Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Baseball and Talent

Houston Astro's 1st baseman Lance Berkman was ejected from last nights Astro's-Rockies game in the 8 th inning over a called strike out on a pitch he thought was clearly a ball.

Lance Berkman is known as a very cool customer who rarely displays much emotion so to see the meltdown with him throwing helmets and equipment onto the field was a rarity. I skipped the 9Th but learned I missed a bench clearing brawl which followed Carlos Lee being beaned and manager Phil Garner felt compelled to get his own self tossed.

The appeal of baseball to me is that you can enjoy it so many ways over the course of a season and there is drama in it always;
  • Reading the box score to see whose performing (OK)
  • Listening to the game on the radio (good)
  • Watching the game on TV (better)
  • Watching the game live in person when you are working or supposed to be working and someone else is paying for the tickets (best)
  • Second guessing the manager (big fun)
  • Watching young talent develop like Hunter Pence (cool)
  • Second guessing the GM ( we all live for this, right)
Next time your gathering with family and friends and someone starts talking about their job candidly and whats really happening on the job stop and ponder how you would react if that employer was your favorite baseball team.

Lets look at companies from an baseball perspective.

  • Is the company competing for a pennant?
  • Does the team have the talent to compete?
  • Is talent deployed properly?
  • Is the company well managed and well coached?
  • Does the team play with passion or are they just mailing it in?
  • Would fans buy the pay scale as commensurate with performance ?
  • Who is poisoning the clubhouse and whats being done to prevent that?
  • Is the team passionate?
  • Do people leave when they become free agents or do they choose to stay?
  • How is the culture? Really, how is it?
Frankly, I think most Astro's fans were relieved to see a spark from Berkman. It shows he still cares and that's important when your team is 9 games under .500.

HR professionals know the tired sports analogy may be the only way to convey quickly to management the merits of a proposal or the case for change.

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