A passion for baseball starts at home

When I read the other day that MLB teams have been allotted $205,786,400 to hand out in signing bonuses at next week’s amateur draft I started thinking about that old Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings song “Mammas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys”…I say, let them grow up to be baseball players!

By the way, did I mention the $200-million-plus is just for the first 10 rounds of the draft?

MLB will draft 40 rounds worth of amateur players when June 5th rolls around. That’s about 1,200 college and high school kids who have chance to say, “I signed a pro contract”.

By comparison, the NFL just drafted 256 players earlier this month. The NBA will draft 60 players on June 20th. The NHL will draft about 210 in late June.

I know, I know, every sport is different. Many of those basketball guys go directly to the million dollar NBA world and most of the baseball players go to the Lansing Lugnuts.

Consider the NCAA stats released in September of 2013 on the chances a high schooler competing in the pros…

Baseball:      0.50%

Football:        0.08%

Hockey:        0.07%

Basketball:  0.03%

Guys like Billy Swift, Ryan Flaherty, Charlie Furbush, Matt Kinney, Mark Rogers, Danny Coombs, Carlton Willey, Larry Gowell are examples of Maine kids making it to pro baseball.

Often times, especially with pitchers, pro baseball scouts like drafting Maine kids. Shorter seasons, perhaps less arm damage.

In the end, it’s whatever sport a kid has a passion for.

That passion for baseball can start by simply playing catch with your kid.

Dad, Mom, have you done that lately?

ITEMS FROM THE DUFFEL BAG:

– The Red Sox have the 16th most money to shell out at the draft ($6,373,300). The Astros have the most ($14,199,300). The Orioles have the least ($2,204,400).

– By the way, the latest Baseball America mock draft has America East lefty pitcher Sean Newcomb (Hartford Hawks) as the 10th overall MLB pick to the NY Mets.

– Did you see the Florida State softball pitcher Lacey Waldrop with 38 wins(38-5). How are your season stats?

– You will never convince me that the past Celtics season was worth a #6 pick.

– What is Theo Epstein thinking signing Manny Ramirez as a Triple-A player-coach? Theo says Manny will be a good mentor to Cubs prospects?