What A Game
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
About Last Night
If last night’s thriller is any indication, baseball fans are in for a terrific October. You really cannot beat baseball for the unscripted drama, whether it is Jim Thome hitting his 500th in walk-off fashion or last night’s back and forth, all-time saves leader blowing a two-run lead, loser goes home mega battle. Good stuff.
I realize there are statistical arguments for Trevor Hoffman being one of, if not the, best closer in baseball history. But my own personal experience, admittedly very limited, is of Aaron Rowand beating him with a home run in 2005, of the AL rallying to win the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh and of last night. Of course, you remember the failures, in part because they are the abberations.
Reply To Palehose
I saw palehoses response to yesterday’s post and wanted to reply in turn.
On the point of scouting, development and the patience often required to see it through, I think my argument was misunderstood.
There are two paths here. The first is for players you sign and develop through your system. In those cases, you are relying on your amateur scouts, your player development personnel and your major league coaches to identify talent and then help players reach their potential. Sometimes this takes time and rarely does a player come to the big leagues a finished project. As a result, the organization (and fans) need patience to let the player grow. Examples of this in my mind would be Joe Crede, Aaron Rowand and Jon Garland (although he arguably might fit both categories).
The second category is the player who your professional scouts identify while he is playing in another organization. For whatever the reason, they feel this player will be more successful in our organization. Our goal then is to acquire the player and allow our coaches (minor league or major league) to work with the player. Sometimes this requires patience and time. Examples of this are Bobby Jenks, Javier Vazquez, Jose Contreras.
As for the concept of players helping a team get its edge back, this certainly works in some cases, although my personal experience finds this chemistry to be very elusive. Individuals certainly can bring an edge into the clubhouse, but this edge can cut many ways. Also, it seems that guys with an edge tend to have this influence last only a limited time … how long is often the question. In my experience, it’s never been as easy as saying this guy actually has this personality and will have this affect on a clubhouse. Sometimes, players perceived by fans as "having an edge" actually don’t. Sometimes, those who seem quiet and non-influencial, actually are. I’ll leave it at that.