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Profiling the 2012 Mets



By Dr. Mark Filippi ~ April 5th, 2012. Filed under: Digest Contributors, New York Mets.

Most popular sports profiling is based on assessing a player’s skill sets. In baseball, that means the so-called 5-tools of hitting for average and power, fielding, arm strength and running speed. Recent developments in sports and human performance have included new elements like brain design and personality assessments in their scouting and player evaluations.

But what about their social intelligence? What makes one player thrive on pressure and others wilt and be unable to handle it? Why do some players enjoy a healthy relationship with the media and others feel persecuted and unfairly attacked? Why are some so injury prone and others never get hurt? All of these answers are function of what known is their primary domain. We all organize and internalize the signatures of one of 4 subjective orientations our brains possess as we moves through the experiences of the 1st four years of life. As we going through our early years of development, our social nervous system is shifting its focus so we can form what will eventually become our closed identity. That’s process isn’t complete until we enter neurological adulthood at the age of 25, a time when most MLB players are entering the peak of their careers.

In late adolescence, which is from age 17 to 25, that natural biological process is reinforced by developing a ‘life story’; a so-called narrative coherence, Players add cultural devices to feed it and you’ll see all the ‘markings’ of their world in their on-field and off-field personas. Each generation has its own distinct theme that permeates the group as a whole. While that’s going on, players are being scouted and making their way through the minors. This is where the value of demonstrating leadership in the moment and teamwork over time is being evaluated by their coaches, managers and their peers 24/7. So they’re getting it from all angles.

The 4 Domains is a somatic profiling system anyone can use to become more aware of how they intuitively assess a given situation, individual, behavior or relationship we encounter. So it’s not a stretch to apply this to a 40-man roster. The beauty of somatic profiling as an art is that it’s something our social nervous system does anyway, without us knowing, about once every 4 seconds or so. It’s in the this window we can make eye contact with others and the world we’re sharing with them in that moment and profile which if the 4 domains we’re experiencing based on our physical, other-than-conscious responses…

So let’s apply this to the Mets, who open their season in about an hour.

Here’s the breakdown of the Opening Day 25-man roster with some additional comments…

If we re-configure the Mets 2012 roster by their primary domains we get this somatic ‘line-up’… (Definitions are in the links)

PHYLO’s
Tim Byrdak
Jonathon Niese
Bobby Parnell
Johan Santana
Mike Nickeas
David Wright
Ronny Cedeno
Justin Turner
Lucas Duda
Pedro Beato (DL)

ONTO’s
Manny Acosta
Miguel Batista
Dillon Gee
Mike Pelfrey
Jon Rauch
Josh Thole
Daniel Murphy
Ruben Tejada
Andres Torres
Scott Hairston

ECO’s
R.A. Dickey
Frank Francisco
Ramon Ramirez
D.J. Carrasco (DL)

EXO’s
Jason Bay
Ike Davis
Mike Baxter

With the long, dark winter behind them, the 2012 edition of the Mets is becoming more and more a reflection of their manager, ONTO Terry Collins. He preaches three things that I hear over and over again; hustle, focus, and play with no fear. This team is 19 strong with that ethos in their somatic identity. It’ll shift slightly when Beato and Carrasco return but not enough to uproot the new culture TC has installed. Don’t be surprised if this team has a few bench-clearing brawls. The acid test will be in its lesser components. It’s not an emotionally intelligent team or a team with a high baseball IQ. So look for a lot of moments of implosion and the now all-too-familiar “Met moments” the fan base dreads (two words: Luis Castillo). The pen is poised to be in position to play the scapegoat for a roster that perpetually lacks depth. Call-ups from Triple-A Buffalo and Double-A Binghamton may re-shape this team by August. But for now, let’s get muddy.

The Schedule
A one-page printable MLB schedule for the Mets is posted here…

The way I break it down is by the 24 oscillations of road trips and home stands into 4 ‘soma seasons’. We begin with the PHYLO phase, time to build team chemistry, get the regulars into a rhythm and shake the cobwebs off from spring training. The next season is the ONTO phase, where the teams face a lot of rivals, including their interleague clashes, with the result being a place in the race at the mid-season point. The ECO phase is where the rubber meets the road as the dog days take over, the trading deadline is hit and September call-up’s loom. Finally, the stretch run, the EXO phase where the season boils down to a few key moments…

PHYLO Phase - APR 5th to May 13th (34 games); 3 with Philly, all away
ONTO Phase - May 14th to July 1st (46 games); 6 with Philly, 3 home/3 away
ECO Phase - July 2nd to Aug 19th (41 games); 3 with Philly, all home
EXO Phase - Aug 20th to Oct 3rd (41 games); 6 with Philly, 3 home/3 away

Key Dates

When you view a season from a somatic standpoint, you transpose biology over the baseball. Lunar phases and seasonal cycles impact everyone’s energy and focus as does travel and weather conditions. Injuries, scandals, media controversy and other unforeseen challenges all factor into a team’s performance. These are the dates to note as somatic milestones when we can expect plot twists in the season’s rhythm as it presents on paper. Time will add details…

Full Moons

In general, these days all domains are at their peak in energy and focus. ONTO’s more so, EXO’s less so… In the lunar phase that follows, ECO’s are at their best and PHYLO’s are lagging…

April 6th – scheduled off-day during the opening weekend…cue the Family Guy clip…
May 5th - middle game of short 3 game home stand #3
June 4th - wraparound game a 4 game series with STL, ends long 10-game home stand #5
July 3rd - critical opening game vs. Philly to begin home stand #7 before the ASB, 1st game of ECO phase
August 1st - Game 3 of SF series in the midst of 11-game road trip to the West coast
August 31st (Blue Moon!) - Mets at Miami – Labor Day weekend…middle series of 9-game road trip #10
September 15th - Game 2 vs. Brewers – short 3-game road trip #11 before facing Phillies and Marlins at home

New Moons

In general, these days all domains are at their valley in energy and focus. EXO’s thrive, ONTO’s survive.. In the lunar phase that follows, PHYLO’s are at their sharpest and ECO’s are foggier…

April 21st – Game 2 vs. Giants on the 7-game home stand #2 which has 4-game with SF and 3 with Miami
May 20th - Game 3 of inter-league series with Blue Jays that kicks off 6-game road trip #4
June 19th - Game 2 vs. Orioles series that closes out the 6-game home stand #6
July 19th - Game 3 vs. Nats series that ends the 6-game road trip #7 right after the ASB
August 17th - Game 1 vs. the same Nats that precedes a 7-game home stand with the Rockies and Astros
September 29th - Game 2 vs. Atlanta on the final 6-game road trip…may Larry Jones be damned!

Other Dates to Note

May 4th – Mid-point of Spring seasonal cycle…PHYLO’s surge, EXO’s tank
June 20th - Summer Solstice – begins 90-day ONTO solar cycle, EXO’s lose focus
August 6th - Mid-point of Summer seasonal cycle – ONTO’s surge, ECO’s fizzle
September 22nd - Autumnal Equinox – begins 90-day ECO solar cycle, ONTO’s wane

Prediction
Looking at the way this season is set-up, the Mets can be a team that stays competitive deep into the ONTO phase of it. If they can feast on the long 10 and 9 game home stands in late May and June, they should be at or around .500 by the All-Star break. From there…well it gets tough to see them riding out the 11-game trip out West before the trading deadline. But by then we can be looking at a different somatic composition so I’ll update my dreary outlook at mid-season. Overall, this team will need to be more AL by design, i.e. score 4 and bar the door. It’ll be a test of wills to see how this team gets from that last out of the 6th inning to the last of the 9th…

Gun to my head Mikey: 80-82

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Dr. Mark Filippi

Dr. Mark is the in-house NYBD behavioral consultant. A lifelong Mets fan, his role is to help us understand how a player's performance over time and in the moment is linked more to their social brain design than their baseball IQ. So don’t expect him to cite OPS+, WAR, or any other statistic. Look for his "DL on the DL" segments each month as the season unfolds so you can better understand the how environmental and physiological rhythms affect slumps, streaks and other misunderstood aspects of a player, a team and fanbase's mood and outlook. He'll also explore some key player's somatic/nonverbal identity and how protecting and supporting it impacts their energy, focus and ability to adapt over the grind of the long season on and off the field in the crucible that is New York baseball. Check out his website at somaspace.org

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