Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lucky Number Slevin .. I mean 7 ... Ego Threshold

Lucky Number Slevin
is a pretty good and complicated movie about mistaken identity, luck, crime, murder, scheming, plotting, revenge, and a mafia feud/war. The main character name is Slevin and the sound and similarity of his name to the number 7 is a cool attention grabbing twist when you see that the character appears to have a run of bad luck. Everyone knows that the number 7 is associated with good luck in gambling and sports where many athletes wear the number 7 for good luck or to honor their hero.

The number 7 comes into play quite a bit in softball. For example, if you hit a ball to the left fielder for an out, it is recorded as a 7 in the book as that number is associated with the LF position. Another common way the number 7 appears is in the 7th slot of the batting order. It's no secret when creating a batter order that you want a certain type of hitter in each slot in the lineup. The number 7 hole is no different as you generally want a good consistent RBI guy . This hitter is generally regarded as OK for the given team he plays on and clearly a notch below the first 6 premium batters in front of him.  In truth this is all relative to the overall talent of your team as one man's 7 hitter hitter could quite frankly be another man's 3 or 10 hitter based on needs, match up, skills, politics, etc...

However, over the years as a player and manager, I have noticed that the 7th position in the batting order also holds another unspoken meaning. It is the Ego Threshold spot as players who generally bat lower than 7th are regarded as weaker,  bad, or  "bottom of the order" hitters by the opposition. Again in truth this is all relative yet the facts remain certain players just cannot bat lower than 7th b/c they view this as the Ego Threshold spot for various reasons like:
  • I can't bat lower than 7th - head case
  • I should be batting 3rd - delusional
  • I am the best hitter we have - ego tripping baby
  • Care about what others think - derive confidence from others - needy
  • They are just a whining bitch
  • Asshole, Dick , etc...
  • Selfish
  • Petty
  • All of the above and then some
The other night when made a lineup I took the Ego threshold into account when making the lineup. The player in question had missed several games and is generally better off batting in either the one, two, or last spot in the order, but I knew this player was a head case and ego maniac so I took the weak safe political correct road and batted him 7th to satisfy his ego and avoid controversy. This was a mistake on two fronts
  1. unfair to the team - other players
  2. unfair to that player - batting him in a spot that didn't give him the best chance to succeed
Of course we lost. My fault. This all happened b/c I succumbed to the 7 hole Ego Threshold theory. It's a mistake I will never make again at playoff time.

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