FanDuel - WFBC

May 31, 2006

From the Green Monstah to the green flag...: Former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell, who's been tooling around the Florida Late Model Stock Car racing circuit for nearly ten years now, made his debut in the NASCAR-sponsored Craftsman Truck Series Memorial Day weekend, finishing 26th in the City of Mansfield 250.

posted by The_Black_Hand to auto racing at 07:55 AM - 18 comments

Greenwell's comments might give pause to some who think racing doesn't require athleticism. By the way, the field was 36, just in case you're wondering.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:59 AM on May 31

Over/under on races until Greenwell gets ejected: 1.5

posted by yerfatma at 08:11 AM on May 31

Anybody out there who thinks race car drivers aren't athletes, you need to come look at me right now. This is the tiredest I've ever been after doing anything. I just can't trust a baseball player's conception of athleticism.

posted by qbert72 at 08:51 AM on May 31

amen

posted by Debo270 at 09:39 AM on May 31

I'll give you that some baseball players may not look it, (i.e. dmitri young, papi, carlos lee) but the majority are in excellent shape, 6 plus months in a row grinding out games isn't at all easy and takes a huge toll on athletes minds and bodies just like any sport.

posted by mrj171 at 10:08 AM on May 31

grinding out games A typical game for an outfielder: catch 5-8 fly balls, swing the bat 10-12 times, run 90-180 feet on the bases. Aren't most of baseball's injuries aggravated by the fact that the players can never really warm up their bodies? Mind you, I love baseball, and I agree with you that most players are fit, I just don't think athleticism is a requirement to play pro baseball.

posted by qbert72 at 11:30 AM on May 31

What do you consider athleticism, only an athlete can hit a 95 mph heater. How good is your arm, strong enough to throw a line drive home from 300 out to gun down the winning run. Who did you sign with again. Thought so. Same goes for Nascar drivers. Last week they raced 600 miles, 4 hrs and 40 minutes. Track temp was 112 when race started. Thats insane.

posted by hump9n at 11:38 AM on May 31

A typical game for an outfielder: catch 5-8 fly balls, swing the bat 10-12 times, run 90-180 feet on the bases. But the fact that a baseball player doesn't have much of a chance to show off his athleticism doesn't mean he isn't a good athlete. From little league, to high school, to college and pro, usually the top players are also pretty good athletes. Pitchers are often the best athlete on the field in high school, but you're not going to see it at the ML level due to the nature of the position. It's easier in baseball to point a few who get by on a specialized skill or two and say they're not athletes, but on the whole I'd disagree. I would say that being a great athlete gives you an advantage in other sports more so than baseball. Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders... all amazing athletes who couldn't translate pure talent as well in baseball. I always thought that was pretty cool. That's not to say basketball, football, etc. don't take amazing skill. But if you take a fantastic athlete and just throw him into a sport, he/she would have better luck in football/basketball than baseball. It just doesn't translate as well in baseball.

posted by justgary at 11:58 AM on May 31

Somebody quick go ask Barry Bonds, about how athletic baseball players have to be. When a NASCAR driver say's he needs some juice he's actually refering to water or gas!

posted by volfire at 12:03 PM on May 31

I get sick and tired of hearing people say racing is not a sport and race car drivers are not athletes because all thay do is drive a car. That is like saying anyone who can jog can run a marathon. I guess it also means that Lance Armstrong is not an athlete because all he does is ride a bike. Just because you don"t like a sport does not mean it is not a sport. I don't like basketball but I still think of it as a sport. I don't like LaCrosse but I think of it as a city. Ever notice that the guys who say racing is not a sport and drivers are not athletes are the same guys who get winded going from the easy chair to the can , the kitchen and back.

posted by CB900 at 12:04 PM on May 31

It just doesn't translate as well in baseball Agreed. Baseball, while taking an incredible amount of athleticism to compete at the pro level, has an element of refined skill, especially behind the plate, that is not achievable simply by being athletic. In that way it shares elements with, dare I say, golf bowling, billiards, or even curling, where you need to have been doing it for a long time if you are going to be any good at it.

posted by everett at 12:05 PM on May 31

Sorry to have almost brought this discussion to a sport/non-sport level. What's an athlete for me? I'll go with the Wikipedia stub:

An athlete is a person who has above average physical skills (strength, agility, and endurance) and is thus suitable for physical activities, in particular, contests.
I have no doubt most ballplayers are very good athletes, especially pitchers. I just think that it is still possible to play major league baseball without being an athlete. I also believe pretty much the same thing for most sports where accuracy is paramount: auto racing, golf, bowling, curling (good comparison, everett!). On the other hand, I don't think it's possible to be a professional tennisman, cyclist or hockey player (for example) without being a good athlete. That's all.

posted by qbert72 at 01:20 PM on May 31

I think drivers have athletic tendencies - and I agree that it's a sport. I also think baseball players are highly skilled moreso than athletic - but baseball is certainly a sport that can be played by athletes - and clearly is.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:57 PM on May 31

Roll up the windows in your car, turn the heater on as hard as it can go, and drive all day that way. See how in shape you are. Nextel Cup cars or trucks don't drive like the cars we have. That is why the drivers sit so close to the steering wheel. They are just tough to drive. Try a driving experience when you get the chance and you'll see what I mean.

posted by dbt302 at 03:04 PM on May 31

Since it may not have been clear in my previous comments, I actually believe there is more athleticism among race car drivers than baseball players. I just don't accept a sole ballplayer's experience as proof of that.

posted by qbert72 at 04:52 PM on May 31

didn't he go bankrupt at one point????

posted by tommytrump at 09:43 PM on May 31

An athlete is a person who has above average physical skills (strength, agility, and endurance) and is thus suitable for physical activities, in particular, contests. I guess it's a matter of perspective, as that sounds like a baseball player to me. I still think you're penalizing baseball players because they don't have as many opportunities to show off athletic talent. There's a lot of standing around. Baseball is about skill even more than athletic talent. But most major league players have both. How good are the reflexes of a third baseman? To play shortstop well at the major league level takes an amazing athlete. I'd put a true gold glove shortstop against just about any sports athlete you can name. There is definitely places in baseball for players who are not great athletes but very skilled. But you can't brush away the majority with that broad brush.

posted by justgary at 12:48 PM on June 02

There is definitely places in baseball for players who are not great athletes but very skilled. But you can't brush away the majority with that broad brush. And I haven't: I have no doubt most ballplayers are very good athletes, especially pitchers. I just think that it is still possible to play major league baseball without being an athlete. We're basically saying the same thing, as far as I can tell.

posted by qbert72 at 02:05 PM on June 02

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