Athletes are emotional they play with passion and put tons of work into their craft. Emotion can be a great thing but it can also be problematic if you let it consume you. Baseball is a game filled with human error from the players, coaches all the way to the umpires no one is perfect and in each game there are little mistakes made. In baseball you need to remain in control it’s ok to let your emotion and adrenaline fuel you but it needs to be controlled aggression. It is very noticeable in pitchers as you can see when the guy on the mound in control, the focus and precision at which he is delivering pitches, hitting his spots and not letting things that happen take him off of his game.

All sports have a huge mental component but the game of baseball can eat you alive mentally if you let it. Watching the final game of the NLDS between the Reds and Giants you could see how bad calls can affect the mental state of players. Through 4 innings you would have thought the game would end 1-0 either way with the way that Latos and Cain were pitching. Both pitchers were dominating the strike zone at one point Latos had thrown 37 pitches and 29 strikes which is flat dominate, Cain was just as dominate holding the Reds lineup down as well. Having played with Latos I have seen his stuff first hand and it is filthily to go with his ability to put it where he wants to, what I noticed in the 5th was he let his emotions get the best of him after a bad call to the leadoff hitter you could see he was visibly upset about the call a borderline pitch on the outside corner. After that you could see his stuff begin to creep up in the zone and over the plate, this was noticeable in Brandon Crawford’s at bat where he tripled on a 95mph fastball over the plate. The entire game he had been down in the zone and on the corners of the plate keeping the Giants off balance, once he let his emotions get the best of him he became hittable and that turned into a 6 run inning for the Giants ultimately winning them the game.

Every Baseball game is going to have bad calls associated with it, as a player you cannot let yourself get wrapped up in it. Shake it off and move onto the next pitch or play as it may have just as big of an impact on the game. The best players in baseball are the ones that whether they are 0 for 4 or 4 for 4 you can’t tell they play the game the exact same way. Derek Jeter is a great example of this Jeter never takes his at bats to the field and is very stoic in his approach. You never know when your chance to impact the game will happen; by being able to control your emotions and not let a bad call affect you mentally you will be ready to perform at your highest level. Bad calls are a part of baseball, no umpire can be perfect just like no player or coach is perfect, the key is being able to block out the call and continue to keep your mental edge on the game. In life and in sports things do not always go our way, instead of complaining and letting it affect us we must rise up and overcome.


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Matt Goodyear

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