No, that’s not what you think it means. It refers to “Deal With It,” and they were the letters written on a white board inside the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse after some Navy Seals visited the team yesterday. The message: when you have a problem, get past it, dude. Navy Seals do that, and the Dbacks should do it too. (UPDATE: I see the “Deal With It” thing has spread wider than I realized).
Yeah, I think this is a different kind of training camp than the Dbacks are used to having.
The visit by the Navy Seals wasn’t set up by Kirk Gibson, but he talked about it a few minutes ago when he took media questions. He was pleased with the visit and he’s definitely got that message at the top of his priority list as his young team gets into real baseball games starting tomorrow. “You know what Navy Seals do,” Gibson said. “We’re not asking them to go that far. But we want to change our mentality.”
Gibson is pleased with the effort he’s seen, but he’s more interested in making sure that the lessons from the past week translate into action in the game. You get the sense that he has his concerns. “Just do it, just like you did out on the practice field,” Gibson said, explaining what the main message is to his team. His tone is reminiscent of, say, a high school coach: he’s confident in his players, but he’s well aware that there are going to be some bumps ahead.
When you think of people who might be adept at dealing with the fragile psyches of young players, you don’t necessarily think of Kirk Gibson. That may be an assumption based on old information, of course, as most of us think of the fiery player of 20 or 30 years ago, not the current man, about whom we know relatively little.
But the fragile psyches of a young team are his primary responsibility now. I think it will be fascinating to see how he deals with them this season.