Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another one bites the dust

It seems like it is hunting season on pitchers....Remember Elmer Fudd when he would say: "Shhhh....I am hunting for wabbit..."? Well, it is not Elmer who is taking down these pitchers. It is overuse of their arm and returning to play too soon. Such a pitcher had the Tommy John surgery. he was almost ready to come back, but in his excitement, he rejoined the team before he was completely rehab'ed... he is out indefinitely....Now the team is down to 12 pitchers for the season since another player is academically ineligible....

Let's consider this issue....You have been invited to play ball on a college team. The world has opened up to you. You are given a place to stay and food, very cool uniforms, equipment, and a state of the art stadium. You will play all over the country and be on television. Your needs will be met by other people who are trained to take care of you and your body. All you have to do is go to class and study and keep your grades out of the basement. That's it....oh yeah...and go to practice.

However, there are a few guys who feel entitled and therefore party all night and skip class. That, my friend, is a recipe for disaster. The reality is that the kids have an adviser who knows the "athlete-friendly" professors. All a kid has to do is go to class...sleeping with the head on the desk is optional. Why, oh why, would a person screw this up? Granted, I like a party or two or three...but really, if my livelihood or scholarship depended on me just showing up at a class a few times a week, I think that I can pull myself out of bed, flatten my hair, throw on some sweat clothes, and drag myself to my Algebra II class.

The professors actually like having the athletes in class. This week, Buddy was called out by his business professor as he told the class how well he pitched and that he was going places (I don't know where...but he is going). This was the first time a professor acknowledged that he was an athlete. Although last year, he took a mandatory class on "how to talk to the media". ...Yes, a three credit course on how to be a college athlete. Even a course like this, the big kid earned a "B". Then he had a class taught by his baseball coach...I think that he earned an "A" in that one. nevertheless, he showed up for the classes even though he would have preferred to stay in bed...why? Because, he would fail and be ineligible. Honestly, baseball is the reason that he is in college...without it, why bother?

Caustic? You may ask? Nope, it's the truth. Granted, if he did not make the teams, then he would be at a college taking business and preparing for life in a suit. But with baseball, options are limitless...even if he does not make the majors, he is still making some contacts that he can use when he finally graduates. The way that I see it is that he desperately wants to stay involved in the sport. College is instrumental in helping him to achieve his recommendation is to go to class and open the book and perhaps read it. Learning can be open doors to the world. Therefore, get your bodies out of bed and to class...NOW!

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