Some Things I Read Today

Batting first, the Wall Street Journal tells how Jeurys Familia came to baseball:

He loved everything about the game—how fast it moved, how close he could get to the court when he watched older kids play. Now 6-foot-3, he was always tall for his age, so he played center. But he was an outside shooter, too. He idolized Kobe Bryant.

The logic of switching to baseball was easy for him to understand: Professional basketball teams do not search for talent in the Dominican Republic. Major League Baseball has built a virtual pipeline there. But that didn’t make the transition any easier.

When Familia joined a youth baseball program, he learned two things about the game. The first was that, unlike basketball, it required spending hours under the Caribbean sun. “When I had to run outside, I said, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die,'” he said.

– Brian Costa, “Once in the Paint, now Painting Corners”
The Wall Street Journal

I almost miss the WSJ referring to professional athletes as “Mr. Familia” and such, but I’m glad they dropped that however long ago. Mr. Costa, by the way, is in mid-season form already. With the above and last week’s piece about Mets players’ side jobs, he’s written the two best pieces of the Spring so far.

Surprise, surprise: There’s worry that the Marlins home run . . . thing . . . may be distracting to batters:

The Marlins say the wacky sculpture is positioned in a spot — just to the left of the batter’s eye — where it won’t be a factor. “No issue whatsoever,” David Samson said Sunday. Samson said MLB officials thoroughly checked out the new ballpark on Thursday to make sure it conformed to standards, standing on the mound, checking out all the angles, and so forth.

And even the players say they don’t know for sure whether or not the sculpture could be a potential hitting hazard. After all, they’ve yet to play there. But catcher John Buck said he took a practice squat behind home plate several days ago and thought maybe — just maybe — it might be an issue. And Logan Morrison, a left-handed hitter, stood in the batter’s box to see if he could tell. He couldn’t say for certain.

– Clark Spencer, “Steve Cishek hopes home run structure benefits him”
The Miami Herald

Seriously, this thing needs a name. The Mets had the Apple, the Brewers have the slide, but no one yet knows what to call that home run thing the Marlins have built in center field. It’s talked about as if it were some grotesque, ineffable monster from a 1950s movie, “The Blob” or “The Swamp Thing,” something like that. It’s the perfect representation of the Marlins: ostentatious, expensive, unnecessary, tasteless, and potentially awesome but probably just annoying.

And with that, I believe my distaste for the Marlins has already surpassed that for the Phillies.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Some Things I Read Today

  1. sorry patrick this has nothing to do with the articles you posted but I need to vent. So I was all excited to buy tickets for opening day this morning, but this new “dynamic” seat pricing reeks of desperation…yeahh I might pay over $100/ticket for left field reserve….are you kidding me!? I guess i have to wait for a week before opening day (when the Mets begin to realize they aren’t going to sell out that day) to buy the same seats for half the price…

    • Patrick Flood

      Interesting. I haven’t looked at the new pricing model yet, but . . . okay, when I buy clothes, for example, I don’t think I’ve ever purchased an article of clothing at face value. I wait for sales. (And if it never goes on sale, I never buy it.)

      Basically — and I assume this is the way stores work — some people are willing or able or both to buy things for full price, and other people (like me) have to wait around for the deals on the leftovers. Everyone eventually gets what they want, or something close enough. You just have to be willing to exchange patience for actual money. Same idea here, I assume. Dynamic pricing lets the Mets first sell tickets to the affluent and/or impatient at a premium. Then the less-affluent and/or patient can snatch up whatever is left as gameday approaches.

      Somewhat related, I read “Thinking, Fast and Slow” a couple of weeks ago, which I recommend. Cool book. Anyway, somewhere in there, the author recounts a study that indicated patience was an excellent predictor of future intelligence among little kids (five year olds, something like that) — or that the two (patience and intelligence) are really manifestations of the same thing.

      So if you’re patient buying your Mets tickets, it’s probably a good reflection upon you.

  2. I see, ill have to check that book out in my spare time although my reading list is swamped with stuff for my lit as film class..who’s the author?

    Another thing that kind of stinks if i understand the pricing correctly, is that say the mets are doing their usual thing where they stay close to the WC race until july/august…the mets have a good road trip and are coming home for a series against the pirates (or some other bad team). under the traditional pricing model, this would’ve been a great time to buy tickets to a game, as the mets would be doing well and you could get a cheap seat because all the seats had set values based on their gold/silver/bronze dates (pirates and bad teams were always bronze days). But now it seems that the mets can just jack up prices whenever their is any sign of life at citi…I dunno, it just really really rubs me the wrong way.

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