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"Baseball is the only sport with fat players,"

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  • "Baseball is the only sport with fat players,"

    http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/...6861145007.htm

  • #2
    I need to be registered to use that link. Cut and paste it.

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    • #3
      Copy and paste that link into the address bar of your browser dude!

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      • #4
        It doesn't work, but yeah, baseball sucks...

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        • #5
          I forgot you have to be subscribed to the Wall Street Journal to read that article. Here it is, shamelessly w/out permission to reprint:

          Kids Drop America's Pastime;
          'No Longer Exactly Cool'
          By DANIEL COSTELLO
          Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


          Myles Monaghan could almost be the next Alex Rodriguez. He's got a cannon for an arm. He almost never drops the ball. And on a good day, he can knock a pitch clear out of the park. So how come he spent his last few springs playing lacrosse?

          "Baseball is boring," says the 12-year-old Larchmont, N.Y., jock.

          Where have all the boys of summer gone? Busy conquering the latest PlayStation game or just out playing cooler sports, kids are turning away from baseball in record numbers. Nationwide, the average number of children playing America's once-favorite pastime has tumbled nearly 20% since 1997, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Sales of everything from balls to baseball cards are falling. And get this: Even as the kid population has risen 4% in the last five years, baseball has fallen two rungs, to eighth place among youth sports, and now ranks behind skateboarding and volleyball.

          Do your kids play baseball? Participate in the Question of the Day.

          "Baseball is just not as big a part of American kids' life anymore," says Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture at Syracuse University in New York. As Chris Lopez, 13, from Washington, D.C., puts it, "It's no longer exactly cool."

          Raised on video games and MTV, kids today just don't have the attention span for a game that unfolds like molasses. Over time, things like rising ticket prices, longer games and more late-night broadcasts of playoff and World Series games have eaten away at the popularity of pro baseball with youngsters. Another problem: little league rage. Too many kids are turned off by parents screaming in the stands, trying to relive their own glory days. Earlier this year, the suburban town of Scarsdale, N.Y., actually passed a ban on ugly outbursts at youth sports games.


          The end result: In the last five years, the number of viewers under 18 watching the big-league World Series has fallen by over 30%, compared with a 20% drop for the pro basketball finals, and just a 7% dip in viewership for the Super Bowl, according to Nielsen Media Research. In some areas, participation in Little League and other youth baseball leagues is off as much as 15%. Games and even leagues have been canceled because of a lack of players. Those who do show up can lack basic skills, like knowing how to catch pop-ups or swing a bat. "Sometimes I have to explain how many outs there are in an inning," says Chuck Albert, a coach in Dayton, Ohio.

          Eric Kropp, a nine-year-old in Washington, D.C., was never even tempted to play baseball. Rather than bear the summer heat, he prefers to stay home in the air-conditioning watching TV or surfing the Net. In Centerville, Ohio, 14-year-old Kyle Konicki's bedroom is littered with thousands of baseball cards, trophies and posters of many of his favorite players. Though he has been playing baseball since he was five, Kyle now wants to move on to basketball. One of the reasons: "It has cheerleaders," he says.

          Big Losses

          This isn't to say that kids are abandoning baseball wholesale. There are still more than seven million kids chasing fly balls and stealing bases around the country, according to American Sports Data Inc., and the very best players are more competitive than ever -- two reasons baseball summer camps are booming. But even though young players are defecting from other sports like swimming and tennis, rarely has a sport ever lost as many kids as baseball is losing right now.


          The worst hemorrhaging is in sandlot ball and among teenagers, who are deserting the baseball diamond as if it were a Barry Manilow concert. According to a recent study by SGMA, nearly 1.5 million teenagers, or 32% of all players in the age group, have stopped playing baseball in the last four years. Many prefer the pace of more extreme sports like rock climbing or skateboarding. "Baseball is the only sport with fat players," says Elias Gonzalez, 18, of Baltimore.

          Not all of the blame can be laid on attention spans, of course. Baseball is one of those sports that today's parents played as kids; as a result, they feel entitled, even qualified, to heckle Junior about everything from how to bunt to how to slide into third base. In fact, thanks to moms and dads, many communities around the country are switching players as young as 11 onto adult-size fields, because parents think it will help their game. (A typical little league field is 60 feet to first base and 45 feet to the pitching mound; full-size ones are 90 feet to first and 60 feet, 6 inches home to mound.)

          Things have gotten so bad in Los Altos, Calif., coach Larry Petrill has even had to cancel games between his Los Altos Giants and opponents like the Sunnyvale Braves, because there weren't enough players. "This never used to happen," says Mr. Petrill. "There were always enough players."

          Taking a Slide

          None of this is lost on the $600 million baseball sporting-goods industry, which has watched everything from caps to cleats go into a slide over the last few years. Sales of baseballs alone are down 10% since 1996. No wonder companies like Louisville Slugger and Wilson Sporting Goods have been lobbying not only Major League Baseball, but also the government, to intervene. And they have scored a few hits: The league has introduced some inner-city programs, and in December, Congress pushed through a $400 million bill funding more physical-education programs in schools.


          Even President Bush, the former owner of the Texas Rangers -- and the first president to have played Little League -- is getting into the game. In May, he started hosting a widely publicized series of Little League tee-ball games on the White House lawn.

          But it is going to take a lot more than an act of Congress to get kids like Daniel Sullivan out in the infield. The nine-year-old from South Hadley, Mass., was already lukewarm about another season playing shortstop when he decided to defect to another sport. The final straw: He got hit with a pitch a few weeks ago, which knocked him to the ground. "It really, really hurt," he says.


          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          The New Pastimes
          Hot dogs, apple pie and ... lacrosse? With Little League baseball on the outs, we asked a few coaches, parents, youngsters and pediatricians about the draws and drawbacks of new hot sports.*

          Sport Change
          (1993-2000) Comment
          Golf + 8% Forget about being like Mike: Kids today want to be like Tiger Woods. Just don't expect 18 holes to keep them in shape.
          Hockey +24% It's faster, more fun -- and 20% more likely than baseball to result in an injury, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
          Lacrosse +15% Great, if you can afford it and don't mind shoulder injuries. Kids in the South and Northeast are especially into this sport.
          Skateboarding +118% Hot-dogging on a home built ramp is the daredevil's idea of heaven. Other high-adrenaline favorites: rock climbing, surfing and karate.
          Soccer +8% Forget soccer Moms. It's soccer boys and girls who can't get enough of this game.
          Computer/Video games +10%** Kids now spend 11 hours a week online, but not playing virtual baseball. Sales of baseball-related video games are falling.

          * Information compiled from American Sports Data, SGMA, sports associations and International Digital Software Association.
          ** Numbers from 1999-2000
          Last edited by Zhoozhitsu; 06-20-2001, 03:01 PM.

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          • #6
            That article is great ...baseball is horrible.. an embarrasment to athletes that train there bodies to the maximum too
            i really dont get golf either (there is sum fat dudes there too)

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            • #7
              Good post Zhoozhitsu

              I was never into baseball. I think its too slow paced and you don't get a good enough workout I prefer Ultimate Frisbee. My little brother plays Baseball and the parents out there are totaly insane (mine are no exception) their is so much pressure on these little kids to win its pretty horrible.

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              • #8
                I love playing baseball. Sure they are sports out there that might be more fast paced, but it's still a great game. It takes patience, and a higher degree of skill than most other sports. While I agree that most baseball players are out of shape compared to other athletes, but how many basketball or football players could hit a 90 mph fastball or throw 100 pitches a night? Not many. Also, another quality about baseball is it doesn't require a certain body type. In pro football/basketball most atheltes are well over 6 foot 200 hundred pounds. But in baseball, your size doesn't matter, it's your technique (kinda like BJJ). Heck, who is the leader in hits and allstar ballots right now? Ichiro Suzuki......5'8" 160 lbs. So if you don't like baseball, that's fine. But I think people should respect the players and their skills.

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                • #9
                  Most golfers, football linemen, and many front-court NBA'ers are fat bastards. Look at the McGwires, Juan Gonzales's, Sheffields, Delgados, etc. and you will see yoked mutha-fukkas w/out any fat.

                  David Wells is a fat-f*ck, but he is a pitcher, and we all know that pitchers only have to have strong arms and legs...

                  90% of all position baseball players are ripped. Weight training and nutrition changed the game... that article was written by a stupid fukk.

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                  • #10
                    lacrosse rules!

                    It's even more violent than hockey. Canada's national sport. Seriously.

                    -T

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                    • #11
                      Amen EJ!
                      I can't think of anything better to do on a hot summer day than play ball. Yea its boring as hell to watch, I think thats were most people get the idea that it sucks. But to play.........
                      As far as fatasses in ball, true for some pitchers. But most pro outfielders are chiseled.

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                      • #12
                        i guess even though most pro athletes are in shape, technically baseball, golf, football, are the sports that the athlete that could get away with being fat...

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                        • #13
                          In football you can be fat, but you still have to be able to move. In baseball, you can be fat and slow, but still be an all star.

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                          • #14
                            You have to read between the lines gentlemen. Truth be told, the guy who wrote the article probably never had the talent or skill to even make a little league. Now, he's simply lashing out at the greatest sport in the world.

                            I imagine the same holds true for the majority of you that agree with the assumption baseball sucks. "Why didn't they pick me for the team? Baseball sucks!" Heheh ..... Those old wounds from childhood never seem to heal!

                            And of course, the amount of kids playing baseball has decreased. There's a tremendous variety of sports outside of baseball, football, and basketball for the less talented these days.

                            I'm willing to bet baseball/softball in the U.S. still has the greatest amount of participation.

                            Baseball rules.

                            later on gentlemen.......

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                            • #15
                              Though I am not really a fan of Baseball, it is more of a game of skill and stategy than it is of physical prowess. That being said, there are more "in shape" baseball players than there are "fatties."

                              There are many colleges football recruits that were recruited solely for their raw athletic ability and phyical size. Not their talent. This even happens with basketball players due to their height. How many baseball players are recruited by their size or speed? They have to have the talent first and foremost.

                              Baseball players deserve credit for being highly skilled and if theyre in shape, credit for that too.

                              -hD
                              Last edited by hounddog; 06-22-2001, 03:13 PM.

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