January 30, 2017
New Year's Resolutions: Team Pitching
We all know what it’s like for individuals to make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve done them, you’ve done them. Nothing to see here. In this series, we’ve looked at players as if they made a resolution to do something different in 2016—hit more to the opposite field, hit more balls in the air, improve plate discipline, that sort of thing. Do players really resolve to do that? Probably not. It’s a plausible-sounding explanation of what actually occurs. But did Jose Urena say on last January 1, “I want to get batters to swing at fewer of my pitches in the zone and more of my pitches outside the zone?” That’s doubtful, even though no pitcher pulled that off better than Urena last year.
When we talk about New Year’s resolutions for organizations, we’re getting even more fanciful. I once worked for a brokerage firm that said their goal one year was “investment excellence.” As one of my friends said, “That’s in contrast to the previous goal of investment mediocrity.” Companies that resolve to do something differently in a new year are probably companies that blew it in the prior year. You shouldn’t have to resolve to increase sales, improve customer service, reduce waste, enhance efficiency. Those are things you should be doing every day.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that what I’m going to present now is a bit of a stretch. I’m going to consider entire pitching staffs that changed from 2015 to 2016.