On a recent “Poscast” with SI writer and all-around awesome guy Joe Posnanski, Michael Schur (aka Ken Tremendous) talked about the need for baseball players to be able to keep themselves immune to losses, and learn to shrug off failure. At the risk of falling into cliché, baseball is a sport where the very best teams lose 50 games and the very best hitters fail 6 times out of 10, so the resiliency to bounce back from failure is absolutely essential. As someone who is neither a professional nor any kind of athlete, I don’t really get to see examples of this firsthand, but I have lately, through Nyjer Morgan’s fantastic Twitter account, @TheRealTPlush.
And finally, on an off day following three consecutive series losses, before facing a suddenly hot Minnesota Twins team, what is Plush up to? He is literally flying a kite:
Like clockwork, Nyjer Morgan makes sure that the losses aren’t getting him down. The Crew is facing a rough part of the schedule and haven’t been performing as well as they’ve hoped. This is very frustrating, but the players can’t undo any of the losses. All they can do is remember how good this team is and make sure they keep playing as hard as they can. It is common among sabermetric fans, and I absolutely include myself in this statement, to basically ignore the effect of clubhouse harmony on a team’s performance, because it’s practically impossible to quantify, and does not seem to have much effect. However, just because it can’t be quantified and is only a small effect does not mean that it is no effect, and it absolutely can’t hurt to have a guy like Nyjer Morgan who, in addition to his on the field contributions, seems to bring boundless enthusiasm off the field, as well.
Now, as for guys who (supposedly) have a great clubhouse presence but don’t contribute on the field, well…