Ruin a Moment: Kirk Gibson

We live in the age of information, but that does not always make life better. Sometimes less is still more. We as coaches are trying to help kids improve, and with that mission comes the pressure to provide to our players the latest and most accurate information available. Where does it stop though?  I love the teaching tools available on the internet, but I am afraid that if we aren’t careful, we risk far more than paralysis by analysis; we siphon the joy out of the game.

Let’s pause when we work with young players to make sure the language we choose makes the game simpler, not more complex.

If we don’t, we risk turning a moment as pure as this:

into this:  written transcript below (my apologies to Mr. Scully)

The tying run is at second base with two out.

With a proper two-out lead and an aggressive secondary, Mike Davis should be able to score on a base hit to left field.  Stan Javier after all, who came on to pinch run because of his 6.6 speed only has a 40 arm in left field. Remember, he defied Sabermetricians everywhere by stealing second base with a left handed hitter at the plate, that he used a drop step and not a crossover not to be overlooked.  He needs to be mindful of dirtball reads.

The count 3-2. Just a note, this does not mean Gibson should shorten his swing, gone are the days of choke and poke.  He is paid to hit home runs and this is time he must stay in his lane and hope to ambush Eckersley’s slider.

Gibson steps in trusting the process staying true to his routine.

Calls time, remembers to breathe and make sure his mind is right.

Gibson steps waaaaay out of the box, surprised the homeplate umpire Doug Harvey doesn’t make him keep one foot in, kids on their iPhones are leaving the game of baseball in droves after all.

Sax taking a mental at bat on deck, but the game right now is at the plate.

The 3-2 Pitch . . . Gibson shifts his eyes from the bill of Eckersley’s cap to a square somewhere over his right shoulder . . . gets his foot down early . . . Thank God he’s trying to swing up and hit the ball in the air, achieves the proper launch angle of 26 degrees and whammo . . .

She is gone!  Exit velocity an impressive 94.3 mph!

(crowd goes wild)

In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.  Gibson has wasted the ultimate opportunity to flip his bat!


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