When Orel Hershiser was in his first season as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he had great talent but had not been able to translate that into success on the field. Early in the 1984 season he was struggling with his control. Finally Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda called the young pitcher into his office for a verbal confrontation that Hershiser later referred to as “The Sermon on the Mound.”
Lasorda told Hershiser that he was capable of much better work than he was doing and that he owed it to the team to reach his potential. Hershiser took the rebuke to heart and approached the game with a new attitude. He went on to win the Cy Young award as baseball’s best pitcher in 1988 while leading the Dodgers to the World Series title. If Hershiser had not responded properly to his manager’s rebuke, it is doubtful that he would ever have achieved such success or helped his team so much.