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No mystery about the weight of perception around baseball

October 10, 2011

Laguna Hills, CA – Professional baseball has continued to ignite a passion throughout many generations worldwide. There are little boys that dream about the big leagues whom share the same goals as other young men playing at various levels. Coaches also have similar aspirations to connect themselves to the great game of Major League Baseball during the grind of high school, junior college and university ranks of competition. Some of these progressions can open doors of opportunity to become involved with a professional baseball organization under a contract. One thing is certain that there is no mystery about the weight of perception around baseball and the direct relation to the dreams of opportunity to wear the hat of a Major League Baseball club.

The old cliché of beauty is in the eye of the beholder relates much more than any fan will ever appreciate around the game. Fans debate, argue and joust with other family and friends throughout the year over their own perceived value of players, coaches and organizations’ personnel. The same can be said about the ongoing conversations that occur by management, development and scouts during the months of work that lie ahead of the next Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, as well as the entire season of professional baseball. It is all about perception on and off the field during the entire journey and that will never change.

Best example to offer about this issue is about my son during the 2007 fall scout ball season. Some perceived John Lamb as a lazy player while others simply used the word easy to debate his efforts on the field. About half way through the season one of the coaches came to me an apologized for his original perception and admitted he was wrong. It takes a huge man to acknowledge being wrong and learning from the experience and I will forever have an extra respect for the scout and coach involved. He really was not wrong with his opinion but just merely passing on a judgment before enough time had passed to develop a firm perception. Jumping to conclusions about a player on or off the field is not in anyone’s best interest.

Professional baseball organizations will continue to rate and make decisions based on perception during the amateur career of a player, as well as the professional time on the field. It’s simply part of the entire process of trying to place a winning product in the stadium for the fans. Perception around baseball triggers multiple debates almost everyday for the clubs attempting to improve while others are looking to support their usual dominance.

How about all those ideas that circulated during the 1999 First-Year Player Draft over one of the more dominant players in professional baseball. Albert Pujols was not highly considered since 401 names were being taken off the Draft board before he was given his opportunity to play professionally. Surely hind sight is twenty-twenty vision but perception about the Pujols value within the game was extremely discounted at the time by management and scouts. It can safely be said now that Albert has increased his value through the multiple eyes of evaluations during his successful professional career.

One thing is certain about perception… it really takes some time to confirm any opinions about players and their value. Lots of earlier concepts about players are wrong both on and off the field. Life can not be predicted completely, yet baseball continues to attempt the impossible task of forecasting players with projected value via the first-year player draft. More times than not, the first projections are wrong around the game. No surprise that the failures outside the foul lines shy to matching the tendency of the game. A .300 hitter is cherished in Major League Baseball; however much less than 30 percent of players whom sign a professional contract will ever taste the food in a big league clubhouse.

Conversations will always be generated by the statistics on the field of play and with full merit. Whenever players and teams don’t produce they have huge targets on their backs from the fans. Management also feels the pressure to give their fans a quality product and these concepts are all driven by perception throughout a player’s career. An enormous amount of money is generated through the game of professional baseball by the fans that support America’s pastime. The fans really do have every right to discuss their opinions about their team and through their own personal perception. Social media platforms have offered the easiest method for the fans to contribute over their perceived value of their team and not likely to change in the near future, if at all.

Every facet of the game of professional baseball is generated by the basic cognitive process of debate over projection and perception of value. More times than not the first ideas are spoiled along the way through evolution of even more perception. Truly one of the characteristics which continue to draw me to the ballpark is the individuality allowed outside the lines. Sometimes a sense of arrogance and entitlement trickles into the debate of doing business around the game and not fighting it is best to humbly move on and discuss perceptions elsewhere. Reality for being right or wrong about any one perception will simply not be supported for quite sometime around the game of baseball. Unfortunately there is much more wrong than right, as history has revealed.

There is only one chance for a first impression and taking pride with that fact has always been a personal priority around the game of baseball. Nothing angers me more than when someone distorts the truth for their own egocentric reasons of perceived value in the game. Respecting people is a two-way street and difficult when one part of the equation is living with perception of greater importance than his fellow-man at the ballpark. Meanwhile kids, young men and old men continue to aspire towards their dreams of Major League Baseball value and leaving ones’ ego in the parking lot serves everyone better at the end of the day.

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One Comment
  1. Jeff permalink
    October 14, 2011 14:53

    Keep up the great work Mr. Lamb. Always great to read your blog.

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