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Joe Morgan Newsbeat

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

NPR Fresh Air: What Intangibles Go Into Winning Team Sports

And [Joe] Morgan - one of my favorite anecdotes of the book was in 1975, when the Reds were struggling early in the year. They had a losing record. And they were known for needling in the clubhouse. And the manager, Sparky Anderson, thought it might be excessive. And so he told him to cut back on it. No more needling, just take it easy with the young players on the team. And it wasn’t working, and they were losing. They weren’t having much fun. Morgan got hurt one day, went in, got treatment, went to the doctor, reported to the ballpark. The next day, he just simply had enough. And he walked into the clubhouse and looked around and said, screw you, Rose, screw you, Bench, screw you, Perez. And then Sparky Anderson is standing there. And he turns around and says, while I’m at it, screw you, too, Sparky.

DAVIES: (Laughter).

WHEELER: And from that point on, the Reds posted - I think it was, like, a .750 winning percentage. You know, anecdotal - who knows, you know, how much of an effect that really had? But it was a dramatic turnaround point for the Reds that season and for the Big Red Machine, which, of course, in those two years, won back-to-back World Series. And what Morgan did was say let’s cut it loose, guys; let’s be us. And it worked.


 

 

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