Matt sez, in response to the fact that SportSpyder captured some headlines referring to Dr. Martin,
Want some chatter on Martin. No...not Leonys. Lorena.
After years of complaining that the Mariners are HORRIBLE at keeping players both healthy and maximally productive for their ability, the Mariners are trying something new and bringing in a guru in combining sports psychology, sports performance analytics, and training science into a big-data-driven department to oversee player conditioning, mental skills training, and conditioning science.
She wrote a book...any of you want to read it and tell me how she thinks? :)
Dr. Martin has a 30-minute presentation at this address --- > http://www.sloansportsconference.com/content/sports-performance-measurem.... Am going through it, not for the purpose of 'grading' her or anything like that, but with the idea of nailing down (for our purposes) what it is the Mariners believe they can accomplish with Dr. Martin's input.
The first 15-20 odd minutes explains differences between athletes on a biochemical level: for example, for muscles to produce energy they recruit one of three "ATP" systems including:
- Phosphagen system (correlates with first 10 seconds of "explosive" movement)
- Glycogen system (correlates with :10 second to 2:00 minute movements)
- Oxidative system (correlates with activities requiring longer-term resistance of fatigue)
Great. That's what it's all about: Observe, Understand, Predict, Control. Aside from bringing more than her share of intellectual goods to the table, Dr. Martin is also a very accomplished tennis player, but has focused to date on sports outside baseball. Such as basketball, football, soccer, and individual sports.
My question in this situation always begins with --- > to what extent does an understanding of biochemistry --- > genuinely translate to deltas in athletic performance "at the back wheels." For example, let's suppose that we understand that Athlete X has a good explosive-phosphagen system but a lesser oxidative system. Can an altered training system truly make a difference in the athlete's resistance to injury and fatigue in longer-term activities?
Maybe, maybe not. Super-micro scientific research seldom blends well with general systems-level understanding but Dr. Martin obviously understands this challenge.
It is clear, though, that Dr. Martin has a Grandmaster-level comprehension of her subject, both at the micro (cellular) level and at the macro (sports enhancement) levels. The Mariners are essentially inventing this position within MLB, which lags other sports in the area.
That's the big takeway for jemanji. Lorena Martin is the real blinkin' deal, b'lee DAT. 30 minutes of watching her go make that much clear. And she's the first of her kind in MLB, though not in sports generally. Mega props for Jerry Dipoto on this one, end of story. Sabes complain that MLB teams are sabe enough for them; they're going to have a hard enough time even understanding the value that Lorena Martin does in fact add.
At the 20:00 mark on the video, she goes into the question of ---- > does Narcissism and distorted ego form an advantage or disadvantage in sports. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? She refers to Muhammad Ali in this discussion.
We mention this to give a feel for how wide her territory has been in sports enhancement. From the 20:00 to the 23:00 mark on the video, Dr. Martin touches on the difference between "true confidence" in sports, vs. the "social veneer" type of Narcissism that often comes crashing down under pressure. As a student of Aikido I really enjoyed what I heard.
Q. Can Dr. Martin use her knowledge of cellular biology to analyze James Paxton and design a training routine that will minimize his chances of injury?
A. I don't know. I rather doubt it - that is, I mildly doubt it; I'll believe it when I see it. But on the other hand, there are few people I'd rather have making the attempt.
Lorena Martin, at a half-hour's exposure, is a GM-level expert brought in to ----- > address the right area of need for the Mariners. Would like to know more about her approach, and certainly would like to know more about the specific ways in which this position is going to make a difference.
We suspect, though, that if the Mariners told us, they'd have to kill us. So I'll buy the book, I guess, make some aiki speculations, and then the Mariners can shrug off the public's observations as to what they're up to. In that sense, Jerry Dipoto has become a worthy successor to Chuck Armstrong. 40 years' worth of less-than-amazing results have seldom prevented the M's from feeling like their "internal secrets" need top-level protection.
... we kid. This is MLB culture more than it's Mariner culture; Pete Carroll will laugh and talk X's and O's with you as will Steve Kerr. Scott Servais looks left, right, back down the hallway to see who's listening ...
/rant Dr. Lorena Martin knows whereof she speaks. Whether she will find any strapping young 6' 4", 225-lb men to listen to her might be another matter. Maybe it will be enough that Mel Stottlemyre Jr. will.