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Article: Inside, Outside And Truth

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:03 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...tside-And-Truth

#2 Dman

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:24 AM

That is a really nice article. Your take on this resonates with my own. I do think the players are right to some extent a lot of what happens is mental, but you are also correct that training and talent come in to play because the better those things are the better they are able to have success and improve their confidence. I think you are dead on in your analysis but that is just my opinion I am sure others will have a different take.

#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:27 AM

That's my whole thing. Age is just one factor in prospect rankings, but it is overemphasized. People develop at different levels. People get opportunities at different times.

This is a great article because these are two very good people who are very thoughtful. Talking to Chris Colabello is an experience, and you can't help but pull for him. Gibson is just a tremendous person. And they are both very good baseball players who are capable of helping the Twins.

#4 oldguy10

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:38 AM

While Chris Colabello may be a good person that does not translate into him being able to help the Twins, I do not think. How many posters agree with Seth's assessment of Chris? To me if and when you put people like this on a MLB roster you are heading for another season of 90 plus losses. Gibson on the other hand has potential to help the team, Colabello does not.

#5 jokin

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:45 AM

Tremendous article. John is likely to get this one picked up, republished and broadly requoted. He gets to the basic tug of war between the "fantasy" and "reality" sides of baseball analysis, development and predictability. The fairly cold and sterile world of Peter Brand versus the day to day, year to year mental and physical grind, seat-of-the-pants, trial-by-error world of Art Howe. The search for the "Truth" will always remain elusive and never approach "Absolute", given the human dimension.

Edited by jokin, 07 March 2014 - 08:53 AM.


#6 Dman

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:46 AM

While Chris Colabello may be a good person that does not translate into him being able to help the Twins, I do not think. How many posters agree with Seth's assessment of Chris? To me if and when you put people like this on a MLB roster you are heading for another season of 90 plus losses. Gibson on the other hand has potential to help the team, Colabello does not.


While I agree with you that being a good person does not necessarily translate to helping the Twins there are some things we need to be mindful of when talking about CC. Chris was the MVP of his AAA league last year. He had an amazing season. If CC is as bad as you claim then what does that say about the rest of players in AAA? They must really be bad? I understand that CC's age makes him a tough sell especially for a team looking to the future but I don't think you can just ignore his talent and potential either.

#7 PseudoSABR

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:56 AM

Really nice article. Sometimes we lose sight of the human susceptibilities in development. I'm glad to hear that Gibson didn't feel worn down or overused.

#8 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:57 AM

I do agree with Seth that you want to pull for him and I think Collabello could help us if we pick his spots/at-bats smartly, if the team has useful data to apply to help them pick their spots. I do agree with John too, that just being away from the very top level through the prime years of the 20s is a physiological disadvantage.

I agree with the player in the Gibson instance. Gibson's appearances in AAA in 2013 do not signal someone rehabbing an injury. Six innings per start and two complete games. 6 IP per start is what the guys in the majors were averaging. This will be a good year for Gibson. Bring him north!

#9 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 09:05 AM

so basically, players need to come up to the majors before they are needed, so they can get their feet wet, is that how I should read Gibson's comments? they should maybe come up before they are ready, just to get the human part out of the way? Or maybe I'm just reading it with my lens, my context on the world.

#10 Marta Shearing

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 09:14 AM

So is it fair to say that "clutch" players are "clutch" because they are able to conquer their anxiety in "clutch" situations?

#11 birdwatcher

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 09:45 AM

Nicely articulated, John. I would imagine the least objective party regarding a player's progress would be the player. We outsiders lack the information necessary to gauge the present state of things and to predict the development path, because all we have to go on are some stats and the comments we glean from people with firsthand knowledge and each other. Personally, I discount interpretations and conclusions from players and outsiders.

On the other hand, the field staffs' paychecks are based on accurate current assessments and the future progress of the players. They are paid to be objective, and surely account for all those things we outsiders know almost nothing about: personality traits, good and bad, intelligence, internal drive, etc. Unfortunately for us, we only get snippets. Delmon Young's A**hole Quotient was off the charts. Don't you think that privately, his managers and coaches would tell you that this is the single most important factor in his squandering of his talent?

#12 Dantes929

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:12 AM

Good article. I think athletes at the level generally have a pretty good ego but it is easy to understand a guy like Hicks being overmatched by Verlander and Scherzer early on and then start 2nd guessing himself. I think nerves and anxiety have probably derailed quite a few players careers, especially the marginal ones.

#13 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for the perspective. Have to wonder if you'd added Aaron Hicks to your interviews if you wouldn't have heard something similar. And Brian Dozier, part 1.

Please republish this article or bring it back to the top of the comments when we see the (almost inevitable) struggles of prospects as they come to the ML club over the next year or two. While some may be better able to control the nerves, that would seem to be a pretty common reaction.

#14 dwintheiser

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:43 AM

Nice article, John. But as a counter-point, I'd like to dig up some ancient wisdom:

"No single drop of rain believes it is to blame for the flood."

From the perspective of Colabello and Gibson, their approach makes perfect sense -- as you say, they can only be really concerned over factors they can control, and working on those allows them to be productive and perhaps even make progress. They're raindrops, and they exist in their own environments.

But as an organization, the Twins need to be concerned with the flood. Because that's real, too.

Colabello and Gibson are absolutely data points -- they are who they are and their ceilings and floor as individual players are what they are. But they're not necessarily outliers -- there's no guarantee that, just because Colabello was a AAA MVP last year that he's going to be able to contribute this year. And Gibson might well still be regaining arm strength and re-learning how to pitch with his new arm.

Sabermetrics can't tell you exactly what Colabello and Gibson are going to do this year. But it's as good as tool as we have to tell you what they're likely to do this year, and if there are other options likely to do as well or better.

#15 Dantes929

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:46 AM

So is it fair to say that "clutch" players are "clutch" because they are able to conquer their anxiety in "clutch" situations?

I think it is fair to say but I think it is just scratching the surface. I think you need to conquer your anxiety to perform in the clutch but that doesn't mean you will succeed because there is always the guy on the other side as well and what you do is largely determined by what they do. Also, is clutch determined by hitting the ball hard or by actually getting a hit which are two different things. Of course you also have the situation of two players facing each other who are not able to conquer their anxiety to allow them to play their best but one side always has to win and one loses. Colabello says he didn't conquer his anxiety but he still had 7 homers and some of them were in the "clutch". Kirk Gibson was considered clutch but he is still going to fail against Eckersly way more often than succeed. I think some of it is just happenstance.

#16 Dantes929

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:55 AM

" To me if and when you put people like this on a MLB roster you are heading for another season of 90 plus losses". I think every roster has a guy like Colabello. A guy that earned his way to the majors by his performance in the minors and then has not succeeded as well as you would wish. Every roster has major league players on it that would not be MVP of AAA if that is where they happened to be playing. I like Colabello at this point just as much as I like Kubel. Whether nerves or happenstance a player may fail in his first stint and then thrive the next opportunity. I don't care if Chris makes the team out of spring training or not but if he plays at AAA and earns his way back to the majors then he deserves his shot whether it is for a 90 loss team or the world champs.

#17 jimbo92107

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:13 AM

What Gibson said reminded me of early Frank Viola. In his first year he was clearly over-anxious and didn't pitch very well. After he learned to relax, he became Sweet Music.

#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:15 AM

While Chris Colabello may be a good person that does not translate into him being able to help the Twins, I do not think. How many posters agree with Seth's assessment of Chris? To me if and when you put people like this on a MLB roster you are heading for another season of 90 plus losses. Gibson on the other hand has potential to help the team, Colabello does not.


These are two independent things. He is a good person, but so am I and I can't help the twins. Colabello is a big powerful right-handed bat who put up huge numbers in AAA, in a league that isn't user-friendly. Maybe he won't be a star or maybe even a regular, but he can help an MLB team in a role.

#19 Sconnie

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:27 PM

Thanks for the great article John. It's great to get the reminder that we're all human beings and the data can only take you so far. Variables are both obvious and inconspicuous, but they aren't variables to the people whom we write about.

#20 dougkoebernick

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:35 PM

Roy Hobbs wasn't a young guy either and he hit the stitches off the ball.