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View Full Version : You PLAY to WIN the GAME



RedsManRick
08-15-2007, 07:26 PM
So I'm sure most of you are familiar with this quote by Herm Edwards. As I was listening to sports talk radio on my way home, I was listening to Tim Kuchin comment on the value of parity. I was thinking about the Diamondbacks and Mariners playing way above their pythag record and the Cards still being in the hunt in the NL central.I had an epiphany.

You play to win the game. That's it.

In baseball, we've defined winning the game as winning the World Series. "Winning" is not winning the most regular season games. "Winning" is not having the best pythag record. "Winning" is not having the best team. "Winning" is winning the World Series.

Don't get me wrong. Winning a lot of games in the regular season is important. If you don't do that, you don't make the playoffs and can't win the World Series. Having the best team is important in maximizing you chance to win the most regular season games and make the playoffs.

So yes, the thing "we" can control is putting the best team on the field. But that's not an outcome in and of itself worth celebrating. That team has to win games.

I think some of us internalize the best team part and make that our goal, assuming that the wins will follow. To a certain extent, it's true. However, as we evaluate decisions, discuss with our peers on this board and elsewhere, etc., let's remember that the point is winning. Losing a game you played well is still bad. Winning a game the wrong way is still good.

Now if you're talking about the predictive nature of events, let's remember what matters. But when it comes to the end of the day, you play to win the game.

RedLegSuperStar
08-15-2007, 07:30 PM
So I'm sure most of you are familiar with this quote by Herm Edwards. As I was listening to sports talk radio on my way home, I was listening to Tim Kuchin comment on the value of parity. I was thinking about the Diamondbacks and Mariners playing way above their pythag record and the Cards still being in the hunt in the NL central.I had an epiphany.

You play to win the game. That's it.

In baseball, we've defined winning the game as winning the World Series. "Winning" is not winning the most regular season games. "Winning" is not having the best pythag record. "Winning" is not having the best team. "Winning" is winning the World Series.

Don't get me wrong. Winning a lot of games in the regular season is important. If you don't do that, you don't make the playoffs and can't win the World Series. Having the best team is important in maximizing you chance to win the most regular season games and make the playoffs.

So yes, the thing "we" can control is putting the best team on the field. But that's not an outcome in and of itself worth celebrating. That team has to win games.

I think some of us internalize the best team part and make that our goal, assuming that the wins will follow. To a certain extent, it's true. However, as we evaluate decisions, discuss with our peers on this board and elsewhere, etc., let's remember that the point is winning. Losing a game you played well is still bad. Winning a game the wrong way is still good.

Now if you're talking about the predictive nature of events, let's remember what matters. But when it comes to the end of the day, you play to win the game.

Well said! :beerme:

jojo
08-15-2007, 07:35 PM
"Winning" is not winning the most regular season games.

I 've already had that epiphany circa Oct 2001.

dougdirt
08-15-2007, 08:18 PM
I 've already had that epiphany circa Oct 2001.

That one hurt your feelings didnt it?

GAC
08-15-2007, 10:04 PM
So would you "define" organizations like the A's, Twins, and Indians, who, in the current economic climate, pretty consistently field competitive teams, have won their division, and even made it to the WS, but not have won it (at a least not in recent years) as failures or successes?

redsfan4445
08-15-2007, 11:53 PM
please pass this on to WAYNE :) We dont like LOSING!

VR
08-16-2007, 12:10 AM
pffft. Terrible take.

It's all about learning to lose. That's what seperates the men from the boys.

RFS62
08-16-2007, 01:22 AM
pffft. Terrible take.

It's all about learning to lose. That's what seperates the men from the boys.


Boy, we're golden then. We've got that down the last 7 years.

KronoRed
08-16-2007, 01:50 AM
So would you "define" organizations like the A's, Twins, and Indians, who, in the current economic climate, pretty consistently field competitive teams, have won their division, and even made it to the WS, but not have won it (at a least not in recent years) as failures or successes?

In the end they are failures, more exciting to the fans by far then teams like the Reds/Royals/Pirates but still failures at the ultimate goal.

Another reason I don't care much for the "build to win this awful division" plan, the plan should be to build a team that will beat anyone.

jojo
08-16-2007, 08:42 AM
So would you "define" organizations like the A's, Twins, and Indians, who, in the current economic climate, pretty consistently field competitive teams, have won their division, and even made it to the WS, but not have won it (at a least not in recent years) as failures or successes?

I think teams that consistently have a chance to make the playoffs and thus win a championship have to be considered well run and thus a model for how to do things. Is that success? Well, I guess it depends upon your point of view. But it's certainly not failure in my book.

GAC
08-16-2007, 10:31 AM
Another reason I don't care much for the "build to win this awful division" plan, the plan should be to build a team that will beat anyone.

But where has it been said that this was the Red's plan?

It's not the Red's fault this has become an awful division overall. And right now, the only way you're gonna have a shot at the post season is to win this division..... because the WC sure ain't gonna come from the NL Central. :mooner:

But look at what the Cards did last year with a 83-79 record. You play to get into the post-season. From there, any team can get hot (just as teams can go cold).

The '90 Reds were not "respected". We were suppose to get beat by both the Pirates, and then the A's. According to many, we didn't have a chance, even though we went "wire to wire" within the division.

nate
08-16-2007, 10:46 AM
As I recall, Dave Stewart said that losing the 90 WS "hurt him even more because they lost to a less talented team."

:mooner:

Johnny Footstool
08-16-2007, 12:25 PM
As I recall, Dave Stewart said that losing the 90 WS "hurt him even more because they lost to a less talented team."

:mooner:

They did. The A's were a better ball club. If the World Series was 25 games long instead of 7, the A's would have won 15.

But in a short series, teams can get hot and ride emotions. Eric Davis' Game 1 homer announced that the Reds weren't going to roll over and die. It charged up the team, and they managed to swipe 4 games in a row.

Redsland
08-16-2007, 12:36 PM
They did. The A's were a better ball club. If the World Series was 25 games long instead of 7, the A's would have won 15.
Particularly since Davis and Hatcher were both knocked out of Game 4 with injuries.

Had they not won that game, the Reds could have been in a whole lot of trouble.

Yachtzee
08-16-2007, 12:40 PM
So would you "define" organizations like the A's, Twins, and Indians, who, in the current economic climate, pretty consistently field competitive teams, have won their division, and even made it to the WS, but not have won it (at a least not in recent years) as failures or successes?

I would view them as successes. With playoff success often determined by success in 5-7 game series, winning the WS is almost as much as getting hot at the right time and luck as it is about having a good team. Having the good team gets you to the playoffs. Without that, you haven't got a shot at the WS.

With wild card teams, divisional series, league championship series and the the world series, it is much more difficult for one team to consistently sustain excellence against a high level of competition to win the WS. A team has to win 11 games now in the playoffs against other highly competitive teams to go all the way. The Yankees, Red Sox and Braves have spent plenty of money to get to the playoffs in the 2000s, make the playoffs every year, and have how many WS championships to show for it?

Roy Tucker
08-16-2007, 12:41 PM
Losing a game you played well is still bad. Winning a game the wrong way is still good.


I understand what your point is and agree for the most part. I'd rather win an ugly game than lose it.

But winning a game the wrong way is one of the things that got Narron into trouble (burning out starters, riding a hot hand too long, etc.). Try to do that too often and you start losing perspective on what truly wins games.

Yachtzee
08-16-2007, 12:41 PM
Particularly since Davis and Hatcher were both knocked out of Game 4 with injuries.

Had they not won that game, the Reds could have been in a whole lot of trouble.

Assuming the A's did not have similar injury problems through the rest of the series.

RedsManRick
08-16-2007, 12:58 PM
I would view them as successes. With playoff success often determined by success in 5-7 game series, winning the WS is almost as much as getting hot at the right time and luck as it is about having a good team. Having the good team gets you to the playoffs. Without that, you haven't got a shot at the WS.

With wild card teams, divisional series, league championship series and the the world series, it is much more difficult for one team to consistently sustain excellence against a high level of competition to win the WS. A team has to win 11 games now in the playoffs against other highly competitive teams to go all the way. The Yankees, Red Sox and Braves have spent plenty of money to get to the playoffs in the 2000s, make the playoffs every year, and have how many WS championships to show for it?

Ah, but that's my point. Perhaps I was too blunt, too focused on JUST the World Series in my initial point. But the bottom line is that winning is fun. As fans, we don't get the enjoyment of playing. All we have is the outcome. Having the best team is great, but only because it leads to winning games. Winning games in the regular season is a good outcome because watching the team win games is fun AND because it leads to making the playoffs, which is even more fun. Winning games in the playoffs is great because wins are fun and it leads to championships. There's very little pleasure to be had from having the best team but losing, at any level, be it a single game or a title.

Yes, the playoffs are based largely on luck. But that doesn't mean we should celebrate having the best team. I will absolutely want the Reds to make decisions that lead to having the best team, because that's how you maximize your chance to wins games. But if we have the best team, and still lose, I will take no solace in that.

So yes, I would rather be the A's or Twins because then you get to celebrate 90 individual, regular season wins instead of 70, and you have a chance to win games in the playoffs. However, "the season" as an entity is a failure if you don't win some title, be it the Division title, the League title, or better, the World Series.

It's an interesting perspective for me though, because it allows me to enjoy an otherwise meaningless win in September, while still holding to the overriding goal of winning the championship.