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Watched King Felix's game against the Dodgers

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Postby mcliffy2 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:00 pm

Anyone else worried that his attitude really isnt condusive to him improving (or maybe the right phrasing would be, becoming less erratic). Maybe its not so much bad luck, as him not learning from his mistakes. I read the post-game interview, and I hear him make the same excuses people are making here..."I pitched well, but I got unlucky"...compare that to the real professional pitchers who are never satisfied and trying to figure out what they can do to improve. he seems satisfied with a bad result if he can justify it by saying he pitched well. Results matter, maybe he should figure out what he can do to improve (even if its as simple as saying, hey coach, im tired, or hitting the gym for some squats). I think he is incredibly talented, but you have to put that together with mental toughness to win consistently, and his post game comments from the last game worried me.
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Postby johnsamo » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:39 am

I'm not sure you can put a lot into what he says in English, being it is his 2nd language. My guess is, he knows English as it relates to baseball, but tone and inference, he may not have.... and truth be told, he did pitch well and got unlucky at the end.
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Postby jdsun1 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:30 am

mcliffy2 wrote:Anyone else worried that his attitude really isnt condusive to him improving (or maybe the right phrasing would be, becoming less erratic). Maybe its not so much bad luck, as him not learning from his mistakes. I read the post-game interview, and I hear him make the same excuses people are making here..."I pitched well, but I got unlucky"...compare that to the real professional pitchers who are never satisfied and trying to figure out what they can do to improve. he seems satisfied with a bad result if he can justify it by saying he pitched well. Results matter, maybe he should figure out what he can do to improve (even if its as simple as saying, hey coach, im tired, or hitting the gym for some squats). I think he is incredibly talented, but you have to put that together with mental toughness to win consistently, and his post game comments from the last game worried me.


Real professionals, real people, etc....everyone gets unlucky. However some people are just unluckier than most. Felix is up there with some of the unluckiest.
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Postby mcliffy2 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:21 am

Fair points, and yes he has been unlucky to some extent, I agree (heck I have him on my team)...I was just comparing his attitude(albeit translated) to Reyes' after his 1-hitter loss to the Sox. Reyes was keyed in on what he could have done to prevent that 1 hit, not thinking about the other batters he baffled that day.
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Postby johnsamo » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:36 pm

Personally, I think pro ballplayer (for longevity sake) have to have a "I did my best, I lost" attitude. Guys that get wound up in knots over an 0fer or a bad inning pitched usually don't last long. Confidence is a major factor in long term performance.

Read Billy Beane's Money Ball some time. It's a great book for a lot reasons, but also for Beane's story as a player. He was a young stud who had physical talent up the wazoo and was used to winning and excelling, as soon as he hit the minors, all the sudden he started having Ofers and it totally broke his confidence as a player... That's one of the reasons he developed his theory that you should only draft college players, because you'll at least know they've taken a few knocks and kept on playing, but with 18 year old kids from the sticks who've dne nothing but rake or throw shutouts, suddenly hitting a talent pool where you're not the biggest kid on the block can destroy their confidence and they don't always get it back.
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Postby johnsamo » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:41 pm

But anyway, the fact that Felix just turned 20 and isn't tossing water coolers onto the field when he gets taken out with his team behind is a good sign. Even if he makes it to Cooperstown, he's going to lose hundreds of games and give up thousands of hits... water off a duck's back.
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:07 pm

johnsamo wrote:Personally, I think pro ballplayer (for longevity sake) have to have a "I did my best, I lost" attitude. Guys that get wound up in knots over an 0fer or a bad inning pitched usually don't last long. Confidence is a major factor in long term performance.

Read Billy Beane's Money Ball some time. It's a great book for a lot reasons, but also for Beane's story as a player. He was a young stud who had physical talent up the wazoo and was used to winning and excelling, as soon as he hit the minors, all the sudden he started having Ofers and it totally broke his confidence as a player... That's one of the reasons he developed his theory that you should only draft college players, because you'll at least know they've taken a few knocks and kept on playing, but with 18 year old kids from the sticks who've dne nothing but rake or throw shutouts, suddenly hitting a talent pool where you're not the biggest kid on the block can destroy their confidence and they don't always get it back.


ROFL...I read your first paragraph and immediately thought of Billy Beane before I even got to the second one.
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Postby johnsamo » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:09 pm

What I also like LONG TERM is that forcing him to not throw his nasty breaking ball much and working on location and change of speed will really help him long term. In the coming years, they're going to loosen the leash and let him throw the nasty stuff and he's gonna be dominant during that period, but unless he's Nolan Ryan, he'll eventually have a Tommy John or something and lose some velocity and the nasty break, but he's developing the skills now to come back and be a pitcher who can still win without his best stuff.

That's basically what Clemens is now. He's got a good fastball but nothing like he once had, so now he's more about location, changing speed and throwing the split to make up for his lost velocity. Same story with Pedro Martinez. His stuff is nowhere near as nasty as it was, but he's still a great pitcher. Pitchers like Gooden though who just relied on heat and the nasty breaks, after he lost his volicity, he had nothing really to fall back on.
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Postby johnsamo » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:16 pm

Actually, truth be told, Nolan Ryan lost his velocity too, but since he was throwing 100 MPH in his prime, his drop off was to 97, which ain't bad, and with his improved control, a better changeup and a wicked 12 to 6 curve, he was still dominant. From a batter's perspective, A 97 MPH fastball with a good change up is "faster" than a 100 MPH fastball with a lousy changeup.
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Postby mcliffy2 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:31 pm

I agree completely that getting too wound up is bad. I think there is a difference between taking responsibility and focusing on improving and killing yourself over a loss. Look at competitors like Santana, Carpenter, etc. They are professional pitchers who go out and perform. When things go wrong they figure out what went wrong, fix it and move on. When things go right they don't get too excited because they know it doesn't last forever. For an example of a hitter with this attitude...look no further than Pujols. I guess my worry is basically that when you get a bad result, its ok to take some comfort in the things you did right, but its better to focus on what you can do to improve (even if you did more right than wrong, its the old adage, "there's always room for improvement").
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