Interesting story by Gordon Edes about Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s struggles to get over the throwing yips that plagued him down in Texas. The key: working with sports psychologists, including an expert on yips who has developed a unique system:
The system, he said, is modeled after the pressure points found in acupuncture. And athletes with the yips, he said, “are in so much pain.”
“Tapping helps clear out the negative emotion,” he said. “Say you struck out to end the seventh inning, and you still have to play defense and might come up to bat again. How to clear out that negative emotion?
“You focus on the negative. Start on your eyebrows. Focus on the negative. Each site, your eyes, below your nose, below your lip. The idea is to do a tap lap, go down and around, tap the top of your head, then start again. Tapping helps clear out the negative emotion.”
I tend to be skeptical of this sort of thing, but when it comes to hard-to-diagnose and even harder-to-fix problems like the yips, I’m firmly in the “whatever works” camp. And as Edes reports, it seems to be working for Saltalamacchia.
I’m just cringing, though, at the thought of what some of the harsher Boston columnists, talk radio guys and fans are going to do with concepts like “energy psychology” and “negative emotion” if Saltalamacchia struggles early this season.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.