Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yet another great moment in Sportsthink history.

Early this afternoon I happened to turn on the Yanks/Indians game at a providential moment. Yankee second-baseman Robinson Cano, a gifted hitter, had just fouled off a half-dozen pitches from Cleveland hurler Josh Tomlin. While Tomlin and his catcher met at the mound to plot strategy for the ensuing pitch, Yankee play-by-play man Michael Kay and the rest of the announcers killed time by informing viewers of how great it is to be a hitter who finds himself in such a situation. One of the Bombers' seemingly innumerable color men said, "You feel like you've seen everything [the pitcher] has, and there's nothing he can throw to get you out."

The meeting at the mound concluded, the catcher walked back to the plate and settled into his crouch, and pitcher Tomlin promptly broke off a picture-perfect freeze-the-hitter curve, which Cano took for a called strike three.

"Except for that," quipped Kay, to his credit.

Robinson Cano's misfortune had nothing to do with how he felt about the pitcher's stuff. It had to do with the pitcher's stuff. Baseball is a physical game that unfolds in physical terms. You win because you play better. Not because you feel better. There is no credible evidence to the contrary.

And yet the killer irony here is that corporate America spends billions to learn to "extend" to its world philosophies and outlooks that don't even apply in their native realm of sports. I see stuff like this and I want to go write my book all over again....

1 comment:

Steven Sashen said...

At a track meet yesterday, I turned to the other 100m sprinters -- most of whom were just out of college, and some of whom are among the fastest men in the country -- and asked, "Anyone here set a personal best when you felt like crap and didn't think you'd make it out of the blocks?"

The response was NOT "Uh... sometimes." It was a unanimous, "EVERY time!"

"Well," I said, "there goes that 'sports psychology' crap out the window."