets me.

  106. Lost August 2nd, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Lowell:

    In the end, Redsox didn’t want to see Lowell wind up a NYY. What’s worse is that Lowell has been great for them and they treat him this way. I know it is a business, but there doesn’t come a point where you have to let go for the sake of the players best interest. Mark my words, players will consider how the Redsox treated Lowell in the end.

    Me well, I am a bit disappointed. I have always wanted to see Mike Lowell a NYY from the moment he left us. It would’ve been a great way to finish his career for Mike..

    It’s possible Lowell can still be dealt, but it would be much more difficult for us to get him with others interested.

    You never know

  107. Lost August 2nd, 2010 at 1:43 am

    ?

  108. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I just responded to you and something went wrong. I know and am aware of kids who make fun of their parents who try to speak the language and don’t speak it perfectly. No so nice and yet the kids are good kids, college, the works.

  109. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:45 am

    And yes, it benefits people’s lives when they can leave their little community and be comfortable.

  110. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:50 am

    # SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I just responded to you and something went wrong. I know and am aware of kids who make fun of their parents who try to speak the language and don’t speak it perfectly. No so nice and yet the kids are good kids, college, the works.

    —————————

    I have witnessed this as well. I can’t say I understand it–I find those in my family who struggle to speak English or speak with an accent quite charming–but it exists.

  111. LGY August 2nd, 2010 at 1:51 am

    “I know and am aware of kids who make fun of their parents who try to speak the language and don’t speak it perfectly. No so nice and yet the kids are good kids, college, the works.”

    I don’t know the kids so I am not sure if it is mean spirited in their making fun, but if it is the case that these kids are mocking their parents that seems to be more of a problem with them than the parents.

    Personally, I have seen children joke around in this matter but never in a cruel way.

    “And yes, it benefits people’s lives when they can leave their little community and be comfortable.”

    Isn’t it up to them to decide if this is enough of a benefit to them to devote the time to learning the language and find/be able to acquire the resources to do so?

  112. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Isn’t it up to them to decide if this is enough of a benefit to them to devote the time to learning the language and find/be able to acquire the resources to do so?

    —————————-

    Absolutely. No one should be forced to learn the language if there is no tangible benefit to doing so.

  113. SAS August 2nd, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Have a good night everyone. Let the Yankees have an excellent day tomorrow.

  114. LGY August 2nd, 2010 at 2:06 am

    One more thing then off to bed.

    Coming to a new country and learning a new language while you are working full time + trying to take care of a family is extremely difficult not in just finding the time but having the resources to do so.

    I lived in Italy for 6 months and had quite a bit of free time, but basically just learned the minimum to get by.

    Maybe I just have a block in my brain for new languages though :???:

  115. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 2:08 am

    # LGY August 2nd, 2010 at 2:06 am

    One more thing then off to bed.

    Coming to a new country and learning a new language while you are working full time + trying to take care of a family is extremely difficult not in just finding the time but having the resources to do so.

    I lived in Italy for 6 months and had quite a bit of free time, but basically just learned the minimum to get by.

    Maybe I just have a block in my brain for new languages though :???:

    ————————-

    Haha, I wouldn’t worry about it, I had a similar experience in France while studying abroad, so unless we both have similar blocks, it’s probably just the norm. Goodnight, I’m off as well.

  116. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I lived in Italy for 6 months and had quite a bit of free time, but basically just learned the minimum to get by.

    If you’re not proactive you won’t learn a language. You were forced to learn a little bit, but if you had actually immersed yourself you would have been better off.

    I always thought I had a language block, because I sucked at spanish, sucked at latin, sucked at mandarin, but I’ve been doing really well with Japanese. Its just the motivation to learn and get better.

  117. IIOIIOIIO August 2nd, 2010 at 2:29 am

    # Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I lived in Italy for 6 months and had quite a bit of free time, but basically just learned the minimum to get by.

    If you’re not proactive you won’t learn a language. You were forced to learn a little bit, but if you had actually immersed yourself you would have been better off.

    I always thought I had a language block, because I sucked at spanish, sucked at latin, sucked at mandarin, but I’ve been doing really well with Japanese. Its just the motivation to learn and get better.

    ———————-

    Strangely, Latin was the only language I was exceptional at retaining.

  118. Carl August 2nd, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Didn’t Matsui use a Translator so the Japanese fans could understand?

  119. Jerkface August 2nd, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Didn’t Matsui use a Translator so the Japanese fans could understand?

    He did separate interviews postgame for the Japanese media, but I suppose it could also be interpreted that way.


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