SABRMatt is having trouble following me, and if he is having trouble with it, everybody is. LOL.
So let me see if I followed you correctly:
1) C the Z is a platitude with little meaning on its face...one of those "well duh...yes, we need to try to do that" things.
2) You don't believe DiPoto thinks the idea itself is revolutionary, but that he uses it as a focal point for a larger philosophy regarding player acquisition, and instilling mental toughness in his players.
3) You also don't believe the current belief that discipline cannot be tought. You just wonder how much an organization can bend the learning curve downward and make it easier for guys to get it faster
Do I have that right? :)
That's 80% on target for what I'm tryin' to say.
What does Pete Carroll mean by "always compete"? He means he'll trade off other things, when other (good) principles conflict with his main one. He'll hire a young, competitive coach even at the cost of technical knowledge. He'll trade two draft picks for Percy Harvin and not look back. He'll start a 5' 10" quarterback if he likes the kid's makeup. These are "in the margin" decisions where 16 head coaches will go one way and 16 will go the other. ... wait ... Carroll has plenty of decisions where 2 head coaches will go one way and 30 go the other.
I think DiPoto and Servais will trade off other things, in order to get their hitters (and pitchers) attacking the strike zone with a second-level plan.
It seems to me that if you haven't watched the 2005-2015 Seattle Mariners throw away at-bats, you probably don't "see" the strike zone game too well yet.
Lemme try another camera angle: Jack Nicklaus taught "NEVER hit a QUIT shot." In other words, just because you hit it into the water and blew your lead, doesn't mean you get to throw the next ball down and just whale at it, to get the hole over with. Concentrate, believe, and battle the same way after a bad shot as after a good one.
The 2005-2015 Mariners had a whale of a lot of QUIT at-bats.
In baseball terms, a PRO at-bat means you're out-thinking the pitcher, imposing your will on him. This requires data on the pitcher. Some teams achieve this better than others. The Mariners have been achieving it WORSE than others. Schwanke's article gets across the flavor of the chess game in the strike zone.
Like we said,
(1) If you can teach players to BB more, it won't be by much. You're not going to get Ichiro to walk 60 times a year rather than 40. And probably you shouldn't attempt it, either. We're talking about differences that show more in UP seasons than they show in the BB column.
Nobody should expect Leonys Martin to walk 20 times more next year because of a Eureka! moment that Edgar bestowed on him. But day-in, day-out thoughtful ABs, directed towards the SP's weaknesses, might accumulate and result in an 81 OPS+ season rather than a 55.
Sabermetrics has not touched the hem of the garment of, "What CAUSES a player to have a 2.5 WAR season rather than 1.5 WAR season?" It cops out by blaming 100% of the variation on random fluctuation. But! In my view, the John Wooden approach is one that CAN make a difference in a player having an UP year. Get your players into the HABIT of thinking and planning, and it can become a clubhouse epidemic.
(2) The minor leaguers are another subject.
Gallwey's Inner Game of Tennis is about the game that takes place within the mind. This is assuming the athlete hasn't "quit" and isn't just whaling at the ball thoughtlessly, on reflexes. Ask Mo' Dawg how much difference that makes in golf. Better yet, ask Tiger. At age 45, Jack Nicklaus' legacy was only getting better, while Tiger's is off the rails. That's because of the attitudes and mental discipline of the two players. Even at the supreme levels of sport, the Inner Game makes all the difference.
Americans tend not to appreciate this. English soccer fans wallow in it, though. As do Japanese baseball fans. The AVERAGE Japanese fan enjoys the "ki exchange" between pitcher and hitter. Not us! We like windmill dunks and stylin' into the end zone. Nothing against erudite SSI Think Tankers.
It's a cultural thing; English soccer fans are raised from age five to appreciate a player's intentions, attitude, and body language. One time an English soccer fan casually explained Clint Dempsey's intentionality to me as though it were the most obvious thing in the world :- )
What would GM Detecto do? He would demand that his players think on the field, that's for sure. Brandon League goes, Jamie Moyer stays.
:: daps ::