Manage Disk Space Mac Mattingly’s Move With Stanton Had a Precedent From Hall Of Fame Manager Sparky Anderson

When Miami manager Don Mattingly revised his lineup by moving his star slugger one spot up, he was simply repeating what a Hall of Fame skipper had done 27 years ago. The strategy back then failed on the first try, but the next day proved fruitful.All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton entered the last series of the season just one home shy of the sacred sixty mark, a milestone only a few players have achieved in the long history of Major League Baseball. In order to increase his opportunities to hit number sixty, Mattingly as manager of the Marlins bumped Stanton from second in the order into the leadoff spot on the team’s final game. Although he did get two hits in five trips as leadoff man, Stanton failed to go deep and fell one short of the sixty mark.

Manager Sparky Anderson, as manager of the Detroit Tigers, faced a similar situation back in 1990. All-Star slugger Cecil Fielder found himself one homer shy of the fifty mark, a total no one had reached since George Foster of the Cincinnati Reds had 52 in 1977. To boost Fielder’s chances to get there, Anderson moved him from his usual number three slot up to the second hole for the last two games of the season.Unfortunately, the Yankees held Fielder hitless in game 161, leaving the total at 49. Anderson kept him in the second slot the next day, and the decision more than paid off.In the fourth inning Fielder blasted number fifty off of New York hurler Steve Adkins, a two run shot that put the Tigers ahead. Two at bats later, the big first baseman hit another blast, a three run shot in the eighth inning off of Alan Mills.Detroit won that game, thanks to the two blasts off of the bat of Fielder. Still, the Tigers finished four games under.500, trailing second place Toronto and the East champion Boston Red Sox.

That season was much worse for the Yankees, who must have been relieved when that final game ended. New York finished with just 67 wins, and they ended up in the cellar of the A.L. East in one of the most forgettable years in the history of the franchise.New York’s lineup featured just one perennial All-Star amid players such as Roberto Kelly, Steve Sax, and Jim Leyritz. The undoubted leader of that club was its first baseman and former batting champ, Don Mattingly.

Fear This My Fellow Athlete

Competition is good, just as fear is good – if you will use it to your advantage rather than letting it use you. Fear can frazzle us to make mistakes, become uncertain, and anxious, but fear used to our advantage can propel us to greatness. It’s a double-edged sword. Since fear is internal, you own it, it’s yours to use as you will, if you ignore it, it might hurt you, if you use it, it can help you, give you the edge, especially in competition. How might I know this?

Well, I supposed any seasoned competitor in the human endeavor or athlete understands exactly what I am saying, but in case you need more examples to help you better understand this concept, by all means keep reading.

Recently, I read an interesting article online and watched a great video sponsored by Expert Sports Performance, the video was titled: “How Talented Athletes Deal with Fear,” by Loren Fogelman, a well-known sports psychologist.

In my view I believe that Fear is a wonderful thing, a huge driver of the human psyche, but Loren Fogelman reminds me of the truth that: “it motivates some and stops others dead in their tracks,” which is absolutely a fact.

Still, I believe that if FEAR stops someone from achieving or causes them to choke under pressure, then I would submit to you that:

1.) They don’t understand what fear is; and,
2.) They are not using FEAR as an adrenal shot for peak performance

Well, I say; too bad for them, if they are competing against me or my team. Fear can be a weakness if you let it, or high-octane when you need it, YOU decide which. “It’s all in your head” I always say. Anyway, that’s the way I see it. A great book to read is: “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!” published by in the 80s as a motivational type book.

As a competitive runner, I used to imagine footsteps behind me and ready to pass. Interestingly enough, I was a pretty good athlete so that didn’t happen much, but when it actually did happen it’s a sound you never forget. This imagination during competitive races propelled me to stay on pace or increase my speed opening up a large gap between me and the other runners. Sometimes when I am out training even today, I will listen to my feet hit the trail and pick up the sounds of the echo and amplify them in my brain to simulate those ever-feared footsteps, thus, propelling me to run faster and faster.