Taylor, that is.
For much of the past two years, he has put up a false front. A façade of a happy-go-lucky major league relief pitcher who loved the sport he had played since he was a 5-year-old in the Springfield Athletic Association.
“It was all a big lie,” Buchholz said. “I put this fake smile on and pretended everything was all right until I finally just cracked and said, ‘I need to get help.’ I hit a wall. There was something truly wrong with me.”
Buchholz, 30, has been diagnosed with a form of depression. He also suffers from an anxiety disorder.
Both issues manifested into a perfect storm for Buchholz, a perfectionist who was recovering from a long-term injury.
“Being a perfectionist is a double-edged sword,” said Buchholz, a Daily Times Player of the Year as a Springfield High senior in 2000. “You have to be one, to an extent, to succeed on that level. But I let that take over. Perfectionism led to a downward spiral for me.”
...“When I signed with the Mets (in February 2011) I told myself I was going to give it another shot and see where my mind and my body were,” Buchholz said. “I pretty much got through two months of the season and then at that point I said, ‘I’m over this.’ I couldn’t handle it any more mentally. It was breaking me down to the point where I didn’t like baseball. It was making me an unhappy person.”