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Double-amputee pitcher cut from high school team

 
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 08:58 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:
I never made the basketball team because I was 5'. I wouldn't call that discrimination - just that I wouldn't have been very effective at guarding /blocking, etc.

That is a reality about some sports: at some point your progress is not only related to your skill level, but also your physical capabilities. A really talented 5'10" guard will be a star in college, but be passed over for the pros because there are only a few dozen positions and more than enough 6'4" guards to fill them. I may be giving the coach too much credit, but if this kid could win him games plus be the feel good story of the year, I'm sure he would put him on the team. If he gave him a fair shake and the guy lost out to another pitcher then I admire the kid's effort and the coach's integrity in not cutting the better player (even if that better player is better because of physical advantages.)
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 09:04 pm
@engineer,
I feel for this kid, but...

an 80 mph fastball is not gonna have any college or pro scouts after him.

zero.

he's probably gone as far as his disability is gonna let him progress.

a lot of pitching is in the legs.

I wish him well...
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 07:00 am
@Rockhead,
Is he saying he wants to be a pro, though, or just that he wants to play on his high school team?*

I don't think the only value of playing on the team is as an avenue towards a professional career.

I didn't see anything saying his pitching was a problem -- just the fielding.

*Edit: just looked at the original article, the goal seems to be to play on this team, not to go on to be a pro:

Quote:
"I had such a great tryout and my confidence level was high as it can be and I thought I was on the team, but then when my number wasn't called, I was so disappointed," Burruto recalled. "My all-time dream was to play on the high school team."
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 08:07 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
Is he saying he wants to be a pro, though, or just that he wants to play on his high school team?*[...]

*Edit: just looked at the original article, the goal seems to be to play on this team, not to go on to be a pro:

The ABC article to which Linkat pointed in the original post suggests a notable gap between what Borruto wants and what others want for him.

Borruto wants to play on the high school team. ABC says that "His 80 mile per hour fast ball [...] if not for his condition, could make him a top prospect for the major leagues." (Is that true?) His mother thinks "He's an overachiever. He doesn't have a disability. Not in his mind." (Ya think? How about in his legs? And how does failure to make a team make you disabled?)
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 08:11 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
In addition, let's keep in mind that this is only baseball. The only ability this kid really needs is to chew tobacco and spit it on the field. I don't see how his amputations would get in the way of that.

Don't forget: the ability to stay conscious through enormously long periods of boredom.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  0  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 08:31 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
I don't think the only value of playing on the team is as an avenue towards a professional career.

On the other hand, there is also potential harm in getting sucked into high school sports. My own reaction to watching high school soccer teams in Central Park, is to be put off. High school sports seem to teach students an unhealthy pack mentality: "Remember, your team always comes first". Worse, it teaches resentment and bigotry, even brutality, against opposing teams which often correlate to other ethnicities and races: "Kick her hard, Hephzibah" "You GOTTA take that bitch'z ass OUT, Vaneesha"; "Goalie, you're a Hole-y" (choir shouted after the opposite team's goalie failed to prevent a goal); and so on. Is this really the kind of mentality we want to pass on to the next generation?

I think Americans, on average, put high school sports on a pedestal where it doesn't belong. In the long run, young Burruto may find he's better off without it.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 08:37 am
@Thomas,
I dunno, I think it's one of those things that can be done well or can be done badly -- I don't think the fact that it can be done badly (as I'm sure it is) is enough to tar the whole enterprise.

Sports were extremely important to me in high school. Like, sanity-savingly important.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 08:41 am
@sozobe,
Random-ish article about the benefits of sports:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/as-girls-become-women-sports-pay-dividends/

Excerpt:

Quote:
Using a complex analysis, Dr. Stevenson showed that increasing girls’ sports participation had a direct effect on women’s education and employment. She found that the changes set in motion by Title IX explained about 20 percent of the increase in women’s education and about 40 percent of the rise in employment for 25-to-34-year-old women.

“It’s not just that the people who are going to do well in life play sports, but that sports help people do better in life,” she said, adding, “While I only show this for girls, it’s reasonable to believe it’s true for boys as well.”
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 11:31 am
@sozobe,
my point is this...

he has average pitching skills, and below average fielding ability. 80 mph is not blazing fast...

many of his teammates have dreams of going further with their skills than the high school level. and some of them probably can.

3 guys off of my high school team played professionally. one was drafted #16 overall my senior year, and went on to fame. one became a college baseball star at Wichita state. another never made it past double-A, and returned to work in his dad's shop.

the rest of us went on to be quasi-normal people, but several more used their skills to attend smaller colleges on scholarship.

high school baseball can be serious business...
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 01:51 pm
@sozobe,
I've also not too long ago read a book about girls playing team sports. And the benefits of this later in life. Like Sozobe says if done well, it can be very beneficial. Done poorly, like anything in life, not so much.

It teaches working together, relying on each other, working toward a common goal, the obvious - health benefits, builds confidence - many of these traits are helpful later in life. My opinion being on a sports team keeps many of these kids out of trouble - rather than playing video games, hanging at the mall and worse (drugs and drinking) - these kids are studying and practicing.

I've never seen (in person) where a sports team puts all else in front of the team and winning. All I've experienced encourage school work first.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 02:25 pm
@Rockhead,
Right, I get that.

We don't know how those teammates actually stack up against him, though.

There just isn't enough information to say "the coach is justified" or "the coach is a putz."

From what we do know, either of the following scenarios are possible:

Justified: There were other players who could do a better job than Burruto, on the balance. If he had made the team, then another, more-qualified player would've been cut.

Putz: The coach saw the prosthetics and decided "no way is this gonna work," regardless of Burruto's actual skills (or many variations thereof).

From the video and from Burruto's account of his playing career so far, I think it's quite possible that he had enough skills to legitimately make the team. Not to be the best player, or to get a baseball scholarship, or to become a pro. Just to play on the high school team (which I think has intrinsic value, not just a waystation).

I'm not saying that IS the case, but that we don't seem to have enough info to say it's NOT the case, either.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 03:02 pm
@sozobe,
I think I get what you are saying ....

You are saying it is obvious he is a good enough ball player/pitcher to make a high school baseball team. So it isn't a question of whether he is good enough, but whether he is better than another player that had made the team.

0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 03:22 pm
The coach was right to cut him. My kids high school pissed me off when they let a seriously disabled boy join the band. All he could do was to bang on the drum, and he could not do it with any consistency or rhythm. His inclusion into the band took away from the entire effort, as random drum beats distroyed their sound. "inclusion" has as a doctrine reached insanity levels..here here for people who resist conformance.

Note: What made it even worse is that when this kid became a junior he was promoted from beginning band to the advanced band because it was decided that since no other upper class men were in the crappy band he could not be either because that would be unfair to him.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 03:29 pm
@sozobe,
I take studies like these with a grain of salt. Usually they cheat by demonstrating a correlation and jumping to conclude that they've found causation. But they usually haven't. So, do sports turn students into overachievers, or are coaches just evicting slackers from their teams?

In this case, the authors of the first study at least acknowledge the problem, and seem to have taken steps to solve it. But in the end, they merely claim to have "come closer" to showing that sports cause success, not that they've actually done it. The authors of the second study don't even seem to acknowledge the problem. It's a general problem with statistical data in the social sciences, and this case is no exception.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2011 05:32 pm
@hawkeye10,
yeah, but if it wasn't for these sort of stories, there'd be no movies for sandra bullock Razz
0 Replies
 
 

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