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Shocker: New York writer says ballplayer won't hack it in New York

Jul 31, 2010, 8:17 AM EDT

I really can’t stand stuff like this blog post from Jeff Pearlman, in which he opines that Lance Berkman won’t be able to hack it in New York. The argument basically boils down to this: Berkman is a great clubhouse guy and a total pro, but he’s a “country dude” who is “an off-the-charts right-winger,” so he’s just not meant for New York.

Never mind that Andy Pettitte is an evangelical conservative from Louisiana.  Never mind that Nick Swisher grew up in West Virginia. Never mind that one way you can arguably describe the history of baseball is “farm boys come to the big city and lead the team to victory.” We’ll always have, it seems, some New York writer saying that so-and-so doesn’t have what it takes to play in New York.  If Pearlman was writing in the early 50s he’d probably say that some rube from Commerce, Oklahoma could never make it in the Big Apple.

Players have come to New York and failed. Lance Berkman may fail. Some even failed because New York truly got to them.  But to simply assume that a veteran like Berkman who has played all over the country and in the World Series is going to whimper and die when he sees those tall buildings, can’t find grits anywhere and has to pass by godless liberals on the streets is about the weakest sauce out there.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    I agree. He’ll be fine in New York. In six weeks, he’ll be subscribing to The Nation and looking up all the big words in his pocket thesaurus.

  2. aschwartz - Jul 31, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    “Some even failed because New York truly got to them.”
    A certain Randy comes to mind.

  3. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    Incidentally, Craig, if you couldn’t sleep last night, why not post an ATH for Friday?

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Jul 31, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    Because I found following the games last night a tad too difficult due to all of that bourbon that accidentally found its way into my glass.
    I may put up a scores thread here shortly just for the fun of it.

  5. YankeesfanLen - Jul 31, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    I was in Houston for a few months 17 years ago. It must have degenerated from a growing major city into a cattle ranch with tumbleweeds rolling down dusty roads since then.
    Thanks for sharing your Saturday with us Craig. Maybe during the course of the day you can explain why the Universe needs more position players than there are states in the Union.

  6. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    Houston did worse than that. It evolved a thriving downtown nightlife with cafes, jazz clubs (always a sign of overweening sophistication), nouvelle cuisine, sushi bars (see “jazz clubs” above), funky new age breakfast places with acai berry pancakes on the menu, and whole zones full of art museums, art spaces festering with experimental modern dance companies, opera halls and big live stages, and utterly beautiful women all over the goddamned place.
    No wonder the cracker wanted out. He must have thought he was in hell.

  7. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Well, at least you didn’t call me up at three in the morning to tell me I was full of shit. Thanks.

  8. J Gravy - Jul 31, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    There is only one player on the Yankees from New York, and of course, it is the TRUE Yankee, Alex Rodriguez.

  9. J Gravy - Jul 31, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    There is only one player on the Yankees from New York, and of course, it is the TRUE Yankee, Alex Rodriguez.

  10. John_Michael - Jul 31, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Phew. It’s good to be back. Except you know me as Charles Gates from way back when, before this new fangled website gave me ‘permission denied’ errors when I tried to post an insight. Then I remembered this name, used way back in the HBT days when I probably brought even less relevant information to the discussion.
    Pearlman must have set a really high bar for the ‘big city’ cutoff. According to the all knowing wikipedia, the largest cities in the US, by population, are:
    1. NY 8.4MM
    2. LA 3.8MM
    3. Chicago 2.8MM
    4. Houston 2.2MM

  11. Glenn - Jul 31, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    “Can’t handle the pressure of the big city/media market” is right up there with chemistry and momentum as myths that are merely descriptors after the fact. Players come to New York, LA, or Boston and don’t work out. It is statistically going to happen. Why do we have to attribute every case to “can’t take the pressure of the big city”?

  12. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jul 31, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Remember though, this is what Jeff Pearlmann wrote last year before the season (and before he edited it because he’s a no-talent hack, but i digress), so I’d take his “predictions” with a grain of salt:
    AL East
    1. Boston Red Sox—Oddly, I like their moves more than the Yankees. Penny and Smoltz could easily win more games than Sabathia and Burnett.
    2. Tampa Bay Rays—I smell a letdown. But not a huge one.
    3. New York Yankees—They’re becoming the 1980s version of themselves, Remember Steve Kemp, Don Baylor, Roy Smalley, etc …
    Here’s the link. You’ll notice it’s been changed, but the corresponding comments don’t make sense:

  13. YankeesfanLen - Jul 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Welcome back, regardless of the nom de plume.

  14. John_Michael - Jul 31, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    I’ve always been here, just wall flowering the posts.
    Here’s to hoping Puma can have a Kevin Maas type ~half season.

  15. Adenzeno - Jul 31, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Perlman >Idiot. Some guy from Texas who is pretty much all that did OK in NY(wi some PED help of course)-Clemens come to mind?

  16. YANKEES1996 - Jul 31, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Jeff Pearlman = LOSER, anything this guy has to say is a waste of time to read. Lance Berkman whether he can handle New York or not is not the issue. I don’t see why the Yanks would give up any prospects to rent another full time dh after being burned by Nick Johnson.

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