Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Deadspin takes Tony DeFrancesco/Astros organization to the woodshed

Deadspin has a post up about the "news" that Tony DeFrancesco is handing out Dr. Dre's headphones to players who perform well during the last three weeks of the season. Brace yourself, because it's brutal.

The real problem here is that the Astros have a roster full of players so bad and poorly paid that they might actually play harder for fancy headphones. That's how the manager's logic works, anyway. It's much more bush league than big league.

I thought about trying to respond in a contrary manner. But I can't. It's dead on. The Headphone Incentive is something you try to keep In Tha Clubhouse - because there's no way to defend it. The Astros - no matter how bad they are - get paid at the very least hundreds of thousands of dollars to play a game. If they play harder because there's a set of $200 headphones on the line, isn't that a little insulting?

Ultimately, we all perform better when there's an extra reward on the line. Whether that's meeting a sales goal, or eating ten hot wings that make your tailpipe burn with the fire of a thousand suns under six minutes in order to get a polaroid of our broken-out face on a wall, we're - as a society - perfectly happy to go an extra twenty feet for a stupid reward.

But not if you're making over $400,000/year. The fact that five Astros got a pair of headphones for winning a 1-0 game on an unearned run deserves all the scorn that Deadspin is willing to hand out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I obviously have no direct knowledge of DeFrancesco's thinking, but I assume it is probably a mistake to characterize the incentive as monetary. The headphones might simply be props in a team-building exercise. Sure, he could have used something of no economic value to avoid this specific criticism from bloggers, but he chose the headphone option. Seems like needless criticism of an insignificant fact.

The forest in this case, is the idea of handing out awards for game MVPs, not the actual reward.