Farewell to the small, feisty athlete

Howard Bryant says the emphasis on size and strength in all sports means that the little guys could become extinct:

“The increased size of the players and the greater emphasis on power is indisputable. Part of the reason players are bigger today is evolutionary, but most of it is a byproduct of self-preservation on the part of talent evaluators who find it safer to miss on a 6-foot-5 prospect than a 5-11 one.

“Skill will always be a part of the game, but in the land of the giants, the dedicated, relatively undersized athlete may no longer have an opportunity to escape from behind the prohibitive firewall that is the athletic gene pool. Across sports, bigger is better, and the search for big, power arms — far more than absent greenies — may be the reason for resurgent pitching.

“Price and Sabathia are not just prime Cy Young Award candidates, but also Exhibit A of the new trend: Pitchers are bigger than ever. Sabathia is 6-7, Price 6-6.”

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