Managing Pitchers; Managing Entrepreneurs

While watching a Knoxville Smokies (AAA for Chicago Cubs) baseball game last night, a phenomenom that I never figured out during my baseball days dawned on me. Why do left handed pitchers wear their hats crooked – not all of them but most of them for sure? It was so apparent that even on the jumbo cam the pitchers hat was crooked. I took a picture but it didn’t come out well. Sorry, there is no zoom on the iPhone.

It just makes no rational sense. Whats even more bizarre is that it slants to the left, not the right. In other words, it covers their left eye more than their right eye so they don’t push the hat over far enough. I really don’t know why this is but it reminded me of one of the reasons I loved baseball so much: as a catcher I would have the opportunity to work with a plethora of pitchers and deal with their personalities.

A pitcher and catcher’s relationship is important to the game and how they think and work together is vital to their success. I call fastball, he wants curveball, I recall fastball, and he gets P*** off. That’s not good. Each person has to understand what is going on. It takes a lot of time and effort to get there. Not only do they have to cohesively understand that batter’s and games strategy but they have to just understand each other. The job of great catcher, in my opinion, is two fold 1) never be noticed – for a fan only notices the catcher when he screws up, like runs to the backstop to get the ball 2) get the best out of the pitcher every time he plays. If his fastball is slow that day, use the curve or slide-piece. It was a blast working with 10-12 pitchers on a baseball team. Each of them is truly an entrepreneur.

They all have different strengths and weaknesses but they are all in the spot light so they can be the superstar as fast as they can be the goat. Its a tough place to be. Likewise, true entrepreneurs (I have 3 classifications – that is another note) are similar, they try things over and over. They fail, they succeed and hopefully they succeed bigger than the cumulative successes of their failures. Lastly, the game never starts without them. So all hail the pitchers and the entrepreneurs.

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