As an avid Toronto Sports Fan - I spend my time listening to the local sports jocks give their opinion on the state of sport. Sometimes its pretty interesting and sometimes its just BS>
Prime Time Sports is one of the shows I respect - the quality of the journalism is very impartial. So the homer in me is rarely over serviced. I did have an issue with their discussion of yesterday - July 1st - Oh Canada! - The debate centred around how baseball was missing out on the truly great athletes in professional sports because it takes a player so long to make it to the top level. I guess we should bring in the other contributors and mention them, Jeff Blair and Richard Griffin. To local beat writers that I have respect for as well. The consensus was that a player was going to go another direction; football, basketball or track because it takes so long riding the bus to make it to the pros.
The fact of the matter is that hitting a baseball is not like any other activity in sports. It takes more muscle memory than shooting free throws or hitting a put or catching a football. The rare exceptions like the Upton brothers, or Robin Younts or Ken Griffey Jrs of the world are just that exceptions. Many a wonderful athlete has been handed a baseball bat and said - here is your spot - go to it. Drew Henson, Kevin Maas, Josh Booty, Matt Bush, Hensley Meulens, Ruben Rivera, etc etc.
There are so many great athletes that get close to the big leagues and you find out they just don't have the mechanics or technique to hit at the higher levels. The slightest hitch or hump in a swing is revealed when a play faces a 95 mph fastball. Or a great straight change. When a player is rush to the big leagues, he misses many steps that will result in his failing at the higher level. Once a player has failed, it is an incredibly difficult to task to build him back up. To say that every talented young player should be rushed to big leagues is ludicrous. Just so that MLB will have as a good a shot at the high level talent. Baseball is not for everyone - those who love the game will succeed, but not if they are over matched.