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View Full Version : We have a lot of mentally fragile players on this team


SoxxoS
05-14-2004, 03:20 PM
And if there is anything that is going to hamper us, it's our mental toughness...

We'll start with: Paul Konerko. The guy has one of the best swings in the league...yet has struggled since the 2002 all-star break. He now has a mental block in the month of May and is turning into a platoon player...something that should never happen with a guy of his talent.

Jon Garland: Boatload of talent. Some say he has "ace" talent. I wouldn't go that far, as what Randar said-"All his pitches move R-L. He does have #2 stuff and should be a lot better than he is. Is prone to mental breakdowns on occasional pitches...like throwing high change-ups in Toronto. Gets flustered easliy. Can't make a pitch with 2 strikes to save his life.

CLee: Mentally weak running the bases and has times where he looks dazed and confused at the plate. Has too many brain cramps at the plate and on the bases. Not a very smart baseball player.

Frank Thomas: A great player...but also mentally fragile. Had different hitting coaches, changes stances, thinks far too much. Has the whole "better as a 1st baseman" thing. Has trouble getting the clutch hit.


Danny Wright: He has got to be hurt this season, but in past years when he is healthy he is a disaster on the mound. Never had a winners mentality...as being 2-15 in college had to screw with you psyche.

Neal Cotts:Everyone has nerves...but he was downright scared at Yankee Stadium. For a perspective, look at Cabrera from Baltimore yesterday against us. That guy was calm, cool, and collected the whole game. I don't hold being nervous against Cotts, but he has the stuff to succeed and overthinks himself.


Now the guys that are strong mentally:

Jose Valentin-Doesn't have the talent to hit .300, so it shouldn't be expected. He has, however, improved his defense by leaps and bounds since 2000. A leader. Heady on the basepaths. Get 's clutch hits and shows up in the big games...especially against the Cubs.

Joe Crede: His swing has a tendency to get L-O-N-G, but he is a clutch player that plays good defense and rarely makes the stupid mistake.

Mark Buehrle: Numbers have decreased ever since 2001, but he knows how to pitch.

Scott Schoenweis: Anybody that pitched that poorly in spring training, then gets to the regular season and has been the "ace" of the staff, is OK in my book.

Maggs: Does his job and rarely makes mistakes. Is not prone to extremely long slumps. Doesn't have "bad months."

TFWIW. Compare us to the Twins, where it seems like they just have a higher baseball IQ than us. I just tried to figure out why that is. Please add any players you think are worthy. There has to be a reason why this team has finished behind the Twins the past 3 years...

Randar68
05-14-2004, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
Frank Thomas: A great player...but also mentally fragile. Had different hitting coaches, changes stances, thinks far too much. Has the whole "better as a 1st baseman" thing. Has trouble getting the clutch hit.

Neal Cotts:Everyone has nerves...but he was downright scared at Yankee Stadium. For a perspective, look at Cabrera from Baltimore yesterday against us. That guy was calm, cool, and collected the whole game. I don't hold being nervous against Cotts, but he has the stuff to succeed and overthinks himself.



Come on. NOBODY puts up the kind of seasons Frank has if they're mentally weak. Is he too honest? Does he not give the PC answer to questions? Yes, undoubtedly. But he's his own man, and not being a team leader is different than not being mentally tough.

Cotts? The kid's mechanics went to total hell. You don't get the chance to work through that kind of stuff at the MLB level. I'm not sure Neal Cotts would be scared if you pointed a gun in his face. That kid is tough as nails.

Fungo
05-14-2004, 03:39 PM
I don't think Danny Wright is smart enough to be 'mentally fragile'. The kid has that look on his face constantly like he's as dumb as a box of rocks.

SoxxoS
05-14-2004, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Come on. NOBODY puts up the kind of seasons Frank has if they're mentally weak. Is he too honest? Does he not give the PC answer to questions? Yes, undoubtedly. But he's his own man, and not being a team leader is different than not being mentally tough.

Cotts? The kid's mechanics went to total hell. You don't get the chance to work through that kind of stuff at the MLB level. I'm not sure Neal Cotts would be scared if you pointed a gun in his face. That kid is tough as nails.

I am not going to get into a Frank argument. Frank has put up great seasons. No doubt. I think he gets by on just having uncanny talent. I think you can put up those seasons without being mentally strong. I don't care about his interviews.

Do you think it's possible Cotts mechanics went to hell b/c of nerves? I think that is a definite possibility. That is the most logical reason. There is a difference between toughness and being mentally strong. He walks a lot of guys and doesn't trust his stuff.. It's easy to say as an "armchair QB" but that is all I can go by. I like Cotts and he seems to really thrive in the bullpen roll. He should receive an "incomplete" until he is put back into the starter role. If he goes to crap again, then I stick with my opinion.

SoxxoS
05-14-2004, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by Fungo
I don't think Danny Wright is smart enough to be 'mentally fragile'. The kid has that look on his face constantly like he's as dumb as a box of rocks.

That is part of being mentally fragile...and baseball IQ.

Randar68
05-14-2004, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
Do you think it's possible Cotts mechanics went to hell b/c of nerves? I think that is a definite possibility. That is the most logical reason. There is a difference between toughness and being mentally strong. He walks a lot of guys and doesn't trust his stuff.. It's easy to say as an "armchair QB" but that is all I can go by. I like Cotts and he seems to really thrive in the bullpen roll. He should receive an "incomplete" until he is put back into the starter role. If he goes to crap again, then I stick with my opinion.

This is the same argument I had with people at the time. That outing was absolutely not indicative of his season in AA, even thoug people point to the box scores and say, "Look at all those walks".

His mechanics went to hell. He was unable to correct them in that short a period. The Yankees are a very patient team, and that certainly didn't help him get any outs and settle down or find himself. Cotts was effective in his 2 starts prior to that one, although not spectacular. Almost all young pitchers struggle early in their careers with balls and strikes. For some, it's a matter of not getting the close calls they got in AA or AAA. For some, it's trying to be too fine or picking at the corners and missing.

To call the guy mentally weak because of his performance in a start in Yankee Stadium during a playoff push when he lost his mechanics, is WAY over the top, IMO.

SoxxoS
05-14-2004, 03:52 PM
OK, I'll wait on judgement on him until he is back in the rotation. I am definitely pulling for him.

Baby Fisk
05-14-2004, 03:57 PM
My 2 cents go to Shingo for being mentally strong. Foreigner in a foreign land, can't speak the language, gets shellacked in the spring, but he's found himself and is doing just fine. Anyone who can throw that kind of hair-raising junk and get away with it has some kind of testicular fortitude.

Palehose13
05-14-2004, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Baby Fisk
My 2 cents go to Shingo for being mentally strong. Foreigner in a foreign land, can't speak the language, gets shellacked in the spring, but he's found himself and is doing just fine. Anyone who can throw that kind of hair-raising junk and get away with it has some kind of testicular fortitude.

Agreed. BTW..."Testicular Fortitude"??? LMAO! That's good stuff!

SoxxoS
05-14-2004, 04:06 PM
Does everyone think that mental toughness is the reason why we have been behind the Twins for the past 3 years?

I think so. We "should" of had more wins than them the last 3 years judging by RS/RA and Rob Neyer's analysis, but it didn't happen. There has to be a reason other than:

:jerry

"Zzzzzzzzzzzz."

jackbrohamer
05-14-2004, 04:09 PM
To steal from Yogi Berra, 90% of the game is half mental. Manuel always seemed to be playing mind games with players which couldn't have helped.

As many pointed out here at the time, having Cotts start that Yankee game last year was under the circumstances every bit as unfair to him as it was to the team. I'm just glad he seems to have moved on from it.

VeeckAsInWreck
05-14-2004, 04:12 PM
Personally with all the negativity on this site. I think a lot of posters on this board are mentally fragile. :(:

I'll show you what I mean.

Konerko will pop-up in a game

"Send him to Charlotte" :angry:

Later in the game, Konerko will smack a double

"Pauly is going to put up MVP numbers"



The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Relax!!!!

Go Sox, beat the twinkies :smile:

(weather permitting)

SoxxoS
05-14-2004, 04:22 PM
Are you saying I said those things, Veeck? It says "Check yo self" in the message title, but I didn't say that.

Here is me on Konerko yesterday,after the homer. (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/search.php?s=&action=showresults&searchid=27101&sortby=&sortorder=&pagenumber=2)

Nard
05-14-2004, 04:23 PM
Shingo is a rock. He had no tough period after giving up those bombs in his first major league start. Just went out there, acts like it never happened, and kicks ass on a regular basis.

Let's see how Diaz responds.

jackbrohamer
05-14-2004, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by VeeckAsInWreck
Go Sox, beat the twinkies :smile: (weather permitting)

For once. 7 games coming up against the Twinkies, let's see the Sox deliver a knockout punch to that obnoxious team for once.

VeeckAsInWreck
05-14-2004, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
Are you saying I said those things, Veeck? It says "Check yo self" in the message title, but I didn't say that.

Here is me on Konerko yesterday,after the homer. (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/search.php?s=&action=showresults&searchid=27101&sortby=&sortorder=&pagenumber=2)

I wasn't calling you out SoxxoS, I was talking about the general sentiment for most posters on these forums. It seems that the few times I visit the boards there is way too much negativity going on. That's all, other than that, you and I are cool! :gulp:

Lip Man 1
05-14-2004, 11:55 PM
I think losing makes you mentally weak. You can't seem to get over the hump as a team and eventually you start to press. You start to make mistakes or try to do things you are not capable of doing.

I think the Twins situation is starting to become psychological for the Sox. This core group that has been around for the last three and a half seasons has got to be scratching their heads over what to do.

Lip