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Jimbo Fisher sounds fine with Jameis Winston playing baseball

Jameis Winston AP

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston admitted earlier this month he’ll eventually have to choose between baseball and football, but wants to continue his two-sport career for as long as he can.

Jimbo Fisher, too, is all for his Heisman-winning quarterback continuing his career on the diamond. From Fisher’s appearance on ESPN’s First Take this morning (h/t to Coaching Search):

“Baseball is a game of failure. Baseball is a much greater game of failure. It’s a whole different mindset. Anytime you’re competing in any sport, I think it’s good, but what baseball teaches you is how to overcome adversity. It teaches you how to fail and fail and fail, and still be able to perform.

“I think as a quarterback, I don’t care how good you are, there are going to be bad moments. … I think baseball slows it down for him and has made him a better (football) player.”

That’s a good take on it, though Winston only had five hits in 39 at-bats with eight walks and nine strikeouts for FSU this spring. Batting involves an awful lot of failure — and even when you don’t fail and hit a ball hard, there’s still a chance you’ll make an out. If Fisher thinks playing baseball is making Winston mentally tougher, then by all means should he continue to play.

Where I’d be worried if I were Fisher is Winston pitching. Winston is a much better pitcher than he is a hitter, posting a 1.08 ERA with 31 strikeouts and seven walks in 33 1/3 innings last season. But every pitch he throws is putting strain on his ulnar collateral ligament, and if one day he feels a pop in his right elbow and needs Tommy John surgery…it could very well wipe out a full season of his football career.

It’s not a huge risk, given Winston doesn’t pitch an awful lot for FSU. But baseball’s rash of Tommy John surgeries this season has created such a panic over any minor elbow discomfort, that if Winston does feel a little twinge one day next spring maybe it’d be best for his football career to shut down his baseball one.

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8 Responses to “Jimbo Fisher sounds fine with Jameis Winston playing baseball”
  1. blacknole08 says: Jul 28, 2014 12:28 PM

    I want Winston to do what Winston wants to do. It’s his life and whatever makes him happy, then do it.

  2. brianincbus says: Jul 28, 2014 12:51 PM

    Playing baseball also takes time away that he could spend stealing… I mean forgetting to pay for things.

  3. geech72 says: Jul 28, 2014 1:02 PM

    Sport are supposed to keep kids out of trouble. If he gets into this much trouble playing two sports I would seriously worry about football eligibility if he had the entire spring semester off.

  4. musketmaniac says: Jul 28, 2014 6:32 PM

    how much strain does he put on his ulnar collateral ligament when he forces his victims down.

  5. swampcannons says: Jul 28, 2014 10:31 PM

    If he were to pursue both sports and become successful he would have to choose between pitching and QBing right? Say if he had bad luck and had to undergo Tommy John surgery, that would unfortunately affect his NFL season as well. A question asked to those more knowledgeable about baseball than myself. I just see a position transition for him in baseball more likely than in football.

  6. realfootballfan says: Jul 28, 2014 10:46 PM

    He better be okay with it because imo, if he sticks around, his genuine love for baseball and the likely inprobability of him ever being able to play it once he goes to the NFL will be what keeps him in Tallahassee at least 1 more year.

  7. swampcannons says: Jul 29, 2014 12:24 AM

    Apologies, left out a key part of my question. To what position would he most likely switch if he were to give up pitching? Dual sport athletes such as Bo and Deion were never pitchers so the conflict wasn’t as great but still impressive nonetheless to play both.

  8. florida727 says: Jul 29, 2014 12:26 PM

    5 hits in 39 at-bats (.128 average), doesn’t leave a lot of room for choices about other baseball positions to play. Obviously his right arm (along with his legs) are what make him the athlete he is.

    I’d hold off a little while before making comparisons between him and Bo or Deion. Those were two freaks of nature. Winston’s not there… yet. I do admire him for playing both though. I agree with Jimbo. Playing baseball, potential injury aside, can do nothing but improve his football.

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