Re: Clint Hurdle: Bruce, Votto more than just hitters
It would be one thing if "knows how to win" actually did have some meaning behind it, if it was merely a relatively inarticulate short-hand for a combination of talent, skills, and work-ethic. But we've seen with Dusty that it doesn't. Dusty told us earlier this year that Josh Fogg knows how to win, as evidenced by his 10+ wins the last two year. He meant it literally.
A player who "knows how to win" is like a girl with "a nice personality". It's one thing if the girl actually is really cool, funny, etc and you want to highlight those things. But when she is, 99% of the time you actually highlight those particulars. When you use the tired phrase, it's because you aren't really talking about her personality, you're talking implicitly about her looks.
In my experience "Knows how to win" is used in two ways:
1) You like the guy/team but can't find ability based compliments that won't make you look hypocritical (because other players have more ability). In this case, Adam Pettyjohn is in not a better pitcher or call-up option than about 4 other guys. But Dusty likes him, so he's "crafty" and "knows how to win". Dusty has a real love affair with guys short on talent who keep scrapping.
2) It's what you say about somebody who is talented but you want to sound more insightful than merely pointing out that talent basis. It's an appeal to character. Some people simply feel more comfortable pretending we're all equal except for our work ethic and experience.
I'm done harping on Dusty the manager. Sure, I'll still bemoan specific decisions as points of discussion in the abstract, but there's no point in complaining about Dusty. To borrow another cliche', he is what he is. He's nearly everything I expected him to be, with the exception of his better than expected handling of the pitching staff. He's a people person, not a thinker. But at the end of the day, the #1 determinant on this team's success is the amount of talent Jocketty puts on the 25 man roster. And while Dusty make poor use of what's he got, what's he got isn't enough.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-24-2008 at 11:22 AM.