What Is Greatness?

By Jonathan Massey- 

 

Over the years, I have heard many great definitions of the word “greatness.” My favorite definition would have to be:

 

“Being great is simply being predictably and consistently good over a long period of time.”

– Andy McKay, Major League Coach of the Seattle Mariners

 

Why is this the best definition of greatness? Well, I believe it summarizes a lot of the myths that people associate with greatness – the biggest one being that great players are great all of the time. This simply isn’t true.

 

One of the crazier stats I’ve heard is that Derek Jeter had a 0 for 20 stretch at some point in every season of his career, yet he’ll go down as one of the greatest shortstops to ever play this game.

 

Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest and, to some the greatest, pitcher to ever play never won a Cy Young award. He only finished in the Top 5, 6 times in his 27-year career, yet he was a great pitcher.

 

The second myth is just how undervalued being predictable is to a coach. I’m not talking about being predictable in your pitch calling or anything like that, but being predictable in the sense that the coach knows exactly what he is going to get out of you every single time he hands you the baseball. If you’ve been to the Ranch in the past few years, you’ve probably heard this joke:

 

“The problem for some of y’all is that you pitch like Max Scherzer one night and Mrs. Scherzer the next night, with all due respect to Mrs. Scherzer.”  

 

For some of y’all, if you’re being truly honest with yourself, this is a real problem. How do you know if this is you? Well, if people commonly say, “If so-and-so can just make it out of the first inning, then he’s good for the rest of the game,” that’s generally a sign that you probably fall into the category of being inconsistent from outing to outing. The issue then becomes as you move up in levels, it gets harder and harder to continue to run a guy out there as a coach if you are relatively uncertain of what you are going to get out of him.

 

I could go into great length on the factors that can help players be more consistent (like better mechanical efficiency or the benefits of getting 8-10 hours of sleep) but I’ll save that for another time. The point of this article is to show you that you don’t have to shut out 9 every time you take the ball to be a great pitcher, all you have to do to be great is be consistently good over a long period of time.

 

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Important TBR Updates

 

  • Our February 19-21, 2022 (Sat-Mon) Elite Pitchers Boot Camp is sold out –  Call the office to be placed on our waitlist. (936) 588-6762

 

  • The Ranch staff will have one final winter event at the end of February in conjunction with the Minnesota Blizzard organization.  The players camp is sold out, however, spots are still available for the Coaches Clinic on Thursday, February 3rd. Details can be found at https://mnba.blizzardelitebaseball.com/news_article/show/1128845

 

  • Information and dates for our 3-Day Summer 2022 Elite Pitchers Bootcamps can be found on our website. https://www.texasbaseballranch.com/ Extended Stay Summer Program dates will be released in the next few weeks!

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