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Howson ranked as the 25th best GM

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Old
04-01-2008, 11:28 PM
  #101
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Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Pluck...you and Timeless are a riot.

Even if you don't like baseball, I think you'd appreciate Moneyball because the guy basically said "you blow" to the baseball establishment.

Reminds me of this...


The guy challenged the way the old boys evaluated talent and redefined how you build a team in a small market. So while the sport and numbers are different, we need Howson to become the next Billy Beane, or Mr Mac to become George Steinbrenner. Which one is more likely?
Thank you Mr. Beane!

Eh, seems to me that Howson has probably read the book in question and is well on his way to Beaniedom. You're right though, JF - we need Hitch to do his job, the team to do theirs, Howson his, and Mr. Mac to let his hair down and get more deeply in touch with his "Sugardaddy" side.

And I really don't want to hear any more baseball blather. :shiver: blech


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04-02-2008, 09:01 AM
  #102
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Well, I thought the baseball talk was very cool. Shows that we have some people on this board whoare real sports afficionadoes.

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04-02-2008, 09:03 AM
  #103
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what you conveniently forget is that beane won more games than the yankees (i forget in which year) with a 35 million dollar payroll.
And, since I'm a "baseball idiot", remind me, who won the title? That's right, not the A's. Do you think anyone other than Beane's adoring fans is going to give a crap in 20 years?

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the book isn't overrated by anyone that has a clue about how the business of baseball works.
Which you also apparently don't. How's Beane's system working now that its been copied by the guys with more money? Not so well, eh? A market is only inefficient so long as only some of the players in that market have the knowledge. Beane's nothing special now that there are others emulating what he's done.

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and you'd rather be a fan of the marlins? hahahahaha. yeah, you're showing your amazing baseball knowledge with each successive post. stick to squawking about hockey on here.
Yeah, again, remind me, who has won more championships in the last 15 years?

There's no mystery as to what it takes to win--find talent, develop talent, take risks in going after talent other's don't see or don't want to take the risk on, manage your budget. Billy Beane didn't invent this concept. I seem to remember some guy named Branch Rickey coming up with a minor league system to do just that.

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The choice belongs to Oakland's ownership, which signs Beane's paychecks. As for no one talking about "winning the Marlins Way", it's because going nuts with a free agent class and then dumping everyone the next year, thus relegating yourself to a 54-108 year, isn't really that smart.
And there's the rub. See, even the "great" Billy Beane can't win if his owner won't spend money. It is no different for Scott Howson. As for the Marlins, I remain unconvinced its such a bad thing. If ever 5 years or so this team won a Stanley Cup, regardless of the years in between, I think we'd all be a bit happier than sitting in mediocrity for nearly a decade.

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04-02-2008, 10:01 AM
  #104
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I really like this baseball talk. I am just not sure it applies to hockey. or more specifically, the BlueJackets.

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04-02-2008, 10:34 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
And, since I'm a "baseball idiot", remind me, who won the title? That's right, not the A's. Do you think anyone other than Beane's adoring fans is going to give a crap in 20 years?
As long as it's not the Yankees, I'm fine with it.


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Which you also apparently don't. How's Beane's system working now that its been copied by the guys with more money? Not so well, eh? A market is only inefficient so long as only some of the players in that market have the knowledge. Beane's nothing special now that there are others emulating what he's done.
As long as Dusty Baker has a job, there will be market inefficiencies.

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Yeah, again, remind me, who has won more championships in the last 15 years?

There's no mystery as to what it takes to win--find talent, develop talent, take risks in going after talent other's don't see or don't want to take the risk on, manage your budget. Billy Beane didn't invent this concept. I seem to remember some guy named Branch Rickey coming up with a minor league system to do just that.
Totally different situations. Branch Rickey took advantage of the ability of a major league team to simply buy minor league teams and stock them with his project players at a time when the minors were largely independent. Don't forget that MLB also ordered a large number of Cardinals prospects out of their contracts on the basis that Rickey had acted in breach of the agreements between MLB and the minor leagues.

Beane is doing it in a heavily regulated marketplace in which a situation like this simply cannot be done. He also does it in a time in which an MLB team could theoretically snap up enormous numbers of free agents and stick them in the minors. It would be expensive, but it could be done. Hockey's waiver system and salary cap prevents something like that from happening, thus increasing (theoretically) competitive balance.

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And there's the rub. See, even the "great" Billy Beane can't win if his owner won't spend money. It is no different for Scott Howson. As for the Marlins, I remain unconvinced its such a bad thing. If ever 5 years or so this team won a Stanley Cup, regardless of the years in between, I think we'd all be a bit happier than sitting in mediocrity for nearly a decade.
By the same token, even the great Brian Cashman can't win even though his owner is willing to spend enormous amounts of money. If the payroll was everything, the Yankees and Rangers would have won every World Series and Stanley Cup over the last 10 years.

And as long as there are GMs in the world of hockey that refuse to look at basic scouting reports, there will always be an inefficient market where certain valuable skills are undervalued. Look at what was able to happen with the CBJ this year. Signings and acquisitions that fell into the "eh" category were Novotny, Tarnstrom, Peca, Hejda, Clay Wilson, and Aaron Rome. The actual expense on all of them was minimal, and the return has been great. The overall cost outside of the payroll was a third-line winger and a minor-league forward. It did the job of patching holes and improving the overall skill level of the team.

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04-02-2008, 10:44 AM
  #106
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Money is good, but not everything.

Smart GMs are good, but not everything.

Having both would be ideal.

End of story.

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04-02-2008, 10:52 AM
  #107
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Originally Posted by Palinka View Post
Look at what was able to happen with the CBJ this year. Signings and acquisitions that fell into the "eh" category were Novotny, Tarnstrom, Peca, Hejda, Clay Wilson, and Aaron Rome. The actual expense on all of them was minimal, and the return has been great. The overall cost outside of the payroll was a third-line winger and a minor-league forward. It did the job of patching holes and improving the overall skill level of the team.
Not going to get into the Moneyball thing because I haven't read it and could not possibly care less, as it has to do with baseball.

As to holding these acquisitions up as the model for any NHL franchise? Ugh. Rome? Wilson? Maybe? Hejda? Fore sure a value. The rest of those guys were warm bodies whose production could and would likely have been matched by another player given the same opportunities. None (save maybe Hedja) was a player whose talents were undervalued by the market who produced under the right circumstances leading to a vastly-improved overall team result.

Do we want Howson to be a guy who can find good players off the radar? Of course. Do I want to hang my hat on this season-in-season-out? Nope. Which I realize isn't a comment on Howson specifically (this is a Howson thread, after all), as he operates within boundaries set by ownership.

EDIT:
Or what Kallio said.

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04-02-2008, 11:12 AM
  #108
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I agree that the only acquisition that Howson made that can be characterized as a hidden gem is Hedja.
Novotny is definitely a lump of coal. Peca has done nothing superlative. Tarnstrum has been marginal at best.

The trade for the two kids from Anaheim MAY in the future turn out to be a good move.

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04-02-2008, 11:13 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by Palinka View Post
Signings and acquisitions that fell into the "eh" category were Novotny, Tarnstrom, Peca, Hejda, Clay Wilson, and Aaron Rome. The actual expense on all of them was minimal, and the return has been great. The overall cost outside of the payroll was a third-line winger and a minor-league forward. It did the job of patching holes and improving the overall skill level of the team.
Man, its either Howson is god or Howson is an idiot in these parts with nothing in the middle.

Seriously, Tarnstrom? There wasn't any market efficiency. He did exactly what his stats suggest he'll do--help offensively, hurt defensively. Which is why Edmonton could afford to ship him--they have Souray and Pitkanen.

Wilson and Rome? Juries still out. And, again, it was a trade from a team with depth. Burke doesn't need Wilson and Rome when he's got Salcido and Huskins.

Peca--did as expected when healthy. Nothing more, nothing less. Slightly better numbers than his last nearly full season, though, I believe he was a third liner in Edmonton, so he got less ice time.

Novotny? Pretty much the same numbers he put up last year.

Hejda is the best pickup Howson made and it didn't hurt that he came from the organization Howson just left.

This summer is where Howson will be put to the test. Little moves are fine, but now this team needs the big moves, the ones that put them over the top. That's when we'll know just how good Scott Howson really is.

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04-02-2008, 11:18 AM
  #110
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Man, its either Howson is god or Howson is an idiot in these parts with nothing in the middle.
Same for Hitch.

Same for everything around these parts.

Nothing but black-and-white, I'm right, you're wrong.

I don't want to come off as anti-discussion, because I'm not. I actually love discussion. But I'm not sure I've seen much discussion of anything here for a long time.

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04-02-2008, 11:23 AM
  #111
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Actually the discussion here seems pretty polite compared to the bloodshed that used to occur on the "other board".

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04-02-2008, 11:32 AM
  #112
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I think the Beane theory applies anywhere you are

putting together teams where there is enequality accross the league.

The rub is that we have had years wasted with inconsistent business models. 1st we were building through the draft. Then we were going to acquire UFA's for the missing pieces, then when we really tanked MacLean shot the wad on Federov after already signing Foote. This amounted to 1/3 of the total team salary for 2 1/2 years on two aged, over the hill players.

This last action was desperation and it set us back by two years. Had he held the course drafted well we should be on our way by now.

I got mad when Oiler fans & others, said Howson would have to start over, and his first year would be purely an evaluation process/ shedding those big salaries. In hindsight those people knew exactly what they were talking about.

The issue is whether the city and fanbase can afford to hang in there for the proper corrections to be made (does he have time?). I think the organ - i - zation was broken and it needs fixed, but the seats need to be filled for this to happen properly. Is Howson experienced enough to pull this off?

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04-02-2008, 12:13 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post
I don't want to come off as anti-discussion, because I'm not.
Yes you are.

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I actually love discussion.
Do not.

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But I'm not sure I've seen much discussion of anything here for a long time.
Typical.

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04-02-2008, 12:23 PM
  #114
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Yes you are.



Do not.



Typical.


Nicely played.

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04-02-2008, 01:01 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post
Same for Hitch.

Same for everything around these parts.

Nothing but black-and-white, I'm right, you're wrong.

I don't want to come off as anti-discussion, because I'm not. I actually love discussion. But I'm not sure I've seen much discussion of anything here for a long time.
Its up to an intelligent person to analyze the arguments of each side and make their mind up as to their own beliefs.

Would you rather have a "discussion" where everyone had a milquetoast concensus opinion without any debate or contrary opinion? Wouldn't really be much of a discussion, so much as a mutual admiration society. Wouldn't really gain much information from it either--go look at the threads where everyone agrees to the initial proposition. They have about 3 "me too" posts before they go the great thread graveyard in the sky.

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04-02-2008, 01:15 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Its up to an intelligent person to analyze the arguments of each side and make their mind up as to their own beliefs.

Would you rather have a "discussion" where everyone had a milquetoast concensus opinion without any debate or contrary opinion? Wouldn't really be much of a discussion, so much as a mutual admiration society. Wouldn't really gain much information from it either--go look at the threads where everyone agrees to the initial proposition. They have about 3 "me too" posts before they go the great thread graveyard in the sky.
I never said everyone had to agree. Though I do find an enjoyable irony in your use of the word "everyone" to my point, which was agreeing with your point about things being black-and-white.
So another opinion is relegated into a defined corner.

There is a middle ground for middle ground too.

Everything in moderation -- be it total agreement, slight agreement or vehement disagreement.

One personís entertaining or enlightening debate is anotherís frustrated beating of a dead horse.


Last edited by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe: 04-02-2008 at 01:23 PM.
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04-02-2008, 01:26 PM
  #117
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Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post

One personís entertaining or enlightening debate is anotherís frustrated beating of a dead horse.
No it's not.

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04-02-2008, 01:29 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by KallioWeHardlyKnewYe View Post
One personís entertaining or enlightening debate is anotherís frustrated beating of a dead horse.
Most of the discussion between now and the draft will be either overanalysis or rampant speculation--you know, the type of think Eklund makes a living on. Nature of the beast until there is something tangible to talk about.

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04-02-2008, 01:31 PM
  #119
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Most of the discussion between now and the draft will be either overanalysis or rampant speculation--you know, the type of think Eklund makes a living on. Nature of the beast until there is something tangible to talk about.
I am counting down the days.

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04-02-2008, 02:10 PM
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
This summer is where Howson will be put to the test. Little moves are fine, but now this team needs the big moves, the ones that put them over the top. That's when we'll know just how good Scott Howson really is.
I agree with this, and would go so far as to say this off-season may be the best chance Howson will ever have to completely put his stamp upon the franchise. He'll have (we think) a lot of money to spend and roster spots to fill, an extra first-rounder to use or deal, not a lot of millstone contracts around the neck of the franchise, plus several very interesting young players in the organization.

He'll have a lot of tools to work with, so he'd better do more than tinker and putter. I'm reasonably confidant he will. Of course, if he doesn't, there'll be plenty of people around to point that out.

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04-02-2008, 02:37 PM
  #121
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There is a middle ground for middle ground too.
Take a stand, HF Board middle grounders!

What do we want?
Rational discussion!
When do we want it?
...What works for you?

Hooray for prudence!

We request change in a reasonable amount of time after comprehensive discussion of the options!


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04-02-2008, 02:54 PM
  #122
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Speculation of what we might or might do tends to be more entertaining (and involves less bloodshed) then the reality when we start to see the moves come in.

I sure hope we reverse this trend this offseason. With 80 gazillion to spend, let's hope Howson can find something worthy to spend it on.

So far Howson has been great at digging through the scraps and finding stuff that people have thrown out with the trash and turning them into a tasty treat. Now he needs to up his game and be able to close the deal, on trades and UFA signings.

Fun, fun...

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04-02-2008, 06:58 PM
  #123
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Man, its either Howson is god or Howson is an idiot in these parts with nothing in the middle.
Odd that you responded to a centrist with this statement. My standpoint is that nine months isn't enough time to run for the hills or build shrines; I simply happen to be slightly more agitated with the former group because it's absurd on all levels.

Quote:
Seriously, Tarnstrom? There wasn't any market efficiency. He did exactly what his stats suggest he'll do--help offensively, hurt defensively. Which is why Edmonton could afford to ship him--they have Souray and Pitkanen.
A highly talented offensive defenseman was acquired for a third line forward. That's not necessarily a market inefficiency, but rather an example of a minor gamble being made.

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Wilson and Rome? Juries still out. And, again, it was a trade from a team with depth. Burke doesn't need Wilson and Rome when he's got Salcido and Huskins.
So? It involved trading a minor league forward for two very good defensive prospects.

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Peca--did as expected when healthy. Nothing more, nothing less. Slightly better numbers than his last nearly full season, though, I believe he was a third liner in Edmonton, so he got less ice time.
I'd argue he performed above expectations when healthy, which unfortunately happened to encapsule a very small part of the season.

Quote:
Novotny? Pretty much the same numbers he put up last year.
A 24-year-old former first round pick who was a Group VI free agent. There is perhaps no better overall group than the G6s; they tend to be highly regarded prospects who don't immediately flourish, college players who aren't given much time, or guys that are simply given up on.

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Hejda is the best pickup Howson made and it didn't hurt that he came from the organization Howson just left.
The second part has nothing to do with the first. If he came from Pittsburgh and found a way to get Crosby, would you poo-poo it as "Yeah, but that's from the team he came from"?

Quote:
This summer is where Howson will be put to the test. Little moves are fine, but now this team needs the big moves, the ones that put them over the top. That's when we'll know just how good Scott Howson really is.
Thus proving why offseason rankings are garbage. The Rangers made a big splash with Drury and Gomez, but how well has that panned out for them? Edmonton got Dustin Penner, Buffalo was given a ton of credit for keeping Thomas Vanek, and yet both are on the verge of elimination from the playoff race.

You make the mistake that looking at numbers automatically equates with "digging for inefficiencies", when that's hardly the case. There were a few years when Sergei Gonchar and Sergei Zubov scored as many points as Nicklas Lidstrom, but who would argue that they're equal? Heck, I think Tarnstrom was up there a year or two (02-03, maybe?).

Much more so than in baseball, hockey scouting is full of what cannot be easily quantified. Baseball stat analysis started over 100 years ago in some form, hockey is very recent. Hockey also lacks a great deal of what makes baseball analysis unique.

In baseball, it is possible to take every ball put into play by a certain player and project it onto other stadiums; we literally can say "Player X lost 80 points off his batting average, 20 home runs, and 50 RBIs because he played in this park; if he played in Stadium Y and did exactly this, he would have had one of the best seasons in history". Hockey has no such information bank. Shot charts are a fairly recent innovation here, but there are issues with that even.

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04-02-2008, 10:17 PM
  #124
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I really like this baseball talk. I am just not sure it applies to hockey. or more specifically, the BlueJackets.
With all due respect it does apply, and we have no better example of that than to look north at the Cleveland Indians, who took a very small payroll and were one game from the world series. They build from within, do a good job of developing young talent, and find people when needed from outside without breaking the bank. And they seem to find people who play well together, so the clubhouse isn't full of malcontents.

It would be fun to talk to the Blue Jackets scouts and hear what they think. My brother had that opportunity with some Tribe scouts during one of their cyclical downturns and they were happy as clams with the future. No hype required, the just told him the Tribe was reloading and these were the guys to watch. .

The front office is the biggest key to the success of any any professional sports team. A lot of that is and was evaluating and handling talent, and that of course Howson (and his staff of scouts, who matter a LOT) will make or break this franchise. If you look at the recent run of Syracuse, Legein Mason and Voracek coming up, we have a pretty solid farm system going. We have money free to spend and we're close enough now that money looks like it's worth spending. We have a team that works hard and is willing to work hard together. Really, the Jackets aren't that many pieces from having a really good hockey team.

Personally, I like the future and look forward to what's to come. And a big W on Sunday.

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04-02-2008, 10:34 PM
  #125
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Speaking of baseball... did anyone read David Brook's NY Times editorial in today's Dispatch about how PITCHERS are trained these days, and how there's new thinking about how to gauge their success? It was an amazing article... applies to everything else in life, including hockey.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/opinion/01brooks.html

Brooks unpacks the book ďThe Mental ABCís of Pitching,Ē by a sports psychologist named H.A. Dorfman. (If you are into baseball and the mind of pitchers, read the article for more good stuff).
Quote: A baseball game is a spectacle, with a thousand points of interest. But Dorfman reduces it all to a series of simple tasks. The pitcherís personality isnít at the center. His talent isnít at the center. The task is at the center. ...And by putting the task at the center, Dorfman helps the pitcher quiet the self. He pushes the pitcherís thoughts away from his own qualities ó his expectations, his nerve, his ego ó and helps the pitcher lose himself in the job.
Reminds me of some things Ken Hitchcock has said about over-thinking. Maybe Zeke read this book in the off season?

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