So, this is an old story, but it got sent to me today and so that works for me. It's a piece at Slate riffing off last month's Roy Halladay cover story in Sports Illustrated; in the SI piece, Tom Verducci writes that scouts liked Halladay because he had a curved ass. Apparently, it's baseball adage that flat butted kids don't succeed in the majors.
The Slate piece looks deeper into it. Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein says, absolutely, scouts are biased against prospects with flat butts. "Pujols has a tremendous rump, and it serves him well," he says. Why didn't we get ass-shape analysis after the Ryan Howard contract signing?
The best quote, though, comes from Buck Showalter. Here's what he once said on Baseball Tonight:
"You don't see a lot of good power hitters or good pitchers that generate arm speed that don't have a good, high butt on them," Showalter said on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. And who, according to Showalter, best exemplifies high-buttedness? Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee. "I don't want to say he's got a perfect butt, but when I look at it I say, Wow."
The image of Buck Showalter going around looking at players' asses and saying "Wow" will haunt me for the rest of the day.
Thanks to commenter njpanick