Saturday, April 18, 2009

Competitive Defiance

He kinda doesn't look like it here, but Texas Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter is a sweet kid. Only one year out of college, he made it to the majors last season and got shelled in a couple of starts. He says "I did not throw well" when in Arlington. Watch his beautiful competitive defiance at 1:37 of the video: "Next time I go up there, I throw well, we'll see what happens then." He says it like a threat. Here's a guy who got shelled by major league hitters, and he now responds by almost threatening those same hitters. I can't express how much I love that 5 seconds of defiance.

In "Moneyball", A's GM Billy Beane describes a moment when he realized he was never going to succeed as a baseball player. It happened when Beane and Lenny Dykstra were raw minor leaguers sharing a spring training dugout. Dykstra was a smallish kid who did not possess overt talent. Beane possessed outstanding skills. For some reason, an outstanding major league pitcher came into the game in which the raw Beane and Dykstra were playing. "Who's that?" asked Dykstra. Beane described the pitcher's accomplishments to Dykstra; described the pitcher's filthy and almost unhittable slider. Beane basically had his head in his hands due to the futility of their chances of hitting this pitcher. Dykstra narrowed his eyes and closely watched another warm-up pitch. "I can hit him", he said.

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