Monday, February 19, 2018


Source: Lynne Sladky | AP

As Spring Training 2018 unfolds with a number of first time managers, I might add, it will be interesting to see whose clubhouse can lead the best.  Yes, I said lead, not hit, not pitch, but lead.  Because behind the clutch hitting and stellar pitching, is a foundation, which supports players taking risks and giving it everything they have. Positive clubhouse culture provides the skeleton of success and this year, it is going to be a change agent when it comes to winning.


"In Culturize, author and education leader Jimmy Casas shares insights into what it takes to cultivate a community of learners who embody the innately human traits our world desperately needs, such as kindness, honesty, and compassion. His stories reveal how these "soft skills" can be honed while meeting and exceeding academic standards of twenty-first-century learning," totes Amazon about the book published in late fall 2017.  Time and time again we have discussed the importance of clubhouse culture and its value to a team.  And when we reflect on the "students" of the game entering Major League Baseball seemingly younger and younger, the connection between Casas's book on culture and baseball could not be more clear.

Source: Twitter

Do baseball players need to be kind, honest and compassionate?  Yes. As Bryan Hoch said in his interview with our BYB skipper, Robert Casey yesterday in his piece BYB EXCLUSIVE: BRYAN HOCH, AUTHOR OF "THE BABY BOMBERS," "What you saw in the dugout with the thumbs-down and the Toe-Night Show stuff was the same kind of vibe we were seeing in the clubhouse. It's the Yankees, so there was a certain responsible atmosphere that still needed to be in place, but there was a much more youthful vibe. They laugh with each other and they pull for each other."

Source: Lynne Sladky | AP

Yankee manager Aaron Boone shared his vision for culture in his first press conference of spring training last week.  "I think it’s having that ability, and maybe it’s a little bit of an art form, but to have the ability to connect in the clubhouse with the guys, to have that trust factor, to have that your players understand that you do care about them, you’re putting the New York Yankees in this case in the forefront , as we’re going to do in the end always what’s best for the New York Yankees," reported NY Daily News.

Source: NY Daily News

Soft skills cannot be underestimated in a ball club, particularly one that is looking to shift its culture, much like we see with the NY Mets and their new leadership under Mickey Callaway and the Philadelphia Phillies with their new skipper, Gabe Kapler.  "I'm going to show them day in and day out, by the decisions I make, the way I communicate with them, that I truly, truly care about them," stated Callaway as reported by Golf Digest's The Loop.


Kapler has filled the Phillies' spring training quarters with the inspiration of music, stating that music motivates and re-culturizes the clubhouse. "Ultimately, when we’re surrounded by music, we feel good,” said Kapler, whose father is a music teacher and a classically trained pianist. “We smile more, we’re more relaxed at the plate. There’s science behind this. It’s been studied. Workplaces are happier and they are more inspired when music is playing,” reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.


The culture of an organization is the backbone of its success.  Besides warming up arms and bats, teams should be looking to warm up their culture much like we are seeing in the new manager strategies of Boone, Callaway and Kapler.  Clubhouse culture is going to be a main component to whose team is on top come October.  May the best culture win and may that culture be the Yankees.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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