October 14, 2022

Twitter Can Be Good, Sometimes

Weighing the impact of a website like Twitter is difficult. It has brought a lot of good to the world, and a lot of bad. But as a sports fan one thing I love is the ability to connect directly with professional athletes. I think players really underutilize it, actually. If players used it to do more than build their brand or shill for Corporate America, they could do a lot of cool things, like Brewers All-Star Christian Yelich did this week. 

In Wednesday night’s Game 2 of the NLDS, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw got San Diego’s Jurickson Profar to swing at a curveball that bounced about ten feet before the plate.  

I mean, that is honestly one of the worst swings I’ve ever seen. Look at this picture:

I think it might actually be the worst. It’s so terrible it’s hard to believe. I know that a lot of guys go up there guessing, but Kershaw doesn’t throw that hard anymore – barely cracking 90 MPH this season, on average. That’s slow enough, relatively speaking, that a professional hitter should be able to avoid looking as bad as Profar did there. But then I saw this Yelich tweet.

I’ve never seen a curveball like Kershaw’s obviously. I’ve never stood in the box for 90 MPH, either. So that’s pretty interesting – a spiked curveball starts out so much lower than a normal curveball that it starts at the same plane as a fastball. Makes sense, is simple. But without Yelich to explain it, I can’t understand how Profar can swing at that pitch. Thanks, Yelly! -TOB

Does Anything Beat a Proud Grandpa?

I love this video, lol.

Players Love Postseason Swag

This is a short article, and kinda goofy, too. But I still enjoyed it. Here’s the lede:

Francisco Lindor will make $341 million over 10 years with the Mets, but he cannot buy the thing he most covets. A World Series ring, sure. But also a World Series sweatshirt.

That’s pretty funny, but as various Mets players explain it, I get it:

Brandon Nimmo:

“It’s like if you’ve ever had a cup of coffee in a really beautiful place. You’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this cup of coffee is so amazing!’ If I had it back home it might be the same old coffee, but because of the circumstances that are around it, it’s awesome.”

Pete Alonso:

To be able to earn that patch that says postseason, earning that postseason patch on your hat—that’s sick. It’s awesome getting new stuff, but to be a part of something that you earned even though it’s as simple as having a postseason patch or whatever—we earned that. We earned that privilege to have that on our jersey. We earned [the chance] to be able to have that new stuff that not everyone’s getting. It’s almost like a rite of passage.”

This makes perfect sense. Plus, as Lindor says – they’re human. New stuff is fun. And so was this article. -TOB
Source: Baseball Players LOVE Their Playoff Merch,” Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated (10/06/2022)

2 Percent

Some of you might remember Myron Rolle. He was the Rhodes Scholar and a 3rd team All American safety at Florida State. He was a late-round daft pick, but never got into an NFL game. After being let go by the Steelers, his was having a hard time coming to terms with where he was in his career and pursuit of a dream. That’s when his mom stepped in.

Per Elena Bergeron:

Showing him his grade school notebook, where he had written both goals, “she looked me straight in the eyes and pointed at the first one,” he recalled. “She said, ‘This one’s done.’ And she looked at the second one and said, ‘Now, we need to do this.’”

Today, he is Dr. Rolle, and at 35, he is in the sixth year of his neurosurgery residency at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. “Those words of encouragement, her belief in me, her thoughtfulness, her disposition during that moment was just what I needed, just what I needed to move forward to the next chapter in my life,” he said.

Good work, Mom Rolle.

There’s another bit from Rolle that I found inspiring. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but I like the idea of it. He was taught the 2 percent philosophy from a college coach, which he still applies to his all aspects in his life. As Rolle explains it:

Can you be 2 percent better than you were yesterday? You can if you take small steps every single day toward a larger goal. It helps me make more sense of the challenges, the tasks, responsibilities that I have.

Learning how to open up a craniotomy, learning how to put diapers on your newborn kids and be a better attentive husband, all these were tasks that I wanted to accomplish. Any goal, short or long term, doesn’t feel daunting or debilitating. They feel manageable. I appreciate and I pat myself on the back for the small gains, the small wins that I get every single day. It’s a rush of dopamine in my limbic lobe that says: “You’re doing right. This is a reward for doing well.”

Rolle’s story is another chapter in the “It’s Never Too Late” interview collection from The New York Times. I encourage you to peruse all of the essays.

2 percent? We can all do 2 percent better today, right? Let’s go! – PAL

Source: “It’s Never Too Late to Pivot From N.F.L. Safety to Neurosurgeon,” Elena Bergeron, The New York Times (10/11/22)

TOB: I have often wondered what happened to him. Great read!

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Kramer: Boy, I really miss the Bermuda Triangle.
Newman: I guess there’s not much action down there these days.
Kramer: Oh, there’s action. There’s plenty of action. It’s that damn alien autopsy stealing all the headlines.
Newman: Yeah, tell me about it.
Kramer: See, what they gotta do is lose a plane or a Greenpeace boat. See, that would get the Triangle going again.
Newman: What keeps the water in there? I mean, why doesn’t that disappear?
Kramer: Now, what would be the point of taking the water?
Newman: It’s gorgeous water. Do we own Bermuda?
Kramer: No, it belongs to the British.
Newman: Lucky Krauts.
Kramer: So what do you think of that alien autopsy?
Newman: Oh, that’s real.
Kramer: I think so too.