The Will to Win

No, this is not a review of Robert Herjavec’s book that you can get for $11.99 on your Kindle.


Photo courtesy of USA Today

We’re talking about baseball and in baseball circles, The Will to Win (TWTW) was made famous on April 25, 2013, by famed White Sox Announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson. If you have 10-plus minutes of your life you are willing to sacrifice, give it a watch.

If not, I’ll save you some time and list some of the highlights:


“TWTW. The will to win. You can’t put numbers on those things.”

“TWTW is going to supersede anything sabermetrics brings in.”

“Numbers are the most overrated thing in baseball.”

That was the best rant against analytics since Goose Gossage went off Thursday with ESPN.

“It is a joke,” Gossage said. “The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it.

I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f— they went, and they thought they figured the f—ing game out. They don’t know s—.

A bunch of f—ing nerds running the game.”

As Opening Day fast approaches, it is a great time to remind ourselves that we don’t have to be this myopic. Whether you lean more towards “Old Man Screaming on Your Lawn” or you are deep in the bowels of your parents’ suburban home reading Tom Tango’s The Book. You don’t have to be a sabermetrician if you don’t want to, but there is plenty of room for them at the gates of baseball. Maybe we all need to be stretched a little bit out of our comfort zone as we enjoy a game that is bigger than any one individual. There is room for kids to enjoy Jose Bautista’s bat flip, pitcher wins and xFIP all alike.

“Sabermetrics puts things in proper context and that is good for baseball,” Brian Kenny said in his exchange with Hawk Harrleson.

Even Hawk gets it to a certain extent:

“The good thing about sabermetrics is they have created an interest in some fans who were not baseball fans before,” Harrelson told

We need all the fans we can get though the sport is not dying as some would have you believe. In fact, a Harris Poll done in Jan. 2015, shows that baseball is closing the gap on football as America’s favorite sport.

Let Goose be Goose and Keith Law be Keith Law. The rest of us don’t need to be drawn offsides in a social media feud. Rather we can contemplate on whether or not Beltre will be signed to an extension and agree that it is a good thing that we are not Jon Daniels.

I hope you take the time to read this site from time to time as we strive to bring you rational baseball talk mixed in with some zaniness that broadens your baseball horizons.

Eddie Middlebrook is a husband, father of three and saved by grace. Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9. Formerly with @wfaasports, @shutdowninning and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.


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