Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Casey Stengel

Have you ever noticed when you tune in to a post-game television show covering a baseball game that had just been played and how they praise the home team for great plays and great athletic ability? Well it’s almost always a hoax and frankly it makes me ill. The announcers, who want to keep their jobs, heap praise on the home team even though the home team made multiple errors and their players got almost no hits throughout the nine innings. What they don’t tell you is that the visiting team was even worse. Not only were they having chemistry problems but their star player was having personal problems that affected his performance. The truth is never known. Casey Stengel said it best: “Most ball games are lost, not won.” But can you imagine what would happen if an announcer on a post-game sports show told the truth? Announcer: “Well folks, the home team was lucky to win today. They played really badly and a lot of them should be sent back down to the minors. But here’s the good news: The visiting team played even worse! They looked and played like a bunch of high school kids who had consumed too much alcohol from the beer company that sponsors this show. I won’t mention their name but you know who they are. We’re doing a bit of checking to find out if it’s true that there was a fistfight in the visiting team’s locker room just before game time. And if it’s also true that the star player on the visiting team found out just before game time that his girlfriend back home is pregnant. And that his wife is filing for divorce. Other than those two items there really isn’t much to report.”

According to the late, great Casey Stengel, most baseball games are lost, not won. But there’s another side to that coin and it’s called “The psi Factor” which, simply put, says: Athletes who are happy and whose lives are in harmony will perform close to their skill levels on a consistent basis (and will win games for their managers.)

The following was taken from the Internet:

“Each time (David) Ortiz crosses the plate after hitting a home run, he looks up and points both index fingers to the sky in tribute to his mother Angela Rosa Arias, who died in a car crash in January 2002 at the age of 46. Ortiz also has a tattoo of his mother on his biceps.

“Ortiz and his wife Tiffany have three children. Since marrying Tiffany, he has become a fan of the Green Bay Packers (his wife hails from Kaukauna, Wisconsin, a town in between the cities of Green Bay and Appleton.) On June 11, 2008, Ortiz became a United States citizen at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

“The David Ortiz Children’s Fund was founded in 2007 to support a range of causes that Ortiz believes in. The Fund allows Ortiz the flexibility to donate to those children who are in the most need at any given time, from Boston to the Dominican Republic and beyond. Ortiz released his own Charity Wine label in 2008 with all the proceeds going to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. The wine called Vintage Papi proceeded to raise $150,000 for charity.”

Of course, it’s important that if the psi factor is to work the athlete must possess the skill level to perform at a high level. Which fits “Big Papi” perfectly. At the time of this writing, Ortiz will take a .733 World Series batting average into game six at Fenway Park. Which makes you believe that, during the next baseball season, if he puts his mind to it, Ortiz could be the first major league player since Ted Williams to bat .400.

According to Boston ace Jon Lester, he had this to say about Ortiz: “The guy’s got a heart of gold.”

In the June 27, 2011 issue of USA Today, ex-NFL coach Joe Gibbs said he witnessed the following scene too many times: “A player would be upset with his contract (and) we’d be in serious discussions…and during the conversation it dawns on you, ‘Are you in financial trouble?’ That happens over and over again…it plays out a lot.” Gibbs also said: “I definitely feel like anybody that’s worried about their finances, it’ll affect every part of your life…Certainly your career and your focus…it’s an awful feeling to have a financial mess. It carries over to every part of your life.”

Including, how you perform on the field. For those of you who are familiar with my column, you know that I’ve always maintained that what takes place off the field of competition affects what takes place on the field of competition. I’ve used many examples in the past and a physician friend of mine, who is quite knowledgeable about the field of medicine, said: “Yes, Marvin, but it’s strictly anecdotal.” And he’s right. There really isn’t any research to back up my theory that I’ve been espousing for the past 25 years.

A good example is George Brett. Few people realize that George had a secret weapon when he came to bat. His brother, Bobby, handled all his finances and made sure that the money was put away for safe keeping. Today, they are both millionaires and own a couple of baseball franchises in the northwest part of the country.

And so, you have to ask: If a financial mess can negatively affect an athlete’s performance, what about a divorce, or an extra-marital affair, or drugs. There’s no question that Casey Stengel was right when he said: “Most ball games are lost, not won.”


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