Monday, October 1, 2007

Talent Is Overrated

Amen to that -- stat happy fans who stare at box scores and play fantasy baseball and tell me that Jeter isn't clutch and that there's no such thing as clutch anyway (batting average with runners in scoring position in the 7th or later inning when down by two, sure. But "clutch?" Please.) and scoff at my suggestion that losing Andy Phillips was a blow in more ways than one and scoff even more at my belief that a great team is not simply a collection of all-stars and that in fact a team of all-stars might be ideally suited NOT to succeed in the post-season, well here's Phillies general manager Tom Gillick per the NYTimes.
Gillick said that for many years he felt that talent was everything. But he said after watching Philadelphia overcome injuries and other adversity this season and overtake the Mets, he had concluded that talent was overrated.

Talent is important, he said, but what is more important is mental toughness, character, passion and the desire to win.

“These are things that cannot be measured,” he said.
Again, amen to that.


dasnootz said...

I think you're just considering the wrong talents.

Not everyone possess mental toughness and the strength to persevere against odds. That, my friend, is a talent.

For the most part, athletic talent alone won't win you a championship (see the Bengals in the NFL). Mental toughness alone won't win it either. It takes a balance of the two with productive leadership to make a winner.

Michael in New York said...

A good point. But in general I think he's arguing for Rudy (the Notre Dame walk-on) versus some golden boy with skills. One is clearly more talented. The other might make for a better teammate and inspire his buddies. That's a talent too, as you say, but the chemistry of the team and the makeup of the guys -- rather than just their stats -- is sorely undervalued.