The Roy Hobbs Effect

It is now painfully obvious that the problem with the Arizona Diamondbacks was not manager A.J. Hinch. The team is still scuffing badly since A.J.’s dismissal. The biggest surprise of the 2010 National League West continues to be who’s in first (the Padres) and who’s in dead last (the D-Backs). It does not add up. The Padres are pitching and playing great, but the Diamondbacks are talented and playing terrible. It is not a matter of the manager (or coaching staff), it is a matter of the heart! Only as an outside observation, the Arizona boys are talented, but do not play like they are hungry. The new manager, Kirk Gibson, certainly wrote the book on playing aggressive, all out baseball. Everyone hopes he will passionate fire to the D-Backs, but the desire necessary to win championships in MLB can only come from the heart. The D-Backs need the Roy Hobbs factor. Remember the classic film The Natural? The New York Knights were miserable until Roy Hobbs broke into the lineup. In an attempt to end the losing, management brought in a psychologist holding boring team sessions highlighted by his professional observation, “Losing is a disease.” Roy Hobbs, the ancient rookie side tracked by some poor personal choices when he was a young, highly touted prospect, leaves the meeting in disgust. Talking about losing is a waste of time. Recently departed Coach John Wooden never even mentioned either winning or losing! The greatest coach of all time, he only spoke of each player doing his absolute best and putting the team above all else. View image The Roy Hobbs effect in The Natural took off when Hobbs, a passionate and desperately hungry player excels with his new opportunity loads the team on his back by example and carried the Knights to the championship. This is what the D-Backs need. It won’t be the manager. It will be a player, not highly touted nor highly paid, but passionate about the opportunity to play major league baseball. Who will it be? The “Roy Hobbs” will be an unexpected surprise. It needs to be a player no one expected to show up, make the roster and excel. It will most likely be a long time minor leaguer who has survived through determination, passion for the game and a major league dream. The “Roy Hobbs” type player teaches the more talented by example. Some of the highly touted will get it, but many may not. Large amounts of cash can easliy extinguish passion and consistent performance. If Roy Hobbs does not show up soon, the Arizona Diamondbacks are doomed … and it won’t matter who the manager is.

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