Legendary coach and psycho Bobby Knight says the ESPN ruined coaching because everyone wants to make the Sports center highlight rather than make the solid but boring fundamental play. I think the same thing is true in softball. No one is content with just getting an out. Everyone wants to be flashy and get all the applause and accolades of the crowd/fans by trying to do too much. Hey, I love a great diving play or a spectacular double play as much as the next guy but there are situations in a game where you just have to get an out. Especially when things are going wrong.
Yesterday on Gallagher's, the team I manage on Sunday, we rolled to an easy 13-1 mercy victory in game one. Between games I had guys coming up to me saying they wanted to leave because the first game was long and boring, like this blog :) , and the other team was uncompetitive. That's when I knew in game two that we would get sloppy and be in for a battle, and guess what I was right.
In the nightcap, we started throwing the ball around, making stupid decisions, posing with the ball as runners took extra bases, and running through Stop signs by the 3rd base coach. Before you knew it we were down 5-0. To a manager this is extremely annoying. We were able to come back and win the game fairly easily, but against a more seasoned and talented club we would have gotten smoked.
Great teams like Contact, Choice Parts, Clemente Pirates, the Cardinals, Old Skool, DEA, the Highlanders and of course West never do stupid shit like I mentioned above. They get the easy outs, listen to there base running coaches and methodically wear you down. Loco style softball is HIGH RISK HIGH REWARD, which is cool when playing craps in Atlantic City but more often than not will get you an undeserved loss in a big game.
In the movie Bronxtale, Robert De Niro said "There is nothing worse in life than wasted talent". The same idea applies in softball " There is nothing worse in life than wasted softball talent". Playing undisciplined and stupid more often than not leaves you feeling that you wasted an opportunity - and that is the worse feeling you can have in the game.