Monday, February 23, 2009

Rox Talk - O'Dowd and Line-Up

Dan O'Dowd - Not Vince Lombardi

"I don't think you need to look at wins"

"I think if we evaluate victories and that's all we miss the very essence of what we try to establish as an organization"

-Dan O'Dowd

OK nice to see a front page story about our lovable Rox but come on this ain't little league. We aren't trying to raise boys into men and create a lovefest. And should we wonder why we finish middle of the pack year after year. I haven't been a favorite of Hurdle but I might give him a break after I read this article about the guy upstairs steering the ship. For crying out loud what kind of crap is this man throwing at our feet? I want my team to win...this isn't about moral victories...this is about winning championships. Doing whatever is within your power to make a winner. If the essence of your organization isn't to win then what exactly am I paying to see on the field? I might despise the spending ways of the Evil Empire but at least their fans know that what management puts on the field is there to win. I am reminded what Vince Lombardi said

"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

"There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that's first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don't ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

"Every time a football player goes to play his trade he's got to play from the ground up — from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.

"Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization — an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win — to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don't think it is.

"It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there — to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules — but to win.

"And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

"I don't say these things because I believe in the "brute" nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle — victorious."

Maybe we need more Hurdle and less O'Dowd. Either way too bad Lombardi isn't a baseball coach.

Batting Order 2009

Troy Renck led off Sunday Rox coverage with a look at this year's batting order. I used this site, Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis, to check out the optimal lineup based on OBP and SLG. I used each players historical OBP and SLG.

Player Name OBA Slugging
Player 1:
Player 2:
Player 3:
Player 4:
Player 5:
Player 6:
Player 7:
Player 8:
Player 9:

Renck's lineup gives us 5.256 or 851 runs this year. If we go with the optimizer then the line up would look like this:

Best Lineups
Runs per Game123456789

With 5.324 or 862 runs on an optimized lineup my guess is the lineup probably doesn't make that much of a difference this year other than giving more weight to Helton hitting in the number 2 spot. This makes a lot of sense since he is a great contact hitter and his pop is probably gone. In addition Smith really hasn't had alot of consistent at bats through the grind of a season. Barmes showed some better at bats last year but not for sure he is a number 2. The most glaring issue to me is the lack of speed at the top of the lineup especially if you do consider Helton at the 2 hole. It would seem that Fowler and EY Jr aren't getting a realistic look this Spring and look to get more experience before a late season call up. These two would certainly cover the speed part.

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