Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bunch of sissies?

I've always felt that soccer players were superior athletes. It's one thing to kick a ball with accuracy and know the game and all that, but the amount of running and fitness levels soccer players need to compete at the professional level is insane. Watch one training session and you will know just how hard soccer players work.

I suppose that's one of the reasons why I've soured on baseball in recent years. There are a lot of issues that plague the sport, including steroids and overpaid players and all that. Or maybe I've soured on it because the Dodgers have fucking sucked for years. But baseball players in athletic terms just don't compare to soccer players. They don't. Some (many?) probably do, but overall soccer is a much more demanding sport than baseball. Yes, it's hard to throw a ball 60 feet, 6 inches and it's even harder to hit it. But the ability to throw and hit isn't necessarily based on a person's athletic prowess.

Anyway, I was reminded of the fragility of some baseball players by a recent pair of injuries. On Monday, Red Sox pitcher Bartolo Colon hurt his back swinging a bat and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Over the weekend, Yankees pitcher Ching-Mien Wang partially tore a ligament in his foot running the bases.

Maybe those are freak injuries that have little to do with the player's fitness levels (although Colon's gut probably contributed to his injury). But I suppose it just serves to remind me of just how fit soccer players have to be in order to compete at the highest level.

21 comments:

Beax Speax said...

To quote a friend who saw her first Galaxy game live a few weeks ago: "Damn those guys run a lot. There's no fat guys out there."

Didn't some MLB player get hurt getting out of a Lazy-Boy a few years back?

I would never begin to compare fitness levels of baseball players to soccer players. But, I can see why it would be relatively simple to get an injury: long periods of standing around doing nothing, then suddenly having to run full speed for five seconds...my hamstrings hurt just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

LB: GO GIANTS!!!

No seriously, I have soured on baseball over the years as well for a lot of the same reasons.

The game is really slow and I appreciate that aspect but what has happened over the years is the game has become so inflated at all levels: corporate, player salaries, cost of attending...

I personally would rather spend my time and money on a league and sports that is trying to become something.

Worst experience I have ever had a sporting event was box-seats a few rows from the field at Safeco Field. It was worse than being at a library. Lame.

Mon-sewer Paul Regret said...

It's funny you mention this. I have season tix to both Giants and Earthquakes, and my son is a baseball nut but not much for soccer. Still, he came with me to the LA-"San Jose" match on the weekend, and yes, he was impressed by the athleticism necessary to play soccer, as opposed to baseball. But, in reference to the title of your message, he obsessed with what, for lack of a better term, I'll call the "bunch of sissies" angle. Every time a player hit the ground and rolled around like he was shot, or grimaced like he was going to cry, or lay there like he was dead, my son would say "why do they do that? These guys are ..." well, he used a different word than sissies, but the point was the same.

J said...

Andrea,
I you do a great job with this blog, it could be very big in the future. But you should do your best to follow established print standards and refrain from profanity as it makes the blog look very unprofessional

Still a fan

J

Tommy said...

Um, J...this is an entry by Luis, not Andrea

Besides, it's just a word. Being from Canada, i've sat in seats behind the glass where you can hear everything...i've also sat close enough to the pitch to hear what these footballers say. I think my favourite moment was Shalrie Joseph v. The Goats...oh man, hearing all the stuff he said was funny!

A.C. said...

Luis and I don't get paid to write for this blog. If it's going big, it hasn't happened yet, and if we can't be honest and be ourselves, then there's no point to doing the blog, because it's not making any money.

And yeah, it wasn't my post, but the Dodgers HAVE fucking sucked for years.

J said...

Andrea and Luis,
I was just giving you what I felt was good advice. You have a very professional website with lots of great content. Why turn off potential readers for no reason. I am no prude, but I know how offensive words can be to some.

Anyway, it is your blog, but I assure you that there is little to gain from alienating readers

Anonymous said...

I'm always perplexed at how easy pro baseball players get hurt.

As far as soccer athletes, in this country anyway, they do have a reputation for being soft. Players tend to come from upper middle class backgrounds and are the kids who don't like to 'get hit' as would happen in football. So, they gravitate toward soccer.

teh phil said...

To be fair, those are American League pitchers who injured themselves playing by National League rules (no designated hitters). Their bodies just aren't conditioned for that TYPE of athleticism. That would be like criticizing a soccer player for not being able to throw 100+ pitches at 90MPH in the span of an hour or two.

Baseball players and soccer players simply condition themselves differently and any suggestions of one's superiority to another is simply opinion.

Of course, there ARE the TRULY out of shape baseball players (mainly AL designated hitters) but there are out of shape soccer players too (*cough* Pavon last year *cough*)

Anonymous said...

i've played every sport imaginable and baseball was by far my best. i played some pro ball too. i love soccer as well but i totally disagree with this statement "But the ability to throw and hit isn't necessarily based on a person's athletic prowess." do you have any idea how much energy and power is spent in one major league swing. do you have any idea how hard it is to throw a ball as hard as you can 100 times a game. like the last commenter said it's two different sports and two different forms of athletes. as much as maybe a major league shortstop can't run for 90 minutes kicking a ball. a world class midfielder couldn't hit a major league slider. shit he couldn't hit mine 10 years after i last threw a ball. and luis shame on you.

Anonymous said...

and they play 162 games in a span a of a few months. trust me it's not easy. no major sport is easy no matter what it is.

A.C. said...

I've got to agree with Luis here - good hand-eye coordination is talent more than fitness. It's like having perfect pitch. It's a matter of timing in many ways. That's why baseball athletes can often be overweight - lean, mean athleticism isn't always essential to their sport. It's not whether or not a midfielder can hit a home run, though. It's about whether or not a person respects that there's no way a good midfielder can go 90 minutes and carry a gut - versus a guy who can swing a bat well enough to not worry so much about fitness.

Anonymous said...

i thought luis was talking about athleticism and not pure fitness. that's two whole different stories in themselves. but like i mentionied that's two different sports. there will be many people who will argue that a soccer players fitness does not compare to a running backs fitness. he has to run with the ball while being tackled by 300 pound men. what i didn't like was luis's title and the ridiculous comparison of two sports that some sports writers make. soccer is soccer and baseball is baseball and will never expect athletes to be able to cross over and be world class in both. i mean it makes no sense a 5-3 guy who ways 130 pounds can be a world class soccer player but he wouldn't be able to make a JV high school baseball team. and visa versa i don't expect a 6-5 300 pound guy making any soccer team. but the athleticism it takes to hit a ball that's moving sideways and going faster than we drive is intense. it takes years i mean years and years to master that. it's the reason you don't see teenagers in the major leagues. the average of a rookie is in the mid twenties. now if your talking pure fitness then yeah soccer players are more fit but if your talking athleticism i totally disagree. ask anyone who has played both sports a non-athlete would never be able to hit a ball, make a diving catch, throw a guy out with pinpoint accuracy from 250 feet away and steal second base in under 3 seconds. by the way as a pitcher we had to run at minimum 4-5 miles in practice so we were fit. so yeah colon might look big but i bet anyone he can run for miles and miles because he has to throw 100 pitches a game.(that's fucking hard!)if you guys want to keep arguing the pure "athleticism" comparison go right ahead cause anyone who actually played any sport at high levels will argue against you. fitness i give you but not athleticism.

L.B. said...

Fair enough, but I never said baseball was easy. It's a demanding, grueling sport, at least MLB is that way.

Anonymous said...

guys, I wouldn't worry about the swearing...this will lead to bigger things, like the Canales Corner - X rated...

Riogali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rwill said...

Skills in soccer: vision to read plays, awareness, dribbling, passing, and the weight of passing and kicking. That takes time to develop. Vision is the most import skill, without reading the players you will not stay long in soccer. I believe Americans have a problem with vision and passing that’s why we are not in the top flight in the world. We are just a top 25 team. But that’s okay because we have room to improve. As for baseball it is not that interesting anymore. I use to love watching and playing it growing up, but the last 5 plus years it has distant itself from there fans. Who likes to watch steroid users dominate a game, and you know I don’t need to bring up who they are. And the commissioner, good old Bud, does not get why fans don’t like him, the owners, or the game. The owners need to reinvent the game. Every season it’s the same old song seeing the Yankees on top every year. I celebrate when Yankees don’t win the pennant, all that money wasted on overrated talent. Anyway the true sport of the game is at college level for baseball, there you see players play for the love of the game, or close to it. Soccer, as of right now, you see MLS developing into a sport that has room to grow. Baseball needs to do something more then miss managing the sport.

Anonymous said...

I'm no saint when it comes to occasionally using some colorful prose, but I have to agree with the other couple posters. The profanity may indeed offend some. With the professional body of work you two have compiled over the years, it is a little surprising to see in print. Hey, but it's your dime, blog, and your rep, right? Just my opinion...

El Fer said...

rwill,

You may be stuck in the past here, friend. The Yankees haven't dominated their division in quite some time, but I do agree that the direction baseball has taken as of late has alienated some fans. Amazingly enough, attendance continues to set records each year.

I believe it's too much of a pastime for many of us that gets passed down with each generation. With that said, I don't think it's going to be overtaken by soccer anytime soon.

The main problem, however, is the escalating salaries due to a players union that's taken the league by hostage. Like my comment on the draft in Mexico, this is the other extreme that the NFL has managed to avoid, and that the MLS (if it ever becomes that profitable) will have to avoid as well.

Also, I'm surprised that people are still shocked at profanity. In a blog of all places! Oh noes! You've upset the Utah...nites, Utahnians, Utahans?

Peteopolis said...

I'm not going to compare the differences between soccer and baseball, but there is just two things I'd like to throw into the mix.

1. "But the ability to throw and hit isn't necessarily based on a person's athletic prowess."

I'll bet any baseball player can kick a size 5 soccer ball towards a net, but can any soccer player hit a 9 inch baseball with a piece of wood?

In retrospect, can a baseball player run up and down a field for 90 minutes and score one goal? Probably not. Can a 9 man soccer team play 9 innings of baseball with allowing the opposing team to score 1 run? Probably not?

Easily said, 2 different sports, 2 types of conditioning, and 2 different ways of playing the game.

2. You mention the fragility of players and freak accidents with Bartolo Colon and Chien-Mien Wang. I'm not into soccer, but wasn't the great David Beckham sidelined for awhile for different injuries? How did that work out for the Galaxy? Players get hurt (although Bartolo is an exception, simply because he sucks), and we as fans have to deal with it. We can compare sports all day, but can a soccer team play 90 minutes of soccer in polyester pants?

Sharlotte said...

Pure Fitness on your blog. It is very interesting. personally, I think the company is great. I browsed the web site of the company and found lots of interesting and useful. I have not yet made any orders from the company, since on www.pissedconsumer.com I found a large number of negative reviews about the company and its products and services. Take care of your health persistently and do not save money on beauty.