BASEBALL BELIEFS

By:  Holly Horning

Every year around this time, I do my best at being patient when the traditional media trots out their same filler articles as we all await the start of meaningful baseball.

But my patience, what little I actually do have, is gone. And there are some things I just have to get off my chest. Call it a cathartic exercise in response to what is currently being run in the media. And some of it, baseball mythology.

With apologies to our Founding Fathers, I’m ready to reveal my list of 10 topics everyone should understand about baseball. In the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence,

“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT”

1. Vegas odds rarely pan out and place an undue burden upon the teams anointed as the expected winners.

2. A team’s attitude and approach to winning is the competitive edge when facing similarly talented teams.

3. Rookie managers cannot successfully manage and influence a team filled with veterans and stars.

4. Unless there is a complete meltdown, managers will be pressured by the Front Office to play the guy with the expensive contract.

5. Players will always say they love their team and want to stay but in the end they will always sign with the team offering the higher salary, benefits and (secondarily) potential.

6. Baseball players sign with Scott Boras for one reason only – and that is to get the largest contract possible.

7. Owners are the primary catalysts in how well a team does year after year. https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/owners-influence/

8. Moving a player to a brand new and more-demanding position (other than 1B) once they are already established elsewhere, rarely works out well and is a sign of desperation and lack of roster depth.

9. Never believe a team’s statement about injuries – whether they exist or even to the extent of the injury.

10. Basing performance solely upon the team “on paper” omits some of the biggest factors connected to winning – passion, determination and team chemistry.

We’ll come back to this list and add to it throughout the year. In the meantime, what “truths” do you know to be “self-evident”?

5 thoughts on “BASEBALL BELIEFS

  1. Holly, good piece of writing. Hard to disagree with anything you laid out. I especially think you nailed it with numbers 2 and 10. Who knows how some teams wind up with a team chemistry that takes them far beyond expectations? Is it the manager, or is it something floating around in the ether that settles on certain teams? I will continue to ponder this.

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  2. My two additional self-evident truths are that outfield defense and bullpen depth matter more than is commonly appreciated.

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  3. Reading numbers five and six come to mind Max Scherzer. His brother tragically commits suicide back in 2012. Max`s teammates and the entire Tigers organization stand behind him and his family during this tragic time. So what does Max do in gracious return? He signs with the Nationals.

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  4. As far as a self-evident truth: Start focusing on or worrying about how a team is going to end up in the standings after the All-Star break, not before. My hopes for the Tigers every year is to have them playing .500 ball at the break. Anything over and above that is frosting on the cake. A teams real identity and true-grit normally shows up in the second half of the season.

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  5. Agree with everything except #3. I don’t think a rookie manager is doomed to fail; it depends heavily on the rookie, personality, and previous managing experience – not just having managed a baseball team. There are many attributes of good (and bad) management that transcend the specific group being managed. Thanks, Holly! Really enjoying this blog.

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