04-10-2012, 01:59 PM #21
I think "heart" is something that winning teams have and losing teams don't. That being said, I think it's a chicken or the egg argument. Do teams that lack heart lose or does losing cause lack of heart?
Personally, I think that winning is fun so if they start winning, they'll look a lot more lively.
04-10-2012, 02:02 PM #22
Didn't that 2002 team subsequently lose to the Yankees in the next two seasons in the playoffs. Maybe they weren't "cowering" though. That's it. This Borzi article is almost garbage. He is just saying stuff and doesn't bother to make sure it is accurate at all.
04-10-2012, 02:09 PM #23
It can also be as simple as moving your feet slightly to get centered on the ball instead of being content for a backhand reach. It can be the diving catch... The running into walls. The discipline of not swinging at the first pitch slider out of the zone. The taking pride in grounding out to 2B with a runner on second and no outs instead of swinging for the fences. These are all examples of mental focus.
Its many things. The bottom line is... When a team starts losing... The fundamentals erode. The discipline to perform the little things erode. When players start to feel entitled... Like they have a job locked up... These things can erode.
Your team leaders have to lead. If they don't... you need new leaders. If players play like these things matter it can rub off on the next player. If you have players that are immune to infectious play(Delmon Young) get rid of them.
In the end... This is how teams get on a roll and get off of a role. It transfers from the plate to the field to the mound to the stands to the clubhouse guy who will wash and dry the jerseys with more energy. It also transfers to the manager who are also human and after awhile of uninspired play. The manager will stop worrying about if Velencia O-layed a ball at 3b because the backup cant hit and he will probably O-lay it as well. It's a lot of things and I'm not seeing a lot of fire with this club since PUNTO left.
Since PUNTO left... I crack me up!
04-10-2012, 02:16 PM #24
04-10-2012, 02:19 PM #25
It's caring about the next pitch after a double play was botched. It's not throwing the ball over the middle of the plate because the ump didn't give you the corner. Watch the game long enough and you can see it and it doesn't show up in stats to be easily measured.
Baseball is a slow game. Yogi Berra said it perfectly... "Baseball is 90 percent mental... The other half is physical".
04-10-2012, 03:21 PM #26
People are bound to disagree but if guys like Morneau, Mauer, Span had no heart, why would they even bother to work so hard to come back to play? Why would Jamey Carroll work so hard to keep himself in shape to still be able to play at 38? Don't say money, that too easy, I think it's because they have quite a bit of heart.
These guys want to win, plain and simple.
04-10-2012, 03:24 PM #27
This topic is one that tends to get me fired up. So I took a moment before lashing out at some quotes and general ideas I hear a lot, and in the meantime Seth, shane, and Teflon managed to get at most of my points. And in ways that keep me from looking like a combative jerk. Yay! I especially agree with the sentiment of Teflon's post that the results are often the only difference between people perceiving grit vs gutless or whatever terms they want to use. And identical behavior can yield different results, so certainly can identical will and determination.
04-10-2012, 03:42 PM #28
As far as going from first to third a lot of that is dependent on where the ball is hit, and the third base coach. There is a different third base coach nowadays, right? I'd say that hustling has nothing to do with heart.
As to the question of heart, I'd say you alluded to it with the "loosey-goosey", practical joke, or having fun playing the game aspect. It's not much fun when you lose 2 out of 3 games. I'd say that yes, compared to the '02 team this team lacks heart. The other thing about '02 is that it was a group of younger guys that had played extensively together in the minors and were comfortable around each other. They were the up and coming core group, whereas today you've got a bunch of veterans with a few rookies sprinkled in."Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."
04-10-2012, 04:01 PM #29
04-10-2012, 04:28 PM #30
How about this team just gets some extra-base power so we can discuss 1st to home speed?
04-10-2012, 05:40 PM #31
You've got multiple guys coming back from injuries, guys fighting off old age, guys trying to have a "break through" year, guys arriving from different teams, and a couple of guys trying not to embarrass themselves as rookies. Every one of them is fighting hard as hell to stay in the majors, looking for some way to help this team win. Every one of them would be overjoyed if you had some secret tip that would enable them to get an edge.
Instead, you question their desire to win. What is the point of enduring all the struggles and pain these guys go through, if they don't crave to win every single game? What is the point of struggling for years in the minor leagues, if a guy suddenly decides to stop trying hard at the highest level of his sport?
Some players clearly struggle to find the right balance of relaxation and alertness at the major league level. But none of these guys lacks heart, and none of them feels good about being accused of not trying hard enough. All this kind of speculation can do is make fans feel angry and players feel a little more desperate.
04-10-2012, 06:05 PM #32
04-11-2012, 10:34 AM #33
The only other possible definition of "baseball heart" is clutch. Key Moment... Player X laces one into left field and plates the go ahead run in the 9th. The Announcer will sometimes say "Player X has done it again... He has the Heart of the Champion". There is some truth to that but games are often won or lost in the 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th inning because Player Y is having a go through the motions moment and doesn't make a major league play that ends up costing the team 3 runs because he lacks the heart to be a team leader. When that happens it takes a boatload of heart from everyone else to over come it.
Typcially Player Y in that situation can cause Player Z to then lose heart and you can repeat the process. Player Z can be a pitcher who grooves a pitch in frustration or he can be a hitter who instead of advancing the runner tries to tie it up with one swing and strikes out.
This stuff means wins and losses and as the losses pile up it gets worse and worse.
Understand that every player will say they are trying to win. Every player will say they care. They work in the batting cages and film rooms but that stuff can become routine and lost on them as well. They don't always understand the little things and the importance of them in totality but a good manager is most likely preaching them over and over and the good manager will get tuned out on occasion because of the repitition of the message. Players need to take this stuff to heart... so to speak.
Baseball employees (no matter the money they make) are no different then the co-workers who work next to you at your job. You have guys and gals with Heart in your office that go above and beyond and can be counted on daily to get the real work done and you have guys and gals who don't you don't approach for projects because it will be half assed because they have the mindset of just getting through the day.
Those people who just get through the day... Come home and complain to their wife how hard they worked and how tough it is and they want raises because they are billing $80,000 this month and the same the previous 12 months. Yeah the $80,000 looks good... They can come back tomorrow and do it again but how much of that fell into their lap by having consistent clients (playing time) and did they cultivate anything new by just going through the daily motion of it all. Baseball is no different except for the larger stage and passionate fans like us who post about them.
04-12-2012, 10:46 PM #34
Well I certainly hope today ends all of this "no heart" garbage. That was heart and guts.
What a bunch if crap!!!
04-12-2012, 11:45 PM #35
They came back from down six today after Joe and Justin couldn't get it done earlier in the game and Frankie had shot himself in the foot AGAIN! I think they showed heart and character today. On a side note, is Jamey Carrol an alien?
04-12-2012, 11:51 PM #36
04-12-2012, 11:57 PM #37
04-13-2012, 12:15 AM #38
04-13-2012, 12:21 AM #39
04-13-2012, 12:41 AM #40
And yet, "giving 100 percent 100 percent of the time" is equally vague. How the hell do you know?