San Diego State University has a proud tradition as a baseball school that produced such illustrious alumni as Tony Gwynn, Tony Gwynn’s son Also Tony Gwynn, Stephen Strasburg, Graig Nettles, Jim Nettles, Mark Grace, Tony Clark, Bud Black, Aaron Harang, Travis Lee, Jim Wilson, Justin Masterson, Dave Smith, and, of course, Al Newman. I’m sorry to say that that tradition, if it has not already been ruined, is in serious jeopardy.
That sounds harsh. These are still kids playing baseball after all, and perhaps they do not deserve to have their talents maligned so. I don’t mean this as a criticism to those players that the Aztecs have recruited, necessarily, who are undoubtedly doing their best with what meager talents they have. But I don’t know how such a fine program could have fallen so far as to recruiting the Jamaican bobsledding team from the 1993 smash comedy Cool Runnings:
I realize they’re running hard out of the box there at the 1:50 mark in that video, but I’ve got them timed at 16.42 seconds down to first base and they’re thrown out by several steps by the center fielder. As long as the game is played on flat, dry land, I don’t see them having much of a future, even at the college level.
Here are other scouting reports on some of the other Aztecs featured:
Lifeguard: Perhaps overly cautious, bordering on tentative on the field and in the bases. Constantly criticizing teammates for playing too rough or running too fast, and will occasionally order all the runners off the bases for 10 minutes so the field can be inspected. Views himself as a team leader but is immensely unpopular with everyone at the park. Baseball is the one sport that does not need a whistle.
Robin Hood: Slick fielding third baseman with great agility and a strong arm. Effective base thief, though often removes himself for a slower pinch runner or someone who hasn’t had a chance to be on base for a long time. Effective leader and recruiter. Questionable situational awareness, will occasionally hit the ball into the air, but where it lands he knows not where.
Facebook App: Seems to be everywhere and is a huge chatterbox on the field. Will not shut up about what’s going on around him, even if it’s unrelated to baseball. Has no ability to self-censor, except in relation to breast feeding infants, which it refuses to talk about for some reason. Great defender of everything but privacy, shouting incredibly personal things about teammates to anyone within earshot as a way of distracting the opponent. Sometimes is really racist and sexist, and it’s super annoying when your mom is on him.
The baby playing third base: Weak bat. Easily drops things a normal person would have no trouble with. Lack of mobility. Fussy and prone to tantrums. Sometimes smells awful. People still love him anyway.
Chargers Cheerleader: Big guns, power bat, washboard abs. Enthusiastic to the point of annoyance, even when things are going well. Clearly the best player on the field. May reignite debate over whether women can play baseball.
As I look back over this article, I wonder now whether baseball wouldn’t be more fun if the base paths were one long bobsled run. Not only could the Jamaicans then participate, but it would presumably cut down on home plate collisions. Food for thought.