Grantland founder and ESPN writer Bill Simmons has written in the past about “irrational confidence guys” in the NBA. That is, players who come off the bench, think they are the best player on the floor for no real reason, and then chuck up shot after bad shot, believing they will sink every single one of them (and sometimes doing just that). Irrationally confident.
Simmons elaborated on this theory, among other places, in a 2011 column (about a Heat vs. Lakers game):
Note: You know what Miami is missing? The Irrational Confidence Guy — the guy who isn’t one of the team’s best players, but he’ll have stretches in which he THINKS he is. I like those guys. It can go one of two ways: Either you have your Sam Cassell Late In His Career type, or your Eddie House/James Posey/2008 microwave guys. Vernon Maxwell was the best Irrational Confidence Guy ever — he had so much irrational confidence that his Houston teams fed off it. Feels like Miami needs someone like that.
Would the 2013 Colorado Rockies, staring at a division in which they are clearly undermanned, benefit from an irrational confidence guy? Could that guy be catcher Wilin Rosario?
I am not talking about Rosario’s swagger with the stick. His confidence as a hitter is rational. The dude can flat out mash, and he knows it.
I am talking about his irrational confidence in all of the other facets of his game, and perhaps even his overall confidence in the Rockies. Look at this quote from Rosario in an MLB.com article about his defense: “I’m going to put all my emphasis, and I’m going to do everything I can do to be the best behind the plate. It’s a matter of time. Remember that I told you that. You’ll see what’s going to happen.”
What the what? Does that sound like a guy who was, without question, the worst defensive catcher in baseball last year? Does that sound like a guy who had an astounding 21 passed balls last season? Yet it sounds like Rosario not only expects to improve his defense, he expects to transform himself into a hybrid of Yadier Molina and Pudge Rodriguez, effectively a brick wall behind the plate with soft hands and a precision-accurate cannon for a right arm.
Plus don’t you get the sense that his confidence extends to other areas? Like he is 100% sure that he can steal bases, play any position on the field, lay down a perfect bunt, coach the team, and pitch if he needs to? Doesn’t it seem like he has no idea he is the heavy hitting but ultimately average catcher on a last place team that has a long, long way to go before it digs itself out of this hole? And, most importantly…
…is it a good thing for the Rockies to have a guy like that?
I think it is. We want our team to have a chance every season, and if the Rockies are going to do anything that resembles success in 2013, it most likely will not have a logical explanation. They somehow need to find a way to look at the gigantic payroll of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the exceptionally built roster of the San Francisco Giants, and the reloaded roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and still convince themselves that they belong on the same field.
They need to feed off of an “irrational confidence guy.” Wilin Rosario can be that guy…just ask him.
“A lot of people make a lot of it, but if things don’t happen, you don’t know what you have to work on. You’ll see what happens.”
That we will, Wilin. That we will.