Since the World Cup ended in July, I have found myself watching more and more European Soccer. I’ve always enjoyed the international tournament every four years, but have usually completely ignored the sport outside of the World Cup. This time it’s different (I am actively seeking an EPL team to throw my support behind – I have it narrowed down but have yet to declare…).

One of the things I have particularly enjoyed about sport from across the pond is a refreshing lack of American sport clichés – the worst of which, to me, is the use of the word “momentum” as a substitute for substantive analysis (I’ve written about this before).

Now the word is popping up in reference to my favorite team’s belly flop over the past week – seen as something that must be turned around lest the Twins enter the postseason without their precious momentum.

In Physics, the simple calculation for momentum is mass times velocity; so I suppose to determine the actual momentum involved, the TBS and FOX announcers will have to calculate the mass of the entire Twins team (does that include coaches?). Short of that, perhaps they can talk about something from this list of things that have more relevance in regard to who will win the World Series this year:

-which team is better at baseball?

-which team has better pitchers?

-which team has better hitters?

-which team has better baserunners?

-are there any significant injuries that might impact that outcome?

-which manager uses better strategy in games?

-how do the starting pitchers match up?

The list could go on, but the point is that there is little evidence that how poorly (or well) a team plays in the last week of the regular season (presumably what is meant by momentum in this context) has any bearing on postseason performance.

That’s a good thing for the Twins.


2 Responses to Momentum

  1. Alan says:

    You are right about “big mo.” If the Twins fizzle in the playoffs, everyone will point to the end of season flopperoo. If they win it will lucky to get an asterisk in the history of the 2010 season.

  2. Scot says:

    Momentum didn’t help the Twins in 2006 or 2009. Maybe this is a new approach.

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