Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Houston Astros

Strikeouts! When players, such as the Houston Astros, strike out 43 times in their first three games and set a major league record, you can be sure there’s something going on behind the scenes with the team and team chemistry. When players have issues they haven’t confronted, and they bottle them up inside themselves, it affects their focus and they are more susceptible to not only striking out but also making errors during games. No one knows for sure what the problem might be, (or even if there is a problem) but it seems odd to me that this is happening during the tenure of the Astros first season manager, Bo Porter. Perhaps Porter has introduced some team rules that the players don’t like but are hesitant to talk about? If I were the GM of the Astros, I’d have a players only team meeting and allow them to clear the air regarding any grievances they might have, either with Porter or with each other.

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Throwing a perfect game in Major League Baseball is a great accomplishment. But from my perspective, when White Sox pitcher Phil Humber threw his perfect game against the Seattle Mariners I believe he may have been helped by anger some Seattle team members may have had toward their manager, Eric Wedge, for showing preferential treatment when disciplining his players. Wedge insists on “accountability” yet doesn’t treat everyone equally. He publicly punished shortstop Brendon Ryan by benching him but refuses to bench catcher Miguel Olivo for his consistent bad performance on the field. No one knows Wedge’s reasons but I’m sure they don’t sit well with team members.
Very often pitchers are helped by issues and concerns that may exist with players on the opposing team. In 2008, when former Mets pitcher Carlos Zambrano threw his no-hitter against the Houston Astros I believe he was helped by the fact that, because of Hurricane Ike, the game was moved from Houston to Milwaukee’s Miller Park and the Houston Astros players’ families were left behind in Houston and the players’ concern for their families’ safety affected their ability to focus.

Cubs Astros BaseballCould Met pitcher Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter have been helped by the fact that the Houston Astro’s families were still in Houston during the hurricane and the players’ concern for their families’ safety affected their ability to focus? The answer? Yes.


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