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Quote of the Day: Jim Bouton

Sep 24, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT

Jim Bouton

Jesse Spector of the Sporting News has a long interview with Jim Bouton. It’s worth reading because just about everything Jim Bouton has to say is pretty interesting and it’s way better to hear him talking than just about any other retired ballplayer.

He got one thing wrong, though, talking about ballplayers on Twitter:

The other thing is, just because somebody’s got a tweet machine, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be — who cares? You know what I mean? It’s got to be interesting observations, not just here’s what I did. Here’s not only what I did, here’s why it’s important, or here’s why it’s interesting, or here’s why this is funny. You can’t just go through your day tweeting stuff that’s not worth anything.

As someone who spends 95% of his day tweeting stuff that’s not worth anything, I take exception.

  1. anthonyverna - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Bouton went from someone who broke the mould to someone who whines and complains and is irrelevant in today’s world.

    • Mark Armour - Sep 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Jim Bouton is interesting and worth listening to for the same reasons he was interesting 40 years ago. He is smart, and he thinks freely without regard for convention. He is generally a great interview, and this one is fantastic and relevant both for the questions and for the answers. You can disagree with every word if you wish, but the world would be far more interesting (and Twitter would be far more interesting) if people were as smart as Bouton and thought as independently.

      • anthonyverna - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        I agree with you up to 10 years ago.

      • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        An intelligent tweet is like taking a leak in the ocean. Bouton’s got it right: Twitter is for morons. His efforts to upgrade the discourse amid that blather of truncated bloviations are only slightly less heroic than Sisyphus.

    • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      I understand Anthony’s point. Ball Four was brilliant. “I’m Glad You Didn’t Take it Personally” was a book-long whine. I am sure that he is every bit as witty and relevant as you other guys say. But based on his second book, I had a markedly reduced opinion myself.

  2. yahmule - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Craig, I would place your dross quotient at no higher than 92%.

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    “…it’s way better to hear him talking than just about any other retired ballplayer.”
    One of the notable “just abouts” being Bill Lee, of course. Unless you don’t consider Lee retired.

    • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Lee is from the Q Continuum. Such temporally hamstrung words as “retired” are meaningless when you talk about him. This is the man who described Al Kaline as “having been out in right field so long he was all covered with birdshit.” This is the man who ran for congress (I no longer capitalize it – get it, capitalize it?) on a platform of reducing national energy expenditures by legislating a two degree lower boiling point for water. This is the man who named Don Zimmer “the Gerbil.” This man is priceless. He’s Yogi Berra without being adorable.

  4. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    just because somebody’s got a tweet machine

    Ugh, reminds me of:

  5. pjmitch - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Love Bouton. No better quote from him or any ballplayer than….

    You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time. ~Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970

    • Glenn - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      My all-time favorite funny Bouton quote (paraphrased) – “The hardest thing about being a professional baseball player is having to act horny for your wife after a road trip.”

  6. Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    I met Bouton at a Cowboy Junkies concert in Great Barrington, Massachusetts near where he has a home, in May of 2010. He was affable, funny, and loved the Junkies, thereby affirming his exquisite taste in music in addition to his mordant intelligence about baseball. Very easy to talk to, with a perpetual Mephistophelian twinkle in his eye. Very enjoyable moment.

  7. Mark Armour - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    I had dinner in a group that include Bouton a few years. He was funny, interesting, and thoughtful in everything he said. I fear that people consider “irrelevant” to mean “doesn’t parrot my opinions”. We need more of his kind.

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