I Was Overthinking about Overthinking…

I feel like I overthink things sometimes.  Some friends would tell you I overthink things a lot, maybe even most of the time.  Personally, I think it’s more a case where I like to see things from various perspectives because I’m an open-minded person.  But it got me thinking (maybe even, overthinking?) about the topic of overthinking.  So I decided to take a look at what causes us to overthink.

From what I’ve gathered, there’s three main reasons why we overthink things.  The first is a lack of confidence, which causes us to second guess ourselves.  When you’re confident in your ability to do something, your thinking becomes rather automatic and you don’t overthink something before doing it.  Quite frankly, you probably barely think at all in these cases.  But when you lack confidence, it causes you to really second guess yourself, which leads to overthinking something which might actually be pretty basic.

The second reason we overthink is due to a lack of experience.   Experience makes you more mature, and consequently makes you more confident.  As you gain more experience and confidence, your “need” to overthink things becomes greatly reduced.

The third reason that we overthink is due to the desire to be perfect.  Perfectionism is just a waste of time, because it’s impossible to be perfect.  It’s inevitable that things will not always go our way.   You could try to argue with me that a pro boxer, such as former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe who retired with a record of 46-0 was perfect.  However, upon further examination he wasn’t (for the record, I was a Calzaghe fan, so I’m not picking on him).  It’s not as if we won every single round he fought.  It’s also not as if he didn’t taste defeat at some point in his career, because he did reportedly lose 10 amateur fights before he turned professional.  No matter what it looks like on the surface, no one is perfect.  So stop trying to be.

So in the end, remember this.  The first key to breaking your overthinking habit (which is, just a habit, which like all habits can be broken through practicing new habits) is to gain experience.  It’s normal to feel anxiety and a lack of confidence when trying something new, but take the risk of trying something new without torturing yourself with overthinking.  It’s a waste of time and mental energy.  With that newfound experience comes newfound confidence, which will lead you to reduce the amount of time spent overthinking.

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Blue Jays Prospects to Keep Tabs On – Revisited

Toward the end of the 2016 season, I posted a three-part series on Toronto Blue Jays prospects who were ranked outside of the organization’s top 30 that I felt were worth keeping an eye on.  Of the 20 unranked prospects that I made a note of, 3 have worked their way into the organization’s top 30 on MLB.com (RHP Jordan Romano – 23rd, 1B Juan Kelly – 24th, and OF Jonathan Davis – 29th).  While it’s too early for me to produce a good, quality list of those outside of the 2017 Top 30 Prospects rankings who I think you should be keeping an eye on, I thought I’d revisit and provide an update on the ones from my list from last season.

10 of the 20 who made my list are currently on a roster in the Blue Jays farm system, with 9 others apparently penciled in to play in a short season league later this summer.  I’m unsure on the whereabouts of RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski as he doesn’t show up on any roster, nor have I seen any news about him being released or injured, so I can’t confirm his status with the organization.

 

Let’s start with Buffalo:

Jason Leblebijian: Last year at a game in Binghamton, Conner Greene told me “this guy,” meaning Leblebijian, “is gonna be a big leaguer!”  While that does remain to be seen, the 25-year old third baseman who was drafted in the 25th round in 2012 has adjusted well to AAA.  He’s cooled off a bit from the hot start he had, but he’s finished April hitting .333/.480/.587 with 4 doubles, 4 homers, 15 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases.

Christian Lopes:    Drafted in the 7th round in 2011, I feel like the 24-year old Lopes is sort of a forgotten infield prospect in the farm system.  He finished April hitting .275/.310/.363 with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 8 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases.

 

Moving on to New Hampshire:

Jonathan Davis: The 24-year old outfielder, selected in the 15th round of the 2013 draft, posted a slash line of .254/.390/.381 in the month of April to go along with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, and 1 stolen base.

Shane Dawson: Like most of New Hampshire’s starting rotation, he’s had a less than ideal start to the season as the 23-year old Canadian lefthander, taken in the 17th round of the 2012 draft, finished April with a record of 1-2 in 4 starts to go with a 5.48 ERA, a WHIP of 1.30, and an opposing batting average of .273.

 

Moving on to Dunedin:

Connor Eller: The 23-year old righthander taken in the 22nd round of last year’s draft has done well in the bullpen for Dunedin thus far, posting a 2.45 ERA in 7.1 innings of work to go along with a 1.36 WHIP and a .185 opposing batting average.

Juan Kelly: Last year, I felt this 22-year old switch hitting first baseman was one of, if not the best, hitters in the system that no one was talking about.  He finished April hitting .267/.327/.378 with 7 doubles, 1 homer, and 8 RBIs for Dunedin.

Conor Panas:  The 24-year old outfielder from Toronto, taken in the 9th round of the 2015 draft, spent a good portion of April on the disabled list. In his 8 games of duty, he’s posted a slash line of .207/.324/.310 with 1 homer, 2 RBIs, and 1 stolen base.

Jordan Romano: The 24-year old righthander from Markham, taken in the 10th round of the 2014 draft, posted a record of 2-0 in 4 starts (plus 1 bullpen appearance) to go along with a team leading 3.47 ERA, WHIP of 1.59, but an alarming opposing batting average of .293, which is a stark contrast to the .191 opposing average he had last year with Lansing.

 

And Finally, looking at Lansing:

Bradley Jones: If I had to choose only one prospect on this list so far this year to really keep an eye on, this would be the guy.  The 21-year old slugging first baseman taken in the 18th round of last year’s draft has done nothing but hit, and hit homers since he was drafted.  He finished April hitting .372/.415/.674 for Lansing to go with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers and 23 RBIs.  He’s leading the team in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging, triples, home runs, RBIs, and total bases.  Furthermore, he finished April leading the entire Jays’ farm system in homers (although tied with Dunedin’s Max Pentecost), RBIs, and slugging percentage.  The Jays might already have Rowdy Tellez, Ryan McBroom, and Juan Kelly (and even the C/1B/DH Max Pentecost) ahead of him, but be sure to keep an eye on this prospect’s progress.  In his first 83 professional baseball games (split between Bluefield and Lansing) he’s hit .313/.357/.604 with 22 doubles, 3 homers, 22 homers, and 78 RBIs to go along with 16 stolen bases.  Prorated for a full 144 game season, that’d come out to 38 doubles, 5 triples, 38 homers, and 135 RBIs.  Don’t sleep on this prospect at all.

Nash Knight: The 24-year old infielder who’s seen time at first base, second base, and designated hitter in 2017, was signed as an undrafted free agent.  He finished April hitting .257/.422/.257 to go along with 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base.

Buckley Blog Bits – April 30, 2017

Yesterday’s boxing heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko had to be one of the most exciting heavyweight title fights in ages.  Heading into it, I was prepared for anything because of the fact there were so many variables, and I really had no clue what to expect.  Is Klitschko finally old? Or would Klitschko be able to return to his vintage form? Is Joshua as good as advertised? Or is Joshua overhyped? Would it be exciting? Would it be dull? Would there be some sort of judging or refereeing controversy? Could it even end in a draw? I just had to sit there and watch things play out, and that was a great feeling.

While I did get to watch the fight live, I was unfortunately relegated to watching the fight on my phone in a crowded bar with friends (who had next to no interest in watching the fight), so I wasn’t able to give the fight my complete undivided attention until the fourth round or so.  At the time of the knockout, I had Klitschko up 95-93 on points after the 10th round, but I would’ve had Joshua up 103-102 after 11 had Klitschko been able to survive the 11th round without getting knocked down again (after rewatching the fight this morning, without the distractions that come from being at a bar with friends, I had it scored 94-94 after 10 because for some reason while watching the fight live I gave Klitschko the 3rd round, but after re-watching it that was clearly a round for Joshua, so I really would’ve had Joshua up 104-101 after 11).

When Joshua came out with guns blazing in the 5th round and knocked Klitschko down, I really thought that maybe this was the end for Klitschko.  But much like Hulk Hogan in the 1980s, when it looked like he was down and out it was just the time for Klitschko to make his comeback.  I couldn’t believe the way Klitschko rallied and seemed to turn back the clock from that point on.  From that point on, I was glued to my phone, and I really started to wonder if perhaps Joshua couldn’t handle going into the deeper rounds and if Klitschko would in fact wear the younger fighter down.  I gave Klitschko every round between the 6th and the 9th, and even the 10th round was a pretty close round which I narrowly gave to Joshua.

I’m really not sure who I was cheering for to be honest with you.  Even though I wasn’t Klitschko’s biggest fan in his prime, mainly because of his questionable level of opposition in some of his fights, there were moments I did find myself rooting for him to pull off the upset yesterday.  But there were moments too where I was rooting for Joshua to complete the changing of the guard atop the heavyweight division.  Overall, it was an entertaining fight to watch and I wish heavyweight boxing, and combat sports in general, could be like that more often.

There’s several options out there for Anthony Joshua to fight next.  There’s a possible rematch with Klitschko, which I am interested in seeing at some point, but I’m not 100% sure I want to see it immediately and I don’t need to see it.  It’s not due to a lack of competitiveness in the fight yesterday, because yesterday was a great fight and worthy of a rematch at some point, it’s just that I’d rather see some other matchups first.

The big fights to make are Joshua against the lineal and The Ring magazine heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and against the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.  But there’s also a potential bout with WBO champion Joseph Parker, or the WBA mandated challenger Luis Ortiz, and the IBF mandated challenger Kubrat Pulev.

Really, what I’d love to see next for Joshua is a showdown with Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.  That’s taking nothing away from the other fighters I mentioned, but I would just rather see Joshua face the lineal champion Tyson Fury in an all-Britain matchup which would be sure to be a major event.  If not Fury, then I’d rather see him face Wilder, who I think would be a better quality of opposition than Parker, Ortiz or Pulev.

As for Klitschko? I don’t think he needs to retire, because quite frankly he looked better yesterday than he did versus Tyson Fury.  But he really has nothing left to prove in my opinion because he ruled the heavyweight division for 10 years.  I’d be interested in seeing his career continue if he wants to continue fighting because he’s still one of the best heavyweights in the world in my opinion, but he doesn’t need to.  His legacy as one of the all-time greats has already been cemented.

Buckley Blog Bits – April 28, 2017

  • After dropping both games of a doubleheader in St. Louis yesterday, the Blue Jays are now 6-16. They’re 9 games out of first, and 6 games out of the wild card, and the first month of the season isn’t even over yet.  To be honest, I think that the loss yesterday afternoon in the first game of the doubleheader might’ve been the most heartbreaking loss of the season.  The Jays were an out away from their first two-game winning streak of the season, and from being guaranteed to take 2 out of 3 in St. Louis which also would’ve been their first series win of the season.  Instead, they lost in brutal fashion, conceding a game tying home run and then a walk-off grand slam.  Some fans will try to tell me that there’s no momentum in baseball, but I think there is.  It’s just a different type, and I think yesterday might’ve marked the very early nail in the coffin for the Jays season.  Hopefully I’m wrong, but I just don’t see them being able to rectify whatever their problem is this season.
  • I’m pretty happy to see the UFC sign the World Series of Fighting’s lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje. While he’s had a 3-year reign as WSOF lightweight champion and is 17-0, I honestly don’t expect him to fare very well in the UFC.  He hasn’t exactly dominated his competition in the WSOF, and he was losing to Luiz Firmino at WSOF 34 before being awarded a TKO win via doctor stoppage.  Just because I enjoy watching non-UFC MMA, I’d sort of like to see Gaethje get matched up against former Bellator champion Will Brooks at some point because I think it’d be pretty unique to see two fighters who were champions in high profile organizations outside of the UFC fight in the UFC.
  • I say it enough that it sounds cliché when I say it, but nothing will surprise me tomorrow in the Anthony Joshua/Wladimir Klitschko fight.  Having said that, if I was being forced to bet I would be tempted to put my money on Joshua.  Perhaps Klitschko has found a fountain of youth leading into the fight tomorrow night, but based on the way he looked against Bryant Jennings and Tyson Fury, coupled with the fact that he’s also 17 months older now than he was when he fought Fury, I think time has passed Klitschko by and I expect to see Joshua retain his IBF title and claim the vacant WBA title tomorrow.  Now with that in mind, I really don’t have a preference who wins tomorrow just as long as a Klitschko victory doesn’t mean we have to see a rematch with Kubrat Pulev, a guy who Klitschko ran over in 5 rounds back in 2014.  I’m not confident enough to predict how I think Joshua will win tomorrow, but I think he does win.  Maybe not in absolute dominant fashion, but in a way that leaves no doubt as to who the better fighter is right now.

Buckley Blog Bits – April 26, 2017

  • As I’ve mentioned in past blog articles, I’ve greatly curtailed my social media usage over the past few months. About 10 days ago, I took the plunge and actually deleted my Twitter account after barely using it (at least compared to my previous standards) for the last 2-3 months.  The one big takeaway I’ve had from not having a Twitter account at all, which was my sole social media outlet, is how much I feel that it’s actually enhanced the quality of my social relationships.  No longer can I, or my friends, simply just tweet at one another or comment on someone’s tweet.  Now either I, or my friends, have to take the extra effort to actually text me or even call to talk, and to be honest I really enjoy that.  I also enjoy keeping my life a bit more private for the time being.  Maybe one day I’ll return to Twitter, because it is a great source to use for getting news in real-time, but for the time being I’m enjoying the lack of distractions that it can also bring.  Overall, I just feel like I’m more productive without devoting time to social media.
  • Seeing former boxing heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis give his analysis of the upcoming Anthony Joshua/Wladimir Klitschko fight really makes me wish we could have seen a prime Lewis versus a prime Klitschko because they are easily two of the best heavyweights of the last 15-20 years. In 2003 we got to see Lewis fight Wladimir’s older brother Vitali, a fight in which Vitali was winning after six rounds before the doctor at ringside stopped the fight due to damage to Vitali’s eye.  Unfortunately, Lewis retired right after that so we never did get to see a rematch, while Vitali went on to claim the vacant lineal championship before retiring in 2005, ultimately leading the way for Wladimir to rule the heavyweight division.
  • I read that lineal boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury wants to return to the ring in July, and that he’d like to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. While I said in yesterday’s blog post that I’d like to see Fury fight the winner of Joshua/Klitschko, I’m okay with Fury fighting Wilder first.  Last year, a fight between Fury and Wilder would have crowned practically the closest thing we’ve had to a true unified and undisputed champion in years, as Fury had just won the WBA, IBF, and WBO versions of the heavyweight championship while Wilder holds the WBC title (Fury later vacated the IBF title for not fighting their mandated challenger, Vyacheslav Glazkov).  While Fury has since been forced to vacate his other championships, he’s still the lineal champion and I’d really like to see him face a recognized champion such as Wilder instead of the other rumored opponent in Manuel Charr because it would be a much more prestigious bout for the lineal title.
  • I suppose some of you have been waiting for me to comment on the Toronto Blue Jays slow start, so I’ll say this: I think the team is far better than their 6-14 record indicates, and if the offense hadn’t been so stagnant and underperforming for the first 3 weeks of the season, they’d be closer to 10-10 or better right now.  It’s not as if they’re getting blown out every night, which is evident by the 7 one-run losses they’ve had thus far.  If they can finish April on a high note (such as possibly winning multiple games in a row for once) and can get off to a hot start in May, I think they’ll be just fine.  I didn’t expect them to make the playoffs in 2017, but I did expect them to at least finish above .500, which I still think is feasible.

Buckley Blog Bits – April 25, 2017

I’m pretty excited for the Anthony Joshua/Wladimir Klitschko fight this weekend.  The fight is for Joshua’s IBF version of the heavyweight championship, as well as the vacant WBA version as well.  While Tyson Fury is still the lineal “man who beat the man who beat the man” champion, he hasn’t fought since defeating Klitschko in November 2015 and by the looks of things he isn’t returning to the ring anytime soon for one reason or another.  So personally, I’m going to consider the winner of the Joshua/Klitschko fight as the “interim” lineal heavyweight champion.

I’ve casually followed boxing since I was a kid, having seen such heavyweights as Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Vitali Klitschko, Evander Holyfield, and most recently Wladimir Klitschko rule the division.  I saw a news outlet recently refer to the fight this weekend as the biggest heavyweight fight in years, and while I initially disagreed because the true lineal championship isn’t on the line, the more I’ve thought about it the more I have to agree with it.

This is the first time in my time as a boxing fan where I can really recall Wladimir Klitschko entering the ring as the underdog.  Also, the last time I really recall a heavyweight championship fight receiving this much publicity (as well as my personal interest) was when Wladimir Klitschko fought David Haye for the WBA, WBO, IBF, The Ring magazine, and lineal versions of the title back in July 2011.  Furthermore, there’s going to be 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium to witness this live in person this weekend. Saturday night really has all the ingredients of a historical matchup.

While I’ve seen that the WBA would like the winner of Joshua/Klitschko to face Luis Ortiz, an I’ve seen that the IBF would like the winner to face Kubrat Pulev, I’d prefer the winner fight Tyson Fury.  But of course, that seems unlikely at the moment, and to be honest I’d really like to see the winner of Saturday’s fight face the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to further unify the heavyweight championships.  But given the choice between Ortiz and Pulev, I’d like to see Ortiz get the next major title shot.  He’s 27-0, and he has a big knockout win over Bryant Jennings, a fighter who Klitschko struggled against in 2015.  Furthermore, Pulev had his shot at the lineal title against Klitschko in 2014 and was knocked out in the fifth round, so in the interest of seeing a new challenger, I’d like to see the WBA’s mandated challenger Luis Ortiz get the next title shot if it’s not going to be Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

I still haven’t decided who I’m cheering for on Saturday.  On one hand, you have the legend in Wladimir Klitscho.  On the other hand, you have the rising young star in Anthony Joshua.  It sounds corny, but I really just want to see a classic fight on Saturday night without controversy.

All in all, I really wish I was making the trip to England for the fight.

Buckley Blog Bits – March 24, 2017

  • I’m interested in seeing Matt Hughes fight again, because I would like to see him have a proper sendoff. His career ended, unbeknownst at the time but highly speculated, after a loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135 in September 2011.  It wasn’t until early 2013 that he formally announced his retirement, but I would’ve liked to have seen him get the proper sendoff treatment and attention that fighters such as Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture have had.  Now, having said all of that, I don’t have much interest in seeing him rematch against Royce Gracie, a man he beat at UFC 60 back in May 2006.  The first fight was an absolute lopsided beating by Hughes, and I have no reason to believe that a rematch 11 years later wouldn’t have the same result, even if Hughes is an old man himself now.  I’d actually have more interest in seeing him fight Ken Shamrock at heavyweight, even if there would be a size discrepancy, but ideally I’d like see a more appropriate foe other than Gracie for Hughes if he does indeed come back for one final fight.
  • I have zero interest in seeing B.J. Penn fight again, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why the UFC keeps letting him fight. I get that he’s a big name, but the fact of the matter is that Penn hasn’t looked good in a fight since the first round of his fight with Nick Diaz at UFC 137 back in October 2011, a fight in which Penn was then thoroughly outclassed in rounds two and three and dropped a unanimous decision en route to immediately announcing his (first) retirement right after the fight was over.  Since then he’s been dominated by Rory MacDonald in December 2012, and then finished by Frankie Edgar in July 2014 and Yair Rodriguez two months ago.  I’ll unfortunately tune in and watch his fight with Dennis Siver in June because I’m a fight fan, but I’d really prefer to see him stop tarnishing his legacy as one of the best lightweights in the sport’s history.
  • Bellator’s Pay-Per-View at Madison Square Garden does interest me, even if the main event is between two rivals past their prime. This is one thing Bellator does that irritates me to an extent, because when you put a non-title fight above a title fight as the headliner, it can give off the impression that the title isn’t as important.  In this case, it looks like they’ll have two title fights on the undercard as a precursor to two non-title fights, and that disappoints me.  I understand building the marketing campaign around Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva, but I’d rather see Michael Chandler vs. Brent Primus for the lightweight title headline the pay-per-view with Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin for the welterweight title serve as the co-main event.  Use the recognizable names such as Sonnen, Silva, and Fedor Emelianenko to bring attention to your event and help it give some of the spotlight to your promotion’s champions, such as Chandler and Lima.

Since there’s no major MMA events on this weekend, I’ll have my DVR set to record the Jorge Linares (41-3) versus Anthony Crolla (31-5-3) fight for boxing’s WBA lightweight title since I’ll be unable to watch it live.  Since Linares holds The Ring magazine’s version of the lightweight title as well, I consider him to be the true legitimate lightweight champion.  While I’m not as into boxing as I am into MMA, I do enjoy tuning in for the legitimate, lineal championship fights when they occur.