Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ball Players Can't Handle The STRESS

Does it really take "the juice" for players to get by anymore? I knew that the St.Louis Cardinals (my favorite NL club) made a big mistake in trading for shortstop Khalil Greene last season. Not because of his horrible batting average..... OK, ya that was why. But I guess it was what I didn't know that should have really scared me away.

The Cardinals are finding out that it is Greene's "social anxiety disorder" that gets in the way of his performance on the field. Now I'm not sure about you, but when I think of "social anxiety," I simply think of really timid people that freak out in public arenas. Not professional baseball players.

What's worse is that Greene is the third Major Leaguer to be placed on the DL with such a condition. Deadspin.com said it perfectly (quotes from STLToday)...

["Greene's condition causes incessant anxiety based on a fear of failure that feeds his self-consciousness. Unable to channel his emotions, the resulting frustration makes him prone to physical and verbal outbursts in front of teammates." In other words, he plays bad, he can't handle it emotionally, and that makes him play worse. Not to get all Grumpy Old Man on you, but in the old days they called that being "not good" and you got cut.]

But of course Greene may have some serious emotional issues that none of us could even be aware of, including the Cardinals. It may just take some simple counseling and some psycological support for Khalil to snap out of this funk he is in. i.e. Zack Grienke!

I really just hope that teams don't use the "stress" excuse as a way to put players on the DL that may be in a normal, baseball type, slump. i.e. David Ortiz!

Here's another player, Joey Votto who was placed on the DL due to "stress."
Definitey a trend to be watching in professional sports.

If the Cardinals fix Greene like the Royals did Grienke, then watch out. The Cardinals may have their best shortstop since a guy named Ozzie Smith! If they are unable to fix the Khalilmeister (bad nickname?) then, well, I guess he's just another baseball prospect that never panned out.

And if you read this whole article, which is hard to do with people's attention spans these days, CONGRATULATIONS! Here is your reward.

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