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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baseball Players and Dinosaurs Don't Mix

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

click to enlarge No way, Jose!
  • No way, Jose!

Earlier this week we reported on former Oakland slugger Jose Canseco's ruminations on the evolution of gravity and earth scientists' ruminations on the evolution of Canseco.

The former outfielder -- who demonstrated gravity Newton-style when a fly ball dropped onto his head -- tweeted on Monday: "My theory is the core of the planet shifted when single continent formed to keep us in a balanced spin". Thusly, "The land was farther away from the core and had much less gravity so bigness could develop and dominate".

As such, the Mezozoic era featured hulking dinosaurs and the present features Canseco. Scientists we spoke with were nonplussed. But it does go to show that only bizarre things can come via baseball players talking about dinosaurs.

See Also: Jose Canseco Discovers Gravity

While Canseco believes a thicker planetary crust led to weaker gravity, allowing dinosaurs to benefit ("bigness could develop and dominate"), former Major Leaguer Carl Everett simply doesn't believe dinosaurs existed.

Per Sports Illustrated in 2000:

"God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve," Everett said last Friday, before the Red Sox lost two of three in Atlanta. "The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can't say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Someone actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus rex."

What about dinosaur bones?

"Made by man," he says.

Everett has trouble, too, with the idea of man actually walking on the moon. After first rejecting the notion, he concedes, "Yeah, that could have happened. It's possible. That is something you could prove. You can't prove dinosaurs ever existed. I feel it's far-fetched."

It's a good thing Twitter hadn't been unleashed in Everett's heyday.

While ballplayers commenting on dinosaurs seems to result in predictable silliness, paleontologists commenting on baseball can work out splendidly. The late Stephen Jay Gould was a Harvard scientist by trade -- but his writings on baseball were marvelous. He combined the data analysis of a working scientist with the passion of a former Yankee Stadium bleacher bum. (See this interview about the disappearance of .400 hitting; Gould comes in at 1:25).

It is, truly, a shame that Gould isn't here to weigh in on the Domination of Bigness Theory.


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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