Baseball Intelligence(B-IQ): May, 2015(#45)

“How old would you be if you did not know how old you are?

Numbers Don’t Lie..or do they?

Our “Baseball Connect” Team just returned from Vietnam and a very successful mission to help teach the Vietnamese the game and to work with a number of communities to improve their quality of life. The “team with a dream” spent the time in Hanoi, a city of about 12 million people, in a country with about 92 million people. Wow….and they live in an area the size of New Mexico with approximately 75% of the population under 25 years of age. It really makes one think about the huge numbers that are in Asia..not to mention the almost 6 billion in China!
Baseball is a “numbers game”…just take the number three (see attached) and how many times it is used in the game. Then jump into statistics and the game is most noted for its records, speed guns, times to first, etal..all numbers. As one studies the game, numbers dominate the history..from the first game to the 1,000,000th run scored and more. There are actual numerical records to refer to, from the fewest people to attend a game (ZERO in Baltimore last week) to the number of times that Don Zimmer sang/heard the national anthem in his 60+ year career. As youngsters take up the game, as early as 4 years old, they become infatuated with numbers…batting average, RBIs, wins, losses, times reaching first, runs….not to mention the selection of the number they must wear on their back. Many young players become over-enthralled with these numbers and think that their BA and ERA are more important than their GPA!! Heavens, many adults worry more about their teams winning percent more than their own PSA or blood pressure numbers!! It is very difficult to discuss the game without the mentioning of numbers as almost all sense of value is measure with numbers. The number of games out of first, the fastest player, the most of this and that and of course, the ever popular Mendoza Line and its antithesis, hitting over .300. Numbers do rule, but in the end they are #s!

As we are currently seeing, the infatuation with numbers has led to many dishonorable practices (juicing the body…and the ball, corking and “fixing” bats, etc.). Most disconcerting is that the integrity of the game is being shoved aside and suffering. The winning, or reaching the highest number, has become the goal rather the competitive spirit of doing one’s best and working as a team. Giving 100% is the most important number and playing for one’s teammates rather than with them should be the ultimate mantra. Number one for the youngsters must be to learn the game and its lessons, and understanding the fallibility of life is more important than the number of wins, your BA, ERA, or how many medals you have amassed. Life is also a “number’s game” with the key number being not how many but, how you earned the numbers and their value to your team and others!!

THINGS to do in May: EYE EXAM! Number 1 and NOW!!
1. EYE EXAM NOW: FIRST of two eye exams. JUST DO IT!!!
2. First thing, work harder and focus on your discernible weaknesses and fix them!!
3. Newest term: LOOGY- the “lefty only one out guy”. A new specialist pitcher!!
4. BE strong against fear…it is the number 1 problem facing ballers and kids everywhere!!!

Book of the Month: The Wright Brothers, David McCullough. The first flyers! 5 gloves.

Movie of the Month: “Where Hope Grows”(2014). An unexpected journey of friendship between an ex-pro and a Down’s syndrome kid. SUPERLATIVE!! 5+ gloves

Rationalization #43. I cannot be number 1 so why play?!? !
#44. It’s not in the numbers!

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