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A-Rod: You Need Help, and Jim Fannin Isn’t Cutting It
Monday, August 28, 2006
I am very concerned about A-Rod. Not his athletic ability - I still consider him to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time; he can hit for average and for power, he gets on base at a great clip, can steal bases and is above-average defensively. A couple months of strike-outs and bloopers in the field doesn’t change my opinion of his athletic prowess. I have never booed him and still wouldn’t trade him for any other player in the league.

No, I’m not worried about his baseball skills. I’m worried sick about his mental health.

Last year, A-Rod admitted that he suffers from anxiety, and subsequently enlisted the help of “life coach” Jim Fannin (author of S.C.O.R.E. For Life) to help him deal with the anxiety and focus on baseball during gametime. Fannin (left; aren't you motivated just looking at his picture?) checks in with A-Rod daily to go over the S.C.O.R.E. technique (Self-discipline, Concentration, Optimism, Relaxation, and Enjoyment) and prepare him mentally for the stresses of the game. A-Rod has given Fannin a lot of credit in interviews with papers like the New York Daily News, attributing much of his success to Fannin’s constant support and helpful mantras (“I hit with an accelerated bat head”, for one).

After watching A-Rod deteriorate this weekend, though, it became very clear to me that Mr. Fannin is just not helping. A-Rod is breaking down before our very eyes! After strikeout number 5 on Saturday I wanted to call Cashman and make sure the stadium employees did a sweep for all sharp objects A-Rod might use to harm himself. On Sunday, he looked so close to tears that if he were my child I would have whisked him out of the stadium immediately and told him he never had to go back. He is clearly trying his best, but he cannot block out the noise in his head and focus on the ball. If the Yankees want to win the World Series, it is imperative that A-Rod ditch Fannin as soon as possible in favor of alternate modes of therapy, including (but not limited to) a complete psychiatric evaluation. Mr. Fannin may be a fine “life coach”, but it is time for A-Rod to stop relying on an Appalachian businessman for his serious psychiatric needs.

A-Rod’s problems this season are clearly purely mental. He has not been severely injured or ill all year, and when he is “on” he is just as good as he ever has been. Anxiety is a treatable condition (don’t beat me, Tom Cruise), and Fannin’s cute little axioms are not going to help a man with as much anxiety and stress as A-Rod (right: “I do not hear those boo’s. I do not hear those boo’s. I do not hear those boo’s…”). In fact, I think Fannin’s “help” might even be making the situation worse by allowing A-Rod to believe he doesn’t need further professional help.

Please, A-Rod. Forget Fannin. See a doctor. Dr Phil, even, if you want to continue with the celebrity route. Your talent is undisputed, but your career is at stake if you don't get your mind under control!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, August 28, 2006  
8 Comments:
  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger MikeyBronx said…

    I'm with you, babe.

     
  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous ChrisV82 said…

    I think these psychologists just string ARod along and soak him of his money. Couldn't he get the same advice from one of those desk calendars that offer little pearls of wisdom 365 days a year?

    He needs to use what baseball athletes have used for thousands of years to calm their nerves - alcohol. A little Gatorade tonic goes a long way, baby.

     
  • At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Old Hickory said…

    A-Rod needs to be traded back to an anonymous, also-ran teams. He clearly does not have the mental make-up to handle the self-imposed pressure of trying to outplay Jeter nor can he stop himself from reading every article about him. He's the reverse of Scott Brosius, who played above his head in NY. Some guys can handle it, some can't. Given how much of his salary is being eaten by Texas, I'm sure the Yankees can move A-Rod in the off-season and replenish the rotation.

    In the meantime, someone needs to wake Torre out of his season-long nap and move A-Rod down in the order.

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Anonymous ChrisV82 said…

    Wow, what a terrible idea. Let's trade the guy who, last year (his second year with the team, not his first) won the MV-effin'-P. Let's trade the guy who is first among AL third basemen in RBI. Let's trade the guy who is first among AL third basement in OBP. Let's trade the guy who, during an off year, is still third among AL third basemen in home runs. That is a brilliant move. Who can we get? Oh man, do you think we can get Aaron Boone back? Maybe we can lure Aubrey Huff from the Astros. Oh, oh, I know, how about THE JOKER Joe Randa? Anyone has to be better than ARod, a guy who has barely hit 110 home runs since 2004. What a headcase. What a wimp. Where are his intangibles?

     
  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger Brooklyn Frank said…

    i actually think we can and should trade him...to the dodgers. LA is the one place where A-Rod's phoniness would not only be tolerated but celebrated - the land of plastic surgery and daily botox shots to the face.

    i'd take one reliever and one prospect (plus the salary off the books) for him.

    with the offense we'll have in place next year, with abreu in right and matsui in left, we can afford to do w/o his bat.

     
  • At 6:12 PM, Blogger Yankees Chick said…

    just an FYI, i am not and never have been in favor of trading a-rod.

    that's all :)

     
  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger Brooklyn Frank said…

    at this point, it seems to me that it would be addition by subtraction. there still seems to be a rift between a-rod and jeter, and it looks like a-rod might never get over his mental obstacles enough to be a big-time clutch performer for us. now, if he has a big post-season this year, i would change my mind, but if he tanks again, i think we have to get rid of him while he still retains some value.

     
  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous ChrisV82 said…

    "but if he tanks again, i think we have to get rid of him while he still retains some value."

    Why, you think one of the top three players in baseball is going to lose all of his value because he doesn't do well over a few games? How well did Jeter do in the 2001 World Series? He didn't even hit .200; In fact, his OBP wasn't even .200.

    As for clutch...

    "So, who are the clutch hitters? From 1999-2002, Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada have shown to have the true talent clutch ability to add 2 runs per year. That's it. That's the effect of clutch ability." - Tom Tango

    "The correlation between past and current clutch performance is .01, with a standard deviation of .07. In other words, there isn't a significant ability in clutch hitting; if there were, the same players would be good clutch hitters every year." - David Grabiner

     
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