Baltimore Orioles: Too good?


I’m not going to lie; this has very little to do with the Baltimore Orioles. So file this under simply a sports column in a sense! In watching FOX NFL Sunday, the question came up as to whether one would rather play for Bill Belichek or Sean Peyton. So in considering this question, I started thinking about Sean Peyton and how much he obviously means to the New Orleans Saints. So many people are crediting him right now in terms of this year’s results vs. last year’s (when he was suspended for the season). In no way am I saying that the guy isn’t a good coach, because it’s obvious that he is. But this goes for Peyton or any other coach in professional (or college for that matter) sports. Is it possible to be “too good?”

That sounds insane to the naked ear, but think about it as if you were working in a regular company or organization. You could be the greatest manager in the world, but what happens when you’re not there? Is that “machine” doesn’t work quite the same without your guiding hand, are you really that great of a manager or supervisor?

I suppose that what I’m saying is that in the case of the Saints or any other team that’s without it’s coach for an extended period, how good of a coach is that guy if we see results that are polar opposite of what we otherwise would have? That might be a bit tough to grasp for some people, but let’s put it this way; it’s not unfair to question if a leader’s in it more so for himself or for the team if he isn’t teaching the people around him “the way.” We hear so much about the old “Oriole Way,” which was a brainstorm of Earl Weaver and Cal Ripken Sr. That was a standard of par that was expected throughout the entire organization. One year after Weaver retired, the Orioles won the World Series under Joe Albobello (1983). That shows that it’s more about “the system” and thus “the team” than it is “the coach” or anything else.

This is not a conviction of Sean Peyton or anyone else, it’s just an observation. In the business world you’re taught that you should always be mentoring those behind you in a sense, as it’s important to pass on the right principles to them. In fairness to Peyton, several players along with Peyton were suspended so it’s not as if the Saints had their entire arsenal – minus Peyton – at their disposal last season.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Again using the business world as an example, I would submit that it’s important for teams to operate by “the truck theory.” If even the most important piece of your team is run over by a truck, someone else should be able to step in and at the very least know how to do your job tomorrow. I also recognize that this isn’t an exact science, because as Buck Showalter says, we’re dealing with human beings. Again, I’m not saying that Sean Peyton or anyone else is only in this for himself or for his own ego. It’s just an interesting observation.