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The Tampa Bay Rays play "liberal arts baseball"

May 20, 2010, 9:18 AM EDT

University Hall Ohio State.jpgAs evidenced by the deconstruction of the limping and wounded New York Yankees last night, the Tampa Bay Rays have taken their place as the new beasts of the AL East.  And, even though the delivery was muddled and aggravating, Chris Berman and Rick Sutcliffe’s multiple mentions of the Rays’ arrival as the new class of baseball and their all-around excellence last night were well-taken.

Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan has a much more lucid take on the same subject this morning, and Joe Maddon had something interesting to say about the well-rounded nature of his Rays’ squad:

“It’s more of the liberal arts form of playing baseball,” Maddon said.
“It’s not just about power or just about speed. You really want to be
able to do all those different things. I want us to be able to play
every component of the game well. That’s what we preach.”

Liberal arts baseball. As a liberal arts undergard I like it! Beats those “Renaissance man” cliches anyway. It’s something all of us liberal arts people can all be proud of.

That is, at least until the Rays wake up one day, realize that they have no marketable skills and apply to law school.    

  1. Rays fan - May 20, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    “That is, at least until the Rays wake up one day, realize that they have no marketable skills and apply to law school”…or med school.
    Nothing worthwhile to add, just enjoying the moment.

  2. BC - May 20, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    Or they go to the Dark Side…. Marketing! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

  3. Jimmy Marlins Fan - May 20, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    i root for the rays not because im originally from florida but because they make the sox and yanks look average to bad…
    in interleague however…i hope we feesh smoke some rays and make for some dark days in tampa

  4. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - May 20, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    I liked Craig’s twitter response better:

    So they’re gonna act smug for four years and then go to law school?

  5. ecp - May 20, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Liberal arts majors actually do have marketable skills, the first of which is the ability to ask, “Do you want fries with that?”

  6. KR - May 20, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    My wife went to engineering school, worked for a few years, and then went to law school. One of her complaints about law school was all the other students who were liberal arts majors and then went straight into law school without doing any real work.
    (No point to this, really, just while we’re posting law school anecdotes…)

  7. (Not That) Tom - May 20, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Liberal arts majors have more skills than that; it’s more like “will you like a venti or a grande?”

  8. Jonny5 - May 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    So would the Cards be Law majors with all their “unwritten laws” whining? Would the Royals be taking nothing but electives? The Mariners of course would be lazy and not living up to their potential. I think the Rays calling themselves liberal arts majors is way off, because if that was the case they’d be drawing a larger home crowd through good advertising and promotions. I hate cow bells btw ,what type of liberal arts major uses that as an attraction? I’d see more people driven away by that nonsense in their ear all night. Ridiculous.

  9. ecp - May 20, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    And “Can I start you off with something from the bar?”

  10. Grant - May 20, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Don’t forget PhD’s in the same useless liberal arts they did undergrad work in. Gotta keep the cycle rolling.

    On this note, how about we come up with the baseball equivalents of the trivium and quadrivium?

    The five traditional tools probably belong in there somewhere – Maybe call the (more) athletic-based tools the trivium – Speed, power, and throwing. Then the quadrivium can be something like plate discipline, fielding, hitting for average, and, i dunno, “fundamentals,” or something.

    Alternately, I guess, you could do “old player skills” as the trivium – power, plate discipline, and, I dunno if I can come up with a third. So maybe that doesn’t work. Maybe do something with one of the groupings reflecting run prevention skills and the other reflecting run scoring skills? I’m open to suggestions.

  11. 3LT - May 20, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    “That is, at least until the Rays wake up one day, realize that they have no marketable skills and apply to law school”
    So that means the Rays, three years hence, will have soul crushing debt and the same barren wasteland of a job market? The Tampa Bay Rays: Now Also Bartending on Weekends!

  12. smsetnor - May 20, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    As a recent (Last 5 years) liberal arts graduate (history), I want to defend my people and come up with something funny to say. But I can’t. I really did just spend a year serving at a bar after I left my other job and before I found my new one. Everyone was a lib arts major. But the sad part? We all made more slinging drinks into the wee hours than we do at our big boy jobs. Thanks for the tip money, lawyers! Now just tell your law school youngsters man up and tip more than 10%.

  13. sacatterbrian - May 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    “Can I have my old room back?”

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