“Whatever my role is here — whether I’m a starter or not — my preparation never changes. Every day I’m going to do the exact same thing regardless of what my role will be. … If I was the type of player who changes the way I prepare myself, I wouldn’t be the player I have been.”—Ichiro
Sabermetrics—the advanced, computerized and occasionally counterintuitive analysis of baseball statistics—is beginning to take hold in Cuba. Television and radio commentators on the island are introducing new stats such as BABIP and WAR to their broadcasts. And like their American counterparts, many Cuban fans were introduced to sabermetrics by the film version of Michael Lewis’s Moneyball.
But information remains hard to come by in Cuba, and slow to spread. Serie Nacional teams don’t have massive budgets or unlimited front-office resources. Fans are not equipped with computers and access to the Internet. And although major league teams view Cuba as a talent pipeline, Cuba itself is not hung up on the American conception of baseball. Players who play beautifully and rise to grand occasions are called guapo, or handsome, brave. In Cuba baseball is like art or love or faith—meant to be felt as much as understood.
"It’s a long season, man. I mean, we’ve still got 140-plus games so for me to push the panic button right now is no point because it’s a long year so stay healthy, just keep going and grinding and getting after it. The main thing is that we’re winning so obviously find positivity there and obviously look to do the job again today and find some way to contribute to the team."
"I don’t really know what to expect, but in the back of my mind I’m telling myself it’s a long season and to take it easy on my body. I want to get into a routine and do what makes me comfortable and ready to play for that night’s game."
"Throughout my professional career this has happened before. It’s something that I am trying to break. I’ve been a slow starter. It’s kind of a pattern I’ve developed. It isn’t something I look forward to, but at the same time, I know it’s a long season with plenty of time left."
I’ve got this guy 0-2 and he hit a home run. It’s frustrating because I know in my past I never missed my pitch up. It’s something that’s happening right now and I have to figure it out. The season just started … I’m worried too sometimes because I want to be good for the team. I want to make the White Sox win. But it’s baseball. It’s a long season. I believe in myself and that I’m going to be OK.”
“We didn’t overwhelm them Monday night with runs scored and all that. But you could see guys coming back to the dugout a couple of days ago shaking their heads. But now it’s like, ‘I’m going to get them next time.’ I just think things like that develop over the course of a season, when you can learn from 11 tough games, so to speak, and realize it’s a long season.”
"It’s a long season and weather always has an impact on how good your attendance is. There are 70 games that you have to host. You just have to wait and see but we’re very optimistic and we continue to have the same enthusiasm from fans that we had last year. As long as that momentum continues, we’ll do very positive things."
“One reason I have always loved baseball so much is that it has been not merely ‘the great national game,’ but really a part of the whole weather of our lives, of the thing that is our own, of the whole fabric, the million memories of America. For example, in the memory of almost every one of us, is there anything that can evoke spring—the first fine days of April—better than the sound of the ball smacking into the pocket of the big mitt, the sound of the bat as it hits the horsehide: for me, at any rate, and I am being literal and rhetorical—almost everything I know about spring is in it—the first leaf, the jonquil, the maple tree, the smell of grass upon your hands and knees, the coming into flower of April.”—Thomas Wolfe, from a February 1938 letter to Arthur Mann
“You’re only as good as your last AB. I’ve always said that. You’re only as good as your last game and how you played. Sometimes you gotta flush it and come back the next day and be ready to go.”—Bryce Harper