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Patrick Newman

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Three Quotes That Changed the Way I Think About Baseball

by Patrick Newman (Apr 21, 2010)

Rather than post something about the news tonight, I thought I'd share a couple of insights that affected my view of baseball. I doubt the audience here will consider these revelations, but maybe they will lend some insight into why I write about what I write about.

1. When I was about 14 or so, my dad repeated to me something he had heard in an interview with Chad Curtis: "in baseball, you have to think about the process". And I guess that that was a concept I sort of got prior to hearing that, but that was the first time I had heard it articulated so succinctly and it just stuck. Remember I was about 14 when I heard this.

2. A few years later, I was reading the letters section of Baseball America, and someone wrote in calling some prospect a bust. BA's response was, and I paraphrase, "what do you mean he was a bust? He reached 3A and got hurt." It dawned on me then that playing 3A is actually a sign of a pretty good playing career.

3. This last one is the only one I don't have to paraphrase. John Sickels on former Cubs prospect Brooks Kieschnick: "In an alternate universe somewhere, the Cubs let him play in '96 and '97 and he ended up having a decent career." I've always enjoyed John's work, and his prospect retros are an elegant way of pointing out that every player needs a chance in order to be successful.

I've spent nearly my entire life to this point learning about baseball, and I think most of the knowledge I have has been accumulated over time. But these three 'ah-ha' moments stand out as things that immediately affected the way I look at the game.

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