Bo Jackson, who along with Deion Sanders was one of the most famous and accomplished two sport athletes of all time, has some advice for Russell Wilson or anyone else who thinks they can play baseball and football: Don’t. Indeed, he doesn’t think he could do it if he came up today. From Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com:
“I probably couldn’t, no,” Jackson said. “Just because the talent pool is that deep now. If my kids want to do both sports – ‘No. No. No.’ … If you try to do both you’re going to be riding the bench in both. You’ll never get to that level that you want to get to if you split your time between multiple sports.”
Jackson says the training is too specialized and intense. The time commitment too great. And most especially the talent pool is so deep that if you don’t focus all of your effort on one sport you have no chance at all.
Which is just another amazing thing about Bo Jackson. In addition to everything he accomplished, he’s one of the few aging athletes who doesn’t think everything was tougher back in his day and the athletes today are too soft and stuff. He’s a regular Herman Jacobs.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.