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View Full Version : My biggest concern after last night's game...



muddie
08-11-2010, 05:17 AM
I had to call it a night at about the seventh inning last night to be at work today...early. All things considered, and I mean all things, the most disappointing thing about the team last night was seeing them make so many critical mental mistakes. Heisey trying to field a ball barehanded that ended up advancing the runner another base. There was no excuse for that. Edmonds over running 2nd base and getting thrown out to end an inning. The circus that began with Gomes throwing the ball over the Hernandez head at the plate and the ensuing disaster that followed, Pujols scoring from first base. Gomes defense aside, the team was not playing smart at all.

Whitey Herzog made a statement while doing an interview in Cooperstown that was very interesting, like him or not. Asked about the Reds/Cards race, he stated that (and I'm praphrasing here) about mid August the Cardinals would start to pull away. He stated that the Reds players would wake up one morning and realize they're in a pennant race with six weeks to go and that they would begin faltering due to a lack of playoff experience and because they have not been exposed to the pressures of down the stretch games that determine winners and losers. I would never question Whitey's baseball sense, the guy was good. Is he right? The next six or seven weeks will provide the answer. Watching the game last night his words kept coming to mind.

Having witnessed last night's debacle, I'm hoping the Reds can avoid the sweep today to gain some measure of confidence back after last night. You simply can't beat yourself at this stage of the season. Again, the Reds were not sharp mentally. This can't happen again if the expectation is to beat the Cardinals and make it to the playoffs. Hoping for a win today to put them back on top, alone.

MattyHo4Life
08-11-2010, 08:50 AM
Whitey Herzog made a statement while doing an interview in Cooperstown that was very interesting, like him or not. Asked about the Reds/Cards race, he stated that (and I'm praphrasing here) about mid August the Cardinals would start to pull away. He stated that the Reds players would wake up one morning and realize they're in a pennant race with six weeks to go and that they would begin faltering due to a lack of playoff experience and because they have not been exposed to the pressures of down the stretch games that determine winners and losers. I would never question Whitey's baseball sense, the guy was good. Is he right? The next six or seven weeks will provide the answer. Watching the game last night his words kept coming to mind.

Whitey said that?!?!?! OMG...he is a whiney cry baby, and someone needs to go beat him up. ;)

mbgrayson
08-11-2010, 10:34 AM
But what that overlooks is that many Reds have a number of years of playoff and penant race experience too:
Orlando Cabrera(5 times), Scott Rolen(3 times), Jim Edmonds(7 times), Miguel Cairo(4 times), Bronson Arroyo (3 times), Arthur Rhodes (4 times), Russ Springer (4 times), Micah Owings (1 time), and Ramon Hernandez (5 times).

Kc61
08-11-2010, 10:39 AM
Take the broader perspective.

The Reds this year are establishing themselves as a force in the Central division and in baseball. They are putting themselves on the map after 10 years of losing.

Maybe Herzog is right, I don't think so, but maybe. Even if he is, the key thing is for the Red to battle the Cards deep into the season and to show they are for real.

If the Cards wind up winning the Central it will be disappointing but the Reds have good, deep talent with more on the way.

I hope they win this year, but mostly I hope the Reds just stick in the race down the wire and show that this isn't a one-team division anymore.

Now, hope the Reds win by 10 runs today.

lollipopcurve
08-11-2010, 11:16 AM
The rest of this season is the crucible in which this team will learn what it takes to win. Remember, it's been a long time since they've finished with even a winning record. Whether they have it in them to dethrone the Cardinals, whose empire is the NL Central, remains very much in doubt.

MattyHo4Life
08-11-2010, 11:30 AM
The rest of this season is the crucible in which this team will learn what it takes to win. Remember, it's been a long time since they've finished with even a winning record. Whether they have it in them to dethrone the Cardinals, whose empire is the NL Central, remains very much in doubt.

Exactly, the better team will be proven on the field over the 162 game schedule. Both teams are even now and have the rest of the season to prove who the better team is. I think that it does mean a lot ot have that post-season experience. I also think that is what Jocketty is trying to do with trading for vets like Rolen and Edmonds. Those players have a lot of experience at being a winner, and they will help the younger players... I hope. I'd love for the Reds to win the Wild Card and make it into the NLCS. After that...well...we'll just leave it at that for now. lol

RedsManRick
08-11-2010, 02:38 PM
I think it's interesting how often people feel the need not just to observe something but to explain it as well, as if an observation is baseless without an explanation. And what often happens, is that because a person has a lot of experience observing that occurrence, we assume that he/she has special insight in to the 'why'. That's not to say the don't have that insight, but we often fail to actual investigate -- especially if the explanation "feels right" or passes the "sniff test".

In baseball, regression is the classic example of this. Team or player A is over-performing. We then cite some characteristic of that team and suggest that, because of that characteristic, they will regress -- even though there is not a clear (let alone proven) link between that characteristic and performance.

A specific example is how teams tend to perform better after their manager gets fired mid-season. Sure, it's possible that the new manager is so much better, or that the players got fired up, that they started performing better. But it's also quite likely that the team was merely playing below it's talent level for any number of reasons unrelated to the manager and was due to regress regardless. However, we don't look at the times when the manager doesn't get fired, so we don't have a good comparison point about how teams in that situation perform.

Our brains are wired to ignore the broad and obvious and look for the specific. Numerous studies have shown that people adding detail to a situation leads people to believe that the situation's occurrence is more likely, even though this is intrinsically impossible.

Let's imagine a scenario where a young team is surprisingly in the hunt against a team that was expected to be there. Is it not possible that the reason the young team was expected to perform worse wasn't due to their lack of playoff experience but because analysis of their talent suggested they simply weren't as good? And then isn't it quite possible, if not likely, that they've just actually been over-performing their true talent level and that this is the time of year when you start to have played enough games for regression to take hold?

That's not to say Whitey is wrong, but until and unless somebody can show me any sort of evidence that links playoff experience to playoff stretch success, above and beyond talent, I'm always going to be much more inclined to say that the more talented team is more likely to win. Most of the objective analyses I've seen of these two teams (based on runs scored & allowed, quality of the opposition, and a measure of talent) suggest that the Cards are a slightly better team than the Reds. If this team comes up short, it's probably because we just weren't as good as them -- not because the pressure of the playoff race caused us to perform poorly.

nate
08-11-2010, 02:45 PM
Well said, Rick.

Brutus
08-11-2010, 02:51 PM
I think it's interesting how often people feel the need not just to observe something but to explain it as well, as if an observation is baseless without an explanation. And what often happens, is that because a person has a lot of experience observing that occurrence, we assume that he/she has special insight in to the 'why'. That's not to say the don't have that insight, but we often fail to actual investigate -- especially if the explanation "feels right" or passes the "sniff test".

In baseball, regression is the classic example of this. Team or player A is over-performing. We then cite some characteristic of that team and suggest that, because of that characteristic, they will regress -- even though there is not a clear (let alone proven) link between that characteristic and performance.

A specific example is how teams tend to perform better after their manager gets fired mid-season. Sure, it's possible that the new manager is so much better, or that the players got fired up, that they started performing better. But it's also quite likely that the team was merely playing below it's talent level for any number of reasons unrelated to the manager and was due to regress regardless. However, we don't look at the times when the manager doesn't get fired, so we don't have a good comparison point about how teams in that situation perform.

Our brains are wired to ignore the broad and obvious and look for the specific. Numerous studies have shown that people adding detail to a situation leads people to believe that the situation's occurrence is more likely, even though this is intrinsically impossible.

Let's imagine a scenario where a young team is surprisingly in the hunt against a team that was expected to be there. Is it not possible that the reason the young team was expected to perform worse wasn't due to their lack of playoff experience but because analysis of their talent suggested they simply weren't as good? And then isn't it quite possible, if not likely, that they've just actually been over-performing their true talent level and that this is the time of year when you start to have played enough games for regression to take hold?

That's not to say Whitey is wrong, but until and unless somebody can show me any sort of evidence that links playoff experience to playoff stretch success, above and beyond talent, I'm always going to be much more inclined to say that the more talented team is more likely to win. Most of the objective analyses I've seen of these two teams (based on runs scored & allowed, quality of the opposition, and a measure of talent) suggest that the Cards are a slightly better team than the Reds. If this team comes up short, it's probably because we just weren't as good as them -- not because the pressure of the playoff race caused us to perform poorly.

But of course there's always the chance that the psychological aspects of any activity can and do matter -- and what Herzog is saying could have some merit.

I think people are too quick to always label the results of play on the field as completely talent. Psychological aspects are considered intangibles, and passed off by the saber community as largely irrelevant, but it's the idea that they manifest themselves in the form of the results themselves that could be applied to production.

westofyou
08-11-2010, 03:15 PM
But of course there's always the chance that the psychological aspects of any activity can and do matter -- and what Herzog is saying could have some merit.

I think people are too quick to always label the results of play on the field as completely talent. Psychological aspects are considered intangibles, and passed off by the saber community as largely irrelevant, but it's the idea that they manifest themselves in the form of the results themselves that could be applied to production.

Talent always matters, this is a given.

Experience is a shadow, vet leadership, pressure, etc.. all of it affects folks, those who tend to be less touched are those have entered that zone before.

Experience seems to be valued more by folks who have been around the sun more than those who haven't.

Faith in that can't be changed with words.

Ron Madden
08-13-2010, 06:08 AM
In my opinion talent trumps playoff experience any day of the season.