You’ve just taken a job as a pitching coach, replacing the former pitching coach who had health issues.

You have a very talented pitcher who can command just about anything, is very aggressive, who can work himself out of a jam a high percentage of the time and is the club’s go-to-guy when needed. The club can not, and will not, keep its fan base without him. His autograph sessions are a public relations God sent to the club and the sponsor base all hinges on his smile and personality.

There’s only one catch - he’s full of himself. He’s a problem just waiting for an excuse to be a problem. He whines and complains abut just everything, he’s in and out of mood swings hourly, he’ll invariable keep the team bus waiting at least an hour, he’s got a girlfriend in every State in the Union, and he has a gambling problem - but not on baseball.

Well, there it is sport’s fans … how would you manage this guy?

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The former Pitching Coach tried to discipline this guy, only to have the guy camped out in his motel room for a week, with a few cases of Muscatel. The coach was given a choice - either apologizing to the guy, or start looking for another job.

Tough call. Disciplining the guy was probably the wrong approach. Educating him about perceptions and how others may react to him based on their perceptions would be a more approach to helping him without alienating him (or yourself).

Trade him for two good pitchers.


Are there any older guys with history of success that he respects that can mentor him or put him in check in the organization?

It’d be pretty tough to throw your ego around to a guy like Maddux or Smoltz or Johnson… I get these are HOFers but just as example.

Just my 2 cents from my coaching experience in different sport.

I witnessed, first hand, this situation. Having the experience and wit from a coach that had more experience in life than I had at the time, and boiling things down to simple facts, here’s how he handled this.

His reasoning started off like this-

(1) - No one at the controls operates in a vacuum. People in all walks of life that manage things do so for a reason(s). Supervisors and managers in business, will tolerate an idiot only because it makes life difficult, if not impossible, for those smart enough to challenge the jobs of said supervisors and managers. Kind-a like a buffer that serves as a job security screen.
(2) - No one works for anyone but themselves. Loyalty, productivity, and dependability are expected, not given, for those in a non-ownership or executive positions. Even at that, everyone is accountable to someone, and for various reasons. At the end of the day, having the opportunity to come back tomorrow is not a right, nor a guarantee. Never take anything for granted.

Hence, he reasoned this out …

This guy that is on the pitching staff is there for reasons well beyond anyone’s center of gravity. By the fact that he’s an idiot to everyone else, means nothing. In fact, his orbit is by the will of someone(s) else and that orbit is in a universe that we will never see the daylight of… so don’t go looking for it. Let the wild card be, let him play his lifespan out until he crosses the line with those that put him there. If on the other hand, the blame game starts, it will be the a defensive mechanism of those that put this clown on the pitching staff to begin with … which means … it’s your fault. So, put as much distance between us and him, the people that orchestrated this situation, and be ready to move on when the time comes. Any and all questions along the way … refer to (1) and (2).

Granted, this situation was not in amateur baseball and all concerned had a living to consider. But, strangely enough, I’ve found this advice worthy of listening to. So, control what can be controlled and let everything else find it’s own way.

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