Heat. Smoke. Velocity. Stuff. Gas. Cheese.
I’m sure there are other words to describe our beloved “fireballers” (see, there’s another one). Pitchers who throw at high speeds are treated like fine china — see Stephen Strasburg in the 2012 postseason. I’m guilty of falling victim to the allure of a 98-mph fastball, regardless of its location. We love it, and, frankly, we’d like to see more of it. Major League Baseball has created a setting in which if a pitcher doesn’t break 90 mph with his fastball, he’s considered a “finesse” pitcher, or even a “soft-tosser” if left-handed. We love strikeouts, especially when a power pitcher blows a fastball by a hitter. But why?
Matt Harvey was stellar in 2015. He’s not so good anymore. Why do teams keep giving him second chances? Mostly because he throws hard.
However, it’s not entirely our fault. After reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, I began to understand why this happens. It shows how you can overcome cognitive bias, but in order to do so, you have to understand which one of your “thought systems” is making that decision for you. He explains that each human being has essentially two modes of thought.
System 1 – fast, instinctive, and emotional (gut feeling)
System 2 – slower, more logical (critical thinking) Read the rest of this entry »