Tribe planned. St. Petersburg, Florida – Chad Motola feels sure he’s done with baseball. He has given the game 16 years, all with 25 goals in specialties and a thousand restless nights for the underage. At odd moments he had strange questions buzzing in his head: How could he change his mind? Will he get another big company phone call? Should he go?
When he finally retired at the age of 36 in 2007, Motola was considering a career as a soccer scout. But a friend thought he would make a good baseball coach, and his job offer – the lowest tier of minors – benefited his young family. Motola accepted it, loved it and is now in charge of a shockingly severe injury in the Tampa Bay Race, the best team in the Americas League.
“Kids are so innocent and it brings back my innocence,” Motola said recently in his dugout at Tropicana Field, not far from his first coaching job for a team on a ranch in Toronto, Dunedin, Florida. I thought, “You know, I think I can offer these people something. “I like successful people, or even sleep well, and I talk about it a lot. This is my daily goal: How do I go when you keep your head down, give you a break? ”
Right now, it seemed, it was the ray that stopped the rivals at night. They liked to follow conventional wisdom from their first winning season in 2008, but now they are doing better than ever: they recorded a winning streak that season, including 100, the best attack in the team’s history. Powered by, with 857 tracks in the major leagues.
The Rays advance to the playoffs while their opponents battle for a place with a wildcard. You should try fewer contacts.
With the help of rookie Vander Franco, he slowed down having hit more than one swing and passed to hit bottom in a series of the last 43 games. But the Rays, who will start their division series on Thursday with a wildcard match winner, are not a slap in the face.
“Nobody’s afraid of someone breaking their swing and making contact and hitting the ball for a second or a second – they’re out,” said second baseman Brandon Lowe, who leads Homer’s team. Co-founder Brandon Lowe (39, including three on Saturday), but also has 166 strikeouts. “So if you do it 0-0 or 0-1, we and our team have said, ‘Thank you, I appreciate you selling my racket like that.’
“There’s something to be said for finishing a game with two strokes – and if you really look at it, how many people practice the two-stroke approach?” How many times have you gone up to a cotton ball and said, “Okay, I’ll treat it like I met two.” Many people don’t. It’s hard to get out of the game and completely change your swing. So obviously no one wants to attack. But I think closing your swing and taking a loss is a more positive approach than breaking your swing just to make contact.
The Rays can hold on to strikeouts because they understand that no player is perfect – at least nobody in their price range. According to a baseball prospectus, he just spent $83 million on his 40-man roster this season (26th for the most part) without a single player earning $12 million. To compensate for the lack of round stars, Ray looked for players with certain skills and put them in the right places.
They recognized the deficit, highlighted strengths and now have a five-year series to improve their overall ranking: from 25th in 2017 to today.
“There’s a tradeoff in all of this,” said Eric Neander, president of Rays Baseball. “Not necessarily” Oh, Strikeout, whatever. “But we’re just trying to get the best out of what we have and what’s best for our players. The guys in the batter box, they’re also the ones running the base, they’re also the ones playing defensively. And some of the strike boys are ahead. in other fields. This is also important.”
While the Rays lost their first three starters of the World Series last year – they swapped Blake Snell in San Diego, letting Charlie Morton go to Atlanta as a free agent, and Tyler Glasnow in Tommy John’s Operation Lost – his offense remains largely intact. Add Franco and Nelson Cruz minus Willie Adams and Hunter Renfro and almost the same group that hit .207 over the last three rounds of the postseason.
In theory, the beam’s tendency to attack makes them vulnerable to the power weapons used by most teams in October. (“Always keep in mind,” admits manager Kevin Cash. “How do we deal with large gaps or employees?”)
But Ray took a key player to the shootout last season and is still two wins from his first title, helped greatly by the sudden laziness of outfielder Randy Arozerena. is a money matching leverage master; He has fielded 157 different teams in the Premier League this season and has often substituted. The team is characterized by situational hitting, with .357 runners in third place and less than two outs on Friday (MLB average: 0.316) and the most runs in the ninth round in the major.
Motola says he never pays attention to the team because every striker has different strengths and weaknesses. His professional career – which began in 1992 as the fifth general substitute for the Cincinnati Draft – taught him at one point before Derek Jeter that there was no absolutism in his craft.
“Nobody found the murder,” Motola said. “Many people I know have said on the internet that they have all these answers and everything. But my experience as a player has made me realize that there is no one-size-fits-all answer and mindset. I’ve played with a lot of good players and none. who taught me that.
The spread of individual swing trainers worries Motola; He fears the evolving attacker will be elevated into a robot who will be infiltrated with strange techniques that may not be the best for him. Then, he said, it was part of his responsibility to study any theory that might fascinate his assailants.
“You always hear about the cake-cutting approach, and it’s about anti-cake,” says Lowe. “When I first woke up here in 2018, he made me say, ‘I want you to tell me all about your swing, how you want to hit, your stance, your practice, everything so I can help you figure it out, swing and what to do to optimize it. “He wants to know something about you before asking you to do something.”
This is a useful sign for understanding an organization that often presents itself as tightly bound by analysis. No matter how hard Rez turned to Data for an answer, he wouldn’t be able to translate the text without Mottola’s personal connection.
The coach builds trust by listening to the players. So if Cash writes an unusual line-up or Neander makes a confusing deal, players don’t panic. Usually they just shrink and continue to produce.
“It’s a first-team approach within a team – it’s an environment that was created for us and started from the top down,” said third baseman Joy Wendel. “We’ve seen success in it, and if we did, why would we want to change it?”