The T.O. Personality

A commenter says,

It's amusing to me that some of the same people that fall all over themselves apologizing for Bradley's very real transgressions are alarmed at a teenager's MySpace page.

Chances are, you look at a hundred My Space pages of kids his age - and especially kids with Type A personalities - and a healthy number of them are going to look just like that. And in ten years, those kids are going to be young Doctors and Lawyers and business managers.

I shudder to think what my MySpace page would have looked like at 17. It would have been bad. I was a complete idiot back then and I turned out just fine. Let's not be too quick to condemn a teenager for being a teenager.


:shrug: This is now the third time in two weeks that a major poster has come in with thinly-veiled ridicule against ideas with which the poster disagrees. 

If confrontation is the preferred route, I guess that's okay, but my opinion is that ideas flow more frictionlessly when we're not screaming.  Of course, the M's won-loss record may have some guys in a less-than-benign mood :- )


I'm often guilty of inconsistency and hypocrisy, but the T.O. discussion is not one of those times.  There's a reconciliation of the Bradley/Walker evaluation that has escaped a few posters.

The original article opined that a T.O. personality, if that is what you have here, is a handicap in sports.

Milton Bradley's personality is also a handicap, and a very severe one.  It is a career-threatening handicap.  Obviously SSI has never written anything different.

But!  It is one thing to (1) have a negative understood and out in the open -- that Bradley's personality is a negative -- and to then proceed constructively from there. 

It's another thing to (2) argue that a negative is not a negative at all, that our ideals over the last 40 years have completely inverted, that there is not a thing wrong with a "who yo boss" personality.


I don't know what Walker's personality is.  Even if he's a hot dog, that's not a death sentence, something to "condemn" him for, or any of that stuff.  Every athlete's personality impacts his development.  That's why the scouts have a "makeup" section on their reports.

IFF Walker is narcisstic, that's a problem.  It's not an insurmountable problem.  But if present, the Mariners would do well to acknowledge it and treat it as the negative that it is.

Notice, by the way, the context of the original article:  IF Walker is a T.O. type narcissist, and slid for that reason, then this would be a PLUS for Mariners fans -- it indicates that maybe they got a value pick.  We weren't writing him off.  We were hoping that we got him at #43 because a few teams were leery of him.


Again not meaning to be inflammatory:  this is part of the reason that the right 25% of America, and the left 25% of America, talk past each other.  There is an honest misunderstanding going on.

To the left, it seems "funny," "amusing," etc. that a person on the right will (1) argue that it's a big deal for President X to lie to a grand jury ... but then that person on the right will (2) turn around and act as if Candidate Y has only to apologize for past lies, and everything is fine.  We just figure, hey, they're hypocritical, what do you expect.  But we miss the point.

On the right, they are talking about ideals in the abstract.  They talk about what standards should be.  They talk about what we should encourage and what we should discourage.  They're wondering how we'll define "normal" for the 4th-graders next year!

At times the left says, "Hey, this and that and the other is no big deal," the right counters, "It certainly is a big deal."  Love the sinner, hate the sin.  That's the distinction that keeps us talking past each other.


SSI isn't talking about Taijuan Walker being a blinkin' lost cause.  SSI is framing an argument that me-me-me-ME narcissism is not normal, or at least, shouldn't be normal. 

He's just a kid?  Right.  17-year-olds also are subject to instruction in belief systems.  If my own son put up a MySpace like that, he and I would go a few rounds.  :- )

I'll take Tony Butler and Dustin Ackley wherever I can get them, but if Delmon Young slides far enough, I'll take him too.  Taijuan Walker is neither one, but what are you going to put in his, vs. Tony Butler's, "makeup" reports?





JFro''s picture

Here's an interview Walker did with Baseball Beginnings in late March.  Some clips...
Baseball Beginnings: Do you feel more comfortable pitching now or do you feel like you’re still growing into it?  
Walker: Yeah. I’m not real confidant with it yet. I feel like I’m still learning.

Baseball Beginnings: So you get to be that one lucky guy who gets to learn how to pitch in front of 20 radar guns a day.
Walker: Yeah. It’s new to me to have that many scouts so close to me. I try to block it out when I pitch and just try to be myself.
Baseball Beginnings: That bullpen back there, you threw two curveballs. The first one was good, the second one was really good. Is that something you’ve been able to bring into a game yet?
Walker: Thank you, and not yet.
Baseball Beginnings: Do you feel like a fish out of water sometimes, where you’ve come up all the way in one sport and then you’re playing with guys who have come up playing another?
Walker: Kind of. I just want to throw more strikes. I walk a lot of people sometimes. I want to be comfortable. I want to find a comfortable spot and throw a lot of strikes. I’m not as comfortable as I was in the Fall just yet. I had a lot of confidence in the fall.

These types of responses don't really seem reflective for me of the T.O. personality type or even a guy who thinks he's the biggest boss in town. Now, I know that there are certain ballplayers who have the Jekyll and Hyde effect going on, who are humble in interviews and downright nasty to their teammates, but the responses we've seen out of his coaches describe him as a quiet type of guy whom his teammates gravitated towards as a leader.
My guess? It's been stated elsewhere that Walker comes from a bit of a troubled home life. The father moved out and is now in Texas, the mother is doing what she can to raise three children. You might expect that this could lead to a chip on the shoulder as it has with a number of guys, but you also might see it manifest in him trying to fit in with his peers by acting harder than he really is, quoting rap lyrics, and boasting about his own accomplishments over MySpace, all of which seem out of tune with what the coach is saying.
I'm not looking to claim that Walker is a saint in disguise, because it's certainly possible that the MySpace is the true indicator of who he is and how he views himself, but it's not the only indicator we have, and everything else makes that one source look a little odd.


That interview is not at all reflective of a T.O. mindset.  Tend to agree with your followup remarks, too.
Where are you Jay on Walker's prospect rank?

JFro''s picture

I'd put him behind Pineda, Paxton, Hensley, and Robles, though the order of those is likely to change at any given moment.  I would put him behind Stanek too assuming he signs.  I'm intrigued by the physical talents that Walker has to offer, but after seeing various transitions and attempts to convert various athletes to the mound, I've come around to the conclusion that stuff is certainly intriguing, but on the whole I'd prefer the pitcher who has been around the game for a while, because he has a better intuitive grasp of how the game is going to go whereas when you put the athlete out there, you're probably going to get some blunt instrument who can knock the opposing team into submission when he's on his game and is likely to splinter as soon as he doesn't have his good stuff.  But we'll see what they can teach him.

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