In my recent article about the Astros Core Four I tried to convince people that the Astros are something truly special, and that its players are truly something special, even in comparison with other champions. This is due to their A. uncommon desire B. where they have come from and what they’ve overcome, each in his own way, to get where they are, and C. the love and joy they have for the game, and especially for each other. Chemistry.
This article, by a former college teammate of A. J. Hinch, and author of the book Bring Yourself to Work, highlights this last point. Mike Robbins noticed that after George Springer made his famous error in Game 5 of the World Series, manager and personal friend of the author A. J. Hinch, gave Springer encouragement and told him to shake it off. Even more famously Springer proceeded to tie the game in the next inning with a monster home run.
In the previous series, the ALCS, Springer slumped badly, but Hinch stood by his player, refusing to drop him in the batting order despite a hue and cry. According to Robbins Springer’s turnaround was not a mistake.
“There’s nothing meaningful we’ve ever experienced in life, personally or professionally, that doesn’t involve vulnerability,” Robbins argues. “What makes great leaders, teams, team members is George Springer diving for the ball and missing it – the willingness to do that, knowing that if I miss that, I’m going to be upset with myself, but my team’s going to pick me up and have my back.
“When you can create that kind of environment, then something special can happen.”
Robbins has an opinion about whether the Astros are good because of talent, or because of chemistry. The answer: both. “Did chemistry come first and lead to the championship? My research has shown me it’s a little bit of both. The Astros have quite a bit of talent, but one of their key advantages is how much they seem to have fun with each other and care about each other.”
According to Robbins what makes the team click is this attitude by Hinch and the entire team. ” ‘I love my guys, I take care of my guys,’ ” is a sentiment that Robbins gleaned and Hinch readily has expressed.”
It’s fun and valuable to undergo the statistical analysis of baseball, but one cannot ignore the human element as well, something A.J Hinch understands.
Its a great article. Worth the read.
And there’s a new book arriving in July. Astroball. Can’t wait.