The problem with player comparisons Posted on October 6, 2020 at 08:03:47 PM by Jesus
Often we engage in players of different eras comparisons and who would be better or how would someone do, and Joey/ Inclan/ Bolivar/ Asis etc would destroy everybody and I find that unfair. I believe some of today's players are just as good just not many of them. There used to be a LOT of frontons open and a lot more players fighting for position. Since jai alai's decline I believe that a lot less players see it as a future job and the interest is just not there, so you don't get a huge pool of players.
What I find unfair is saying that (example only) Bolivar would crush Goikoetxea or Felix or Churruca or whoever would crush Lopez or Irastorza. Maybe so, but my position is that if someone like Goikoetxea/ Aritz/ Zulaika/ Diego/ Erik/ Solzabal/ Egi or backcourters like Lopez/ Irastorza/ Enbil/Ladutxe and others would've played in the 70's or 80's for example, they would've developed much differently, they are certainly capable players, consistent catchers with good court sense and awareness, great athletes that would've have to adapt and elevate their game to match the greats. Not only that, but the excitement of packed frontons screaming at the top of their lung would have them fighting for every single point.
Example goico would have had to learn more shots when he realized he wasn't gonna overpower anybody and release ball quicker when he got called for holding a couple times. He certainly has ability to spare. Lopez could catch all day without dropping a ball, maybe he needed to cross the wall more with the right side, but the dude would shine wherever and whenever he played with superb rebo, excellent court awareness, power and outstanding catching.
How about we try some reverse psychology here, and bring some of the great ones to this era, say Bolivar, Joey, Asis, Soroa, etc, (but take today's best out like erik, zulaika, etc so they don't have tough competition) and tell them they can play any post at random and sometimes early games, and watch them get the mentality that boleto is what matters and they now want as many early games and posts as they can and ego goes out the door. You'd think they would've been as good when they don't have to develop the best shots or try as hard? Add the fact they would be playing in front of 25 people and management who could give a rats arse if there's jai alai or not, and is now just a job, why fall down in rebotes and mess my hip when I can make a weak arse rebo and the other player is not skilled enough to beat me and no one is gonna care anyways.