Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Poll shows that the majority of minor leaguers will watch the playoffs

According to a new non-random poll, approximately 60% of minor league baseball players plan to watch the majority of playoff games. The poll, conducted by GB polling services via text, contains a margin of error of approximately 727%.

Most respondents said they weren't cheering for any particular team. Some claimed that they "knew" a few of the players on other teams, and would cheer for these particular individuals, but most declined to proclaim any further allegiance.

Those that claimed they would be watching the majority of games said that they "hoped to learn something" by watching them. The games seem to present a rare opportunity for minor league players to actually watch baseball at its highest level, as during the season most are consumed with playing everyday, which allows them little chance to digest a baseball game.

The minority that do not plan to watch the games gave a variety of reasons. One claimed that work would prevent his viewing. Another said he simply didn't care to watch and that he had seen enough baseball over the six month season. One lone individual claimed, "It's hockey season." The interrogator's response: "Maybe hell will freeze over and you can play hockey there."

Most individuals expressed that their viewing of baseball had changed in the years since they entered professional baseball. Most do so more objectively, trying to dissect every single play. Many also suggested that part of the fun had been removed from watching, but as one individual stated, "It's still great to watch."


Michael Taylor said...

Having apparently angered the Gods of Hollywood (and thus being unemployed), you can bet I'll be watching those playoffs. In fact, this is one of the hidden perks of being jobless at this time of year -- nothing to get in the way of playoff baseball.

After reading your excellent post on pitching to score (and the various linked articles -- interesting stuff), I wonder if it's all just a matter of concentration. So often a scoreless pitching duel ends with a big inning -- say three or four runs -- after which the previously perfect pitcher whose team just scored suddenly loosens up and allows the opposition to score. Or consider the no-hitter finally broken up by a bloop in the seventh, after which comes a deluge of hits/runs.

Could it be that after focusing so intently on a pitch-by-crucial-pitch situation, the tension released when those runs are scored has a way of taking the pitcher out of the zone?

Athletes are human, and we humans are bio-chemical machines governed by the most subtle inputs of various stress hormones. Once the basic physical skills have been more-or-less mastered, pitching seems to be such a mental game, where focus and concentration are crucial. Maybe "pitching to score" has more to do with the faltering focus of a pitcher once the game breaks open to become a battle of the respective offenses?

Just at thought...

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Nice post, had a good laugh.

What team did you grow up following? (Cards?) Are you watching any of the playoff games?

FYI, your link to your Baseball America diaries has an extra "http" in the URL, so it fails to get there. Then the software guesses at what is intended, and gets me there eventually.

gbroshuis said...

To MT: The old concentration argument. I am HUGE believer in concentration and confidence. Once you get into pro ball, the difference in stuff between guys is pretty slight. What often separates those that never make it from those that do is their ability to concentrate every pitch of every game.

It's really easy to relax over the course of a season. Maybe you just had a good game and you think you're invincible. Suddenly you give up six runs and you're humbled.

So yeah, I agree with you that concentration is certainly a component to good pitching, even if it can't be measured.

To OGC: Following the Cards, not like a 13 year old kid on a sugar rush, but I'm following them. I'll be watching quite a few games.

And thanks for pointing that out to me. I'll fix the link.