DID SAN FRANCISCO MANAGER BRUCE BOCHY UNKNOWINGLY CREATE A PRE-GAME NEGATIVE EXPECTATION FOR JAKE PEAVY, HIS STARTING PITCHER?
Posted October 29, 2014on:
If you’re a baseball manager or coach, you have at your disposal one of the most powerful performance enhancement mechanisms that any manager or coach could wish for. That is, the expectation of high performance from your athletes. An expectation (assuming the athlete has the skill level to elevate his or her performance to a higher level) will almost always become a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, the opposite is also true. You as a manager or coach can also create a negative expectation. Such as that created by San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy before World Series Game Six that he was “keeping (starting pitcher) Jake Peavy on a short leash.” And sure enough, his expectation fulfilled itself when Peavy was pulled from the game before the end of the second inning.
If a baseball pitcher is having a difficult time on the mound and looks over at the bullpen and sees another pitcher warming up, is that a sign that the manager is expecting him to fail. And if so, would it not be better if a partition were set up between the pitching mound and the bullpen so the pitcher can’t tell if his manager has confidence in him or not. A manager’s expectation often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.