This post was initially titled “Sunday Readings” but alas, after the TinCaps were rained out in Clinton yesterday, we were unable to post this during the team’s 6-or-so-hour ride back to Fort Wayne. Our bus didn’t have any outlets and our team laptop doesn’t work unless it’s plugged in. Talk about #FirstWorldProblems.
Anyway, here are some things we read during the week that seemed worth passing along…
* Reggie Hayes of The News-Sentinel talked to perhaps the only person in Fort Wayne who knows what Josh VanMeter is experiencing right now: the Komets’ Kaleigh Shrock. Like VanMeter, who graduated from nearby Norwell High School and is now playing for his hometown team, Shrock went to Fort Wayne’s Snider High School.
“When you screw up, everyone knows it,” Schrock said. “But, at the same time, when they’re there, they give you that little extra confidence and keep you more mentally aware of what you’re doing out there. You don’t take things for granted when you’re playing in front of your family.
“That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned in five years: For me, it’s a lot easier to play at home because I know people are watching and I have to make sure I’m at my best.”
The ECHL is different than the Midwest League. It’s almost inconceivable to envision a scenario in which Josh would play for the TinCaps for 5 seasons. Still, it’s an interesting perspective to hear.
* Last week, the New York Times reported on how Major League Baseball has created a diversity task force to address the declining number of African-American players in the game. The number of African-American players in the majors is down to 8.3 percent. Tigers President Dave Dombrowksi is head of the force and has appointed former big league player and manager Jerry Manuel to lead the charge on a daily basis.
Former Fort Wayne Wizard LaTroy Hawkins is quoted on the issue of the lack of college baseball scholarships.
Top-level college football programs offer 85 scholarships, all full rides. Division I basketball programs offer 13 full scholarships, also full rides. Division I baseball programs offer 11.7 scholarships, but those are often divided among many players.
“Kids in the inner city play basketball and football, because they give out full scholarships and parents don’t have to worry about anything,” Hawkins said. “In baseball they give out quarter scholarships. That’s what needs to change.
“In the inner city, you need to get a scholarship because most families can’t afford to send a kid to school, especially when you’ve got more than one. You need to get a scholarship, and baseball doesn’t provide that luxury.”
I have to say, it was news to me DI baseball doesn’t offer more free rides. I also didn’t know that apparently C.C. Sabathia would’ve played football in college (he committed to Hawaii) if not for being drafted high enough out of high school that it made the most economic sense for him to sign with the Indians.
Glad to see baseball being proactive here, though I don’t think it will be an easy problem to fix by any means.
* Speaking of college football… This SB Nation story by Steven Godfrey on “Bag Men” in SEC recruiting is just — wow.
* Also on a non-baseball note… Bill Simmons penned a column about Hoosier-bred David Letterman’s “last great moment.”
* Now, if your’e tired of reading, how about an image that will make your heart melt?
* Ok, finally, again not printed words, but try not to laugh watching Kenan Thompson impersonate Big Papi.
Feel free to share your reading recommendations in the comments or on Twitter @John_G_Nolan. Thanks for stopping by.