Re: Is it possible the Pats deliberatley tanked the Ravens' game to avoid the new final-8 F/A rule?
posted at 1/15/2010 1:05 AM EST
That reminds me of my half-brother's troubles playing college baseball. He was so good that he was benched...at two teams, no less. He was the Southern California Little League All Star MVP, i.e. the best player out of 38,000 kids. He got a scholarship to Santa Clara and the coach kept him on the pine all the time. Why? To build a championship team around him as a junior and senior. For example, he got to play in this one game: First at bat, HR. Second at bat, HR. Third at bat...benched. The coach knew that if he hit three or more HRs, MLB scouts would flood my bro with offers. Bye, bye championship team-building.
So my brother, James Eidam, transferred to U.F. and got another fat scholarship. What happens? That coach benches him for half a season before my brother - who is an all around nice guy and super popular, not high-maintenance - meets with the coach to express his frustration of transferring for a chance to play only to be benched again. The coach caves and puts my bro in games that week. By the end of the week my brother had a game in which he hit a HR, then a double, then a triple, then a walk. Everybody is watching to see if he hits the cycle. He doesn't - he hits another HR. U.F. batting record. He hit the longest HR ever at U. Miami's park - 570 ft. He also hit a HR to center field at U. F. that sailed over a road, over a dorm building (Tobert Hall) and into the building complex's quad, probably about 600 ft. Here is a Google map view: http://maps.google.com/
, then search for "Stadium Road, Gainesville, FL". Look at that distance! The announcers claimed it was the longest HR they had ever seen hit in any game, anywhere, at any level. If you view the map you will see why.
And wouldn't you know, in his senior year he got hit by two fastballs to the hand in the first week of the seasono and had nerve damage that affected his swing for at least half of the season and thus ruined his B/A. Pro scouts never got to see him shine the way he was made to do it. They saw the injured guy and his misleadingly diminished stats. He got better at the end of the season, but it was too late. See his stats here - http://www.gatorzone.com/baseball/history.php#16
Ironically, he and his fellow seniors got blacklisted to MLB scouts by Coach Lopez, successor to the coach that had benched my bro, after they only
finished third in the NCAA College W/S, and because he and those players would not convert to devout Christianity for Lopez.
Because of these selfish coaches my brother never got to the big leagues, even though he was All-American, led U.F. in HRs and slugging in his junior year and still had a very good year with his injury as a senior. Despite the injury, his lifetime U.F. slugging %age was 45 points higher than the next best guy on the team, his friend David Eckstein, who did not get blacklisted and ended up a World Series MVP for the Cardinals.
My point is that coaches do indeed not always try to win games, if it serves a greater purpose, even at the cost of the players, like my bro.