Monday, August 17, 2009

Path dependence, Dominican edition 

Upon learning of Adrian Beltre's sports injury, Will Carroll writes:

I have no idea why Adrian Beltre chose not to wear a cup, but it might have a lot to do with something I just learned, speaking with someone who has been very involved in Latin American scouting. Players in the Dominican and Venezuela tend not to wear cups while playing, largely because they can�t afford them as youth.

A cup costs about six bucks. If you go for the Nutty Buddy, the highest-tech in cojone protection, you�re talking about twenty bucks. Let�s split the difference and say ten bucks each.

Besides the obvious enjoyment of having athletic supporters with rhyming names, I think it's interesting that when one learns a skill a certain way, you have to keep doing it that way even if the peculiarity has nothing to do with how you perform that skill. Sure, the damn things are uncomfortable at first, but the adjustment period isn't that long, and you could learn it during spring training.

If I invest millions in a player, don't I as an owner have the right to make him wear the protective gear that allows him to stay on the field?

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