Joe Posnanski has a blog post up about "Trouble With the Curve" and why, while it is a lousy movie, it is an exceptionally lousy baseball movie.
Which wouldn't be a big deal, except it also includes a digression which turns out to be an Andres Blanco story I'd never heard before. I have a soft spot for Andres Blanco.
Anyway, the anecdote:
But here's the point: If you want to celebrate a scout, why wouldn't you have him NOTICE all these things. This gets at the very heart of what scouts do. They watch the games. They talk to the players. They learn all about the families. They listen to the fans. If you are doing a whole movie about what scouts can tell you that computer can't -- this is very crux of the argument. One of my favorite scout stories involves a scout in Venezuela who saw a kid play. He was too small, he was too slow, he couldn't hit a lick. But the scout loved him, loved him because he had these beautiful soft hand, the ball just stuck to his glove, velcro, and he had this marvelous arm and this wonderful attitude. The scout kept following around the kid -- there was something about him.
He called the GM personally to plead the case. He said he only needed $5,000 to sign the kid. $5K. It was nothing. The GM said no. Kid can't run. Kid can't hit. Who cares about soft hands? The scout said, "Fine, I'll put up the 5K myself and prove you wrong." The GM was impressed with that and he liked the scout a lot and he said, "OK, fine, you can have 5K."
The player turned out to be Andres Blanco -- not a star, certainly, not even an everyday player. But the guy got 654 plate appearances in the big leagues, made some dazzling defensive plays and was one hell of a deal for $5,000.
Anyway, I almost didn't read this post, because I've already read Keith Law and Grant Brisbee savage the movie, and knew the issues with it, but I'm glad I did because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have read this.
Miss you, Mister White.