How to help a headcase on the mound?

On every team I’ve ever been on, there’s always been a headcase - that one guy who sometimes get’s a little out of control, or self doubting, etc. Played with one guy who’d literally get down and punch the rubber after giving up a hit. He was a strange dude, but was able to eventually channel that intensity into a 2nd round draft pick and a $700K check.

Got any headcases on your team? Are you that guy? :slight_smile:

We HAD a headcase on our team who just never got better. He was a centerfielder and pitcher. He was a pretty good outfielder that needed an attitude adjustment, he was the type that would get on every one for every mistake and cuss out his own teammates for absolutely no reason, he’d throw his glove against the fence and all that stuff.

When he pitched he could throw the ball as hard as anyone on our team but he couldn’t control anything, he was fine in the bullpen but then in the game he walked a ton of people. I really don’t know why he continued to pitch.

One game I recall him walking 10 people in a single inning and I am still oblivious as to why he was still pitching after 4 straight walks.

“The pitcher had electric stuff but couldn’t find the plate…” Poor Pustulio. I don’t know why you and everyone else had to put up with that guy—he seems to be one of those who either couldn’t, or wouldn’t learn. Probably the best thing to do with such players is get rid of them. In another post, addressed to Coach B., I said something about how to deal with a pitcher who wouldn’t listen no matter what you did—I said, lose him. Take him out of the rotation, stick him in the bullpen and never call on him except for mop-up jobs in games where your team is way behind, and then just drop him. You have better things to do than try to cope with this particular situation.
There was a case, perhaps less extreme but nonetheless fitting into this category. The Cincinnati Reds had a pitcher named Jay Hook who, when he was good was very good, but when he was bad stank. On one occasion he was pitching against the Pirates, and he absolutely stank on hot ice! The Pirates were eating him alive, converting every pitch he threw into line-drive extra-base hits, and finally in the fifth inning manager Fred Hutchinson had to take him out of the game. Hook returned to the dugout, and he sat in a corner bemoaning the loss of his fast ball—it had just up and gone to the moon, or Mars, or Alpha Centauri IV, or wherever. And trying to explain things to him was like talking to a stone wall; he just continued to moan over and over and over, “Without my fast ball I can’t pitch.” Well, he had stunk on hot ice once too often, and the Reds let him go—traded him, or released him, I don’t know, but he didn’t last long after that.
I’m glad to say that I never had that experience with any of the other pitchers on my staff. If one of them ran into trouble I was able to talk to him and get him squared away—sometimes all I had to say to him was something Satchel Paige had said once: “Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.” Or something Ed Lopat had told me: “You know, you have some good fielders behind you. Let them do some of the work. Let them get a few outs for you now and then.” That often did the trick, and the pitcher was able to steady himself, right his ship as it were, and get the side out. 8) And you don’t even have to be a coach—maybe just being a fellow pitcher who has everything together.

Well he was an extraordinary athlete and our coach loved him but unfortunately the guy was a jack@$$.

Oh yeah, a few kids on my team this year were headcases. One would shout and yell when things went th wrong way, the other would start crying.

Crying? Lol, seriously?

Well, not really, just like the feeling you get before you cry, he’d let anything get into his head, he’s a real whiner.

during my HS years after the season I would play in this park district league where the talent and fields were not ok. I dealt with our D giving up a lot of errors and this would frustrate me a lot.

Giving up hits wouldn’t bother me, walks did, errors did but I wouldn’t get mad at the player I would just be bothered that I was working more than I should.

Baseball is a mental game and when you see somebody with a short fuse or responding to things being verbally said to him, that is not good. Anger distorts perception and you don’t want that as a pitcher.

The Unoffical Dictionary of Baseball

Kind-a wraps up the entire lot of ya!

Coach B.

My boy’s team has several head cases. In one game last year, the infield had 4 errors on ground balls in one inning when he was pitching.

Andy learned to “flush” mistakes when he was younger. The idea is to forget about the mistake and get refocused.

When he is on the mound, Andy always tells his players to flush their mistake after the coach gets his chance to yell at them. This causes friction between Andy and the coach.