If there was one Jay that we felt pretty good about going into next season, it was Adam Lind. There's something about the ease with which he hits the ball hard that makes us think that his performance is the most likely to be repeated.
Some of that easy-breezy feeling just left our being with a big sigh when we read this article from Jordan Bastian on MLB.com, wherein Lind indicates that he'd rather not hit in the cleanup because "There's just something funky about that four-hole." Oh, dear.
What's worse still is that The Manager has also gotten into Lind's head on this. Rather than reassuring Lind that such thoughts are irrational, negative and unconstructive, and assuring the Jays' best hitter that he can do any goddamned thing he wants up there because he's an awesome hitting machine, The Manager has taken to reinforcing the notion:
"If that's in his head, then it's not a good place to put him. We have to find somewhere else to put him."
Would it kill The Manager just to let a little sun shine into his players' worlds? Does he have to feed into their own inherent negativity?
Although his math was askew, Yogi Berra had it right when he said that "ninety percent of this game is half mental." In the early chapters of Dirk Hayhurst's The Bullpen Gospels (which can be pre-ordered right here at Amazon.ca, and will be well worth your while, but more on that later), the Garfoose speaks at length about the debilitating power of his own negative thoughts, and the work that he had to do to battle back against his own self-doubt in order to progress and transcend into a better pitcher. It's a very revealing part of the book, and one that makes us worry a bit about Lind, the guy that we were so sure of.
(Mind you, if we we were making up the lineup, we'd hit Lind third anyhow. But there's probably no good for our own sense of well-being that can come from trying to make sense of The Manager's lineups.)
Friday Rock Out - The Hold Steady
To be honest, we haven't totally figured out what we think of the Hold Steady. But this is as good a rock'n'roll song as we can think of at the moment, so enjoy. Happy Friday, and congrats on making it through your first week of the new decade.