I was pondering this question a lot during the season and now that things have slowed down a bit, I came up with the answer: The Team Mom. Seriously. Part psychological counselor, part emotional cheerleader – it’s what every team needs and does not have. Ok, so we don’t have to call this position “Team Mom” but how about “Spiritual Counselor” or “Spirit Coach.” I think I like the last one best; mentally, it makes this person part of the “team.” Think I am a crazy, hormonal female yet? Read on…
It is a scientific fact that women are better communicator’s than men, among the many differences arising from our brain structure. Men are better at mechanical issues. In short, we handle emotional situations very differently. To quote evolutionary psychologist, Satoshi Kanazawa, “Women’s greater empathizing and mentalistic skills are the primary reasons why they are better at languages and why they are better judges of character. Women also dominate primatology, which, like mothering of infants, requires understanding and reading the minds of individuals with whom they cannot communicate by language.” So what does baseball need? Women!
After watching all the emotional outbursts and fighting we see on the field, why doesn’t each team have a “Spirit Coach”? Or some sort of counselor to calm these guys when the testosterone goes haywire? A women would be best suited as men usually take emotional advice better from females and they respond to the softer approach in those situations. And no PhD required…in fact, I think that would be intimidating to many. So, it should be just a smart person who knows baseball really well and has experience handling children. No, I am not saying that baseball players are children. But if you can handle kids, you are likely a patient and kind individual who can react in seconds if needed. These are very useful skills to have when a guy starts screaming and throwing things in the dugout.
It would be a real asset to have someone around that guys can air their emotional baggage to, without feeling their manhood is in question. Most men will not talk about the “sensitive” issues with other men, even a coach or a friend, for fear of looking weak or other repercussions. But send a mother figure to empathize with them and they turn to mush. It is also a scientific fact that talking out your problems not only helps with the issue, but reduces stress and enhances job performance. Think of it as a legal “Performance Enhancing Drug.” :O) How many more hits would a player get if he was relaxed and happy all the time? Instead of worrying about how you will perform, you can have the confidence to know you will do well. This all comes with inner peace, which cannot be achieved in a stressful environment with no healthy way to vent your emotions.
I vent my emotions through writing and many of you have been the recipients here of self-induced therapy :O) Writing is a healthy expression; punching a guy in the face or breaking your bat in half is not.
MLB should care for every player’s emotional well-being in addition to their physical well-being. Last year, the Rockies Troy Tulowitzki lost playing time after he slammed his bat and shards of wood cut his palm open. Shawn Chacon of the Astros had an extreme emotional outburst and actually attacked GM Ed Wade, choking him (although, we have all had this particular thought once or twice :O). He was suspended for the rest of the season. Player Carl Everett has been ejected, suspended, restrained and even banned from Winter Ball due to his many outbursts throughout the years. Do you think these guys could have benefited from a little emotional coaching?
If nothing else, this is protection on your investment. Teams pay players millions of dollars. Why risk a guy cutting his own hand by breaking a bat who then won’t be playing, but you will still be paying him, when you can take steps to prevent this? Hellooo?
Actually, this has just been a long, drawn out job application for me :O) Really, I am perfect for this position. Tell me all your problems…everyone else does. :O) Hey Phillies, just think “Brett Myers.” I am the solution. Call me. Hee! ;o)