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Profiling the 2012 Yankees

By Dr. Mark Filippi ~ April 6th, 2012. Filed under: Digest Contributors, New York Yankees.

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…

Let’s apply this to the Yankees, who are about to start there season in Tampa at the Trop.

Here’s the breakdown of the Yankees Opening Day 25-man roster with some additional comments…. If we re-configure the Yankees 2012 roster by their primary domains we get this somatic ‘line-up’…

David Phelps
Clay Rapada
Rafael Soriano
Cory Wade
Chris Stewart
Alex Rodriguez
Curtis Granderson
Andy Pettitte (looming)
Cesar Cabral (DL)

Freddy Garcia
Phil Hughes
Hiroki Kuroda
Boone Logan
Ivan Nova
David Robertson
Russell Martin
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Brett Gardner
Nick Swisher
Joba Chamberlain (DL)
Brad Meyers (DL)
Austin Romine (DL)

C.C Sabathia
Eric Chavez
Andruw Jones
David Aardsma (DL)
Pedro Feliciano (DL)
Michael Pineda (DL)

Mariano Rivera
Mark Teixeira
Eduardo Nunez
Raul Ibanez

This year’s roster is typically top-heavy with ONTO’s as most Yankee rosters are. But there’s a surprising number of PHYLO’s on board. With the specter of Andy Pettitte returning soon, the feel of this team overall gets more and more mosaic in it’s makeup. With key players in their ECO emotional and EXO demeanor, this team may be defined by it’s rarer secondary domains.

Age is another factor too. This team must pace itself and be in position to strike from about the 125 game point forward. They can afford to be pedestrian until the trading deadline. It’s
not unusual for the Yankees to have a few 20-win months in July and August when most teams are hitting the wall. It’ll be interesting to see how they perform in the heat this time.

The Schedule
A one-page printable MLB schedule for the Yanks 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 6th to May 13th (35 games); 3 with Boston, all away
ONTO Phase - May 14th to June 20th (34 games); 0 with Boston!
ECO Phase - June 21st to Aug 5th (38 games); 6 with Boston, 3 home/3 away
EXO Phase - Aug 6th to Oct 3rd (55 games); 9 with Boston, 6 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 - Opening Day vs. Tampa to begin the 6-game road trip #1
May 5th - Game 3 vs. KC on the short 4-game road trip #3
June 4th - Off-day before 6-game home stand #5
July 3rd - Game #2 vs. Tampa as the Yanks play 6-game road trip #8 which ends in Boston before the ASB
August 1st - Game #3 vs. Baltimore as part of the 9-game home stand #9
August 31st (Blue Moon!) - Game #1 vs. those same Orioles as part of the 6-game home stand #11
September 15th - Game #2 vs. Tampa as part of the 9-game home stand #12

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. Red Sox the first time the see them in ’12…part of 6-game road trip #2
May 20th - Game 3 vs. Reds as inter-league play begins…home stand #4 crosses back to the AL with KC next
June 19th - Game 3 vs. Braves as it’s NL East week in NYC…Yanks leave the Bronx for 3 with the Mets in Queens next
July 19th - Game 1 vs. Oakland to kick off 7-game road trip #9
August 17th - Game 1 vs. Red Sox to close up 7-game home stand #10
September 29th - Game 2 vs. Toronto as Yankees finish up 7-game road trip #13

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


With this very Yankee-friendly schedule, the fan base and the team have a nice 107 game runway to lead them into their robust 55-game stretch marathon that begins August 6th in Detroit. They get the Red Sox 9 times in that phase, including 6 at the Stadium, with 3 of them to close out the regular season. With the second Wild Card in the mix, those games may be more like a conference tournament in the NCAA’s or it could be for a BCS bowl bid. In the meantime, go to sleep Yankee fans…have a nice 4 months off. We’ll see you in mid-August when the Sox wander into the Bronx on the 17th for 3 games. Until then, wait for Andy, enjoy Mo and by all means, keep the knives sharp for Girardi and A-Rod. As a Met fan, can we split 3-3 again? OK?

Gun to my head Mikey: 93-69

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
Dr. Mark Filippi

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