Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Mariners

Now don’t get me wrong.  The perfect game that Felix Hernandez pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays was something special. But one has to wonder if there’s anything going on behind the scenes with the Rays since he became the fourth pitcher in four years to no-hit them. As the late great manager Casey Stengel once said: “Most ball games are lost, not won.” Is it possible that the Rays lost the game more than Hernandez won it? Here are some of the reasons major league ballplayers often don’t perform up to their skill levels; why they’re not focused and often strike out at the plate: They are being unfaithful to their wives, they are smoking pot, anger at a teammate, anger at a coach, finding out your girlfriend is pregnant, family problems at home, financial problems and problems with a girlfriend. This was the sixth no-hitter this season and one has to wonder if many of the players are dealing with issues. As I’ve always maintained, what takes place away from the baseball diamond affects what takes place on the baseball diamond.

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.


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