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Saturday, March 17, 2001

Seattle Times: Sports: 1 on, 1 out: Knoblauch plays well, Jeter injured

Although I detest the Yankees, I can’t help but feel bad for Knoblauch. This is a mental hurdle I don’t think he will overcome and I wouldn’t wish that on any player. Things are so bad that his “errorless” games make headlines. And he only played half the game!

The Original Gary Posted: March 17, 2001 at 10:44 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 12:17 AM (#66054)
Sean,

Yes, Sax did recover, and hopefully so will Wohlers, but there are many more players who never got over the hump. From a personal experience, I played with a guy in college who came down with this problem. He was a pitcher whose problems began with pickoff drills. It got so bad that he couldn't even pitch the ball into the 15X15 hitting cage. Yet, he worked and worked and got back to the point where he started a game and threw a complete game victory. I cannot remember the specifics of his numbers but I am certain he let up less baserunners than innings pitched. Anyway, we all thought he was going to be fine. Then, 3 days later, he was to throw BP and he was a mess again. He never got back to the point where he was BP ready never mind game ready.

Knoblauch has made some comments about his errors that tell me he is reaching for any excuse other than the mental aspect. Either his feet weren't set or he didn't pick up his target or he just rushed it. In my opinion, and I do hope I am wrong, he is just denying the truth of the matter. Like Yogi says, "Baseball is ninety percent mental"
   2. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 12:17 AM (#66314)
Sean,

Yes, Sax did recover, and hopefully so will Wohlers, but there are many more players who never got over the hump. From a personal experience, I played with a guy in college who came down with this problem. He was a pitcher whose problems began with pickoff drills. It got so bad that he couldn't even pitch the ball into the 15X15 hitting cage. Yet, he worked and worked and got back to the point where he started a game and threw a complete game victory. I cannot remember the specifics of his numbers but I am certain he let up less baserunners than innings pitched. Anyway, we all thought he was going to be fine. Then, 3 days later, he was to throw BP and he was a mess again. He never got back to the point where he was BP ready never mind game ready.

Knoblauch has made some comments about his errors that tell me he is reaching for any excuse other than the mental aspect. Either his feet weren't set or he didn't pick up his target or he just rushed it. In my opinion, and I do hope I am wrong, he is just denying the truth of the matter. Like Yogi says, "Baseball is ninety percent mental"
   3. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 12:17 AM (#66854)
Sean,

Yes, Sax did recover, and hopefully so will Wohlers, but there are many more players who never got over the hump. From a personal experience, I played with a guy in college who came down with this problem. He was a pitcher whose problems began with pickoff drills. It got so bad that he couldn't even pitch the ball into the 15X15 hitting cage. Yet, he worked and worked and got back to the point where he started a game and threw a complete game victory. I cannot remember the specifics of his numbers but I am certain he let up less baserunners than innings pitched. Anyway, we all thought he was going to be fine. Then, 3 days later, he was to throw BP and he was a mess again. He never got back to the point where he was BP ready never mind game ready.

Knoblauch has made some comments about his errors that tell me he is reaching for any excuse other than the mental aspect. Either his feet weren't set or he didn't pick up his target or he just rushed it. In my opinion, and I do hope I am wrong, he is just denying the truth of the matter. Like Yogi says, "Baseball is ninety percent mental"
   4. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 12:17 AM (#67640)
Sean,

Yes, Sax did recover, and hopefully so will Wohlers, but there are many more players who never got over the hump. From a personal experience, I played with a guy in college who came down with this problem. He was a pitcher whose problems began with pickoff drills. It got so bad that he couldn't even pitch the ball into the 15X15 hitting cage. Yet, he worked and worked and got back to the point where he started a game and threw a complete game victory. I cannot remember the specifics of his numbers but I am certain he let up less baserunners than innings pitched. Anyway, we all thought he was going to be fine. Then, 3 days later, he was to throw BP and he was a mess again. He never got back to the point where he was BP ready never mind game ready.

Knoblauch has made some comments about his errors that tell me he is reaching for any excuse other than the mental aspect. Either his feet weren't set or he didn't pick up his target or he just rushed it. In my opinion, and I do hope I am wrong, he is just denying the truth of the matter. Like Yogi says, "Baseball is ninety percent mental"
   5. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 01:19 PM (#66056)
The problems Knoblauch is having is strictly mental, which makes it exactly like those before him. I don't see the relevance of whether he is a pitcher or not. The common theme is the inability for a major league ballplayer to make simple throws. The story I told was intended to show that these kind of mental obstacles do not go away, even when it seems it has been overcome. Everyone, including the player, will be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I wouldn't expect Knoblauch to be in the field for too many games during the season.
   6. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 01:19 PM (#66316)
The problems Knoblauch is having is strictly mental, which makes it exactly like those before him. I don't see the relevance of whether he is a pitcher or not. The common theme is the inability for a major league ballplayer to make simple throws. The story I told was intended to show that these kind of mental obstacles do not go away, even when it seems it has been overcome. Everyone, including the player, will be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I wouldn't expect Knoblauch to be in the field for too many games during the season.
   7. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 01:19 PM (#66856)
The problems Knoblauch is having is strictly mental, which makes it exactly like those before him. I don't see the relevance of whether he is a pitcher or not. The common theme is the inability for a major league ballplayer to make simple throws. The story I told was intended to show that these kind of mental obstacles do not go away, even when it seems it has been overcome. Everyone, including the player, will be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I wouldn't expect Knoblauch to be in the field for too many games during the season.
   8. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 01:19 PM (#67642)
The problems Knoblauch is having is strictly mental, which makes it exactly like those before him. I don't see the relevance of whether he is a pitcher or not. The common theme is the inability for a major league ballplayer to make simple throws. The story I told was intended to show that these kind of mental obstacles do not go away, even when it seems it has been overcome. Everyone, including the player, will be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I wouldn't expect Knoblauch to be in the field for too many games during the season.
   9. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 18, 2001 at 03:21 PM (#66057)
Historical precedent, although limited, is actually in Knoblauch's favor. Sax did recover from his problems, while Murphy was able to move to another position (center field) after struggling as a catcher. If Knoblauch cannot find his way at second base, he can be moved to left field. Now some might question whether he would hit enough for a corner outfield position. That would depend on whether he hits like he did in 2000 (unacceptable) or pre-2000 (acceptable). Given that quality leadoff men are harder to find today than middle-of-the-order power hitters, I'd still want Knoblauch on my team in some capacity.
   10. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 18, 2001 at 03:21 PM (#66317)
Historical precedent, although limited, is actually in Knoblauch's favor. Sax did recover from his problems, while Murphy was able to move to another position (center field) after struggling as a catcher. If Knoblauch cannot find his way at second base, he can be moved to left field. Now some might question whether he would hit enough for a corner outfield position. That would depend on whether he hits like he did in 2000 (unacceptable) or pre-2000 (acceptable). Given that quality leadoff men are harder to find today than middle-of-the-order power hitters, I'd still want Knoblauch on my team in some capacity.
   11. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 18, 2001 at 03:21 PM (#66857)
Historical precedent, although limited, is actually in Knoblauch's favor. Sax did recover from his problems, while Murphy was able to move to another position (center field) after struggling as a catcher. If Knoblauch cannot find his way at second base, he can be moved to left field. Now some might question whether he would hit enough for a corner outfield position. That would depend on whether he hits like he did in 2000 (unacceptable) or pre-2000 (acceptable). Given that quality leadoff men are harder to find today than middle-of-the-order power hitters, I'd still want Knoblauch on my team in some capacity.
   12. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 18, 2001 at 03:21 PM (#67643)
Historical precedent, although limited, is actually in Knoblauch's favor. Sax did recover from his problems, while Murphy was able to move to another position (center field) after struggling as a catcher. If Knoblauch cannot find his way at second base, he can be moved to left field. Now some might question whether he would hit enough for a corner outfield position. That would depend on whether he hits like he did in 2000 (unacceptable) or pre-2000 (acceptable). Given that quality leadoff men are harder to find today than middle-of-the-order power hitters, I'd still want Knoblauch on my team in some capacity.
   13. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 04:54 PM (#66058)
Bruce,

I agree. Knoblauch still has value as a leadoff hitter. I feel his defensive problems have distracted him at the plate as his numbers dipped slightly. Even still, he is the best option for the Yankees at leadoff. Hiding him in left field is certainly an option but that just avoids the problem rather than cure it. If that kind of move would relax him at the plate, perhaps he could approach the pre-2000 numbers and New York would then benefit. As a long time Red Sox fan, I hope Knoblauch continues to struggle at the plate. As a baseball fan, I hope he can turn it around.
   14. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 04:54 PM (#66318)
Bruce,

I agree. Knoblauch still has value as a leadoff hitter. I feel his defensive problems have distracted him at the plate as his numbers dipped slightly. Even still, he is the best option for the Yankees at leadoff. Hiding him in left field is certainly an option but that just avoids the problem rather than cure it. If that kind of move would relax him at the plate, perhaps he could approach the pre-2000 numbers and New York would then benefit. As a long time Red Sox fan, I hope Knoblauch continues to struggle at the plate. As a baseball fan, I hope he can turn it around.
   15. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 04:54 PM (#66858)
Bruce,

I agree. Knoblauch still has value as a leadoff hitter. I feel his defensive problems have distracted him at the plate as his numbers dipped slightly. Even still, he is the best option for the Yankees at leadoff. Hiding him in left field is certainly an option but that just avoids the problem rather than cure it. If that kind of move would relax him at the plate, perhaps he could approach the pre-2000 numbers and New York would then benefit. As a long time Red Sox fan, I hope Knoblauch continues to struggle at the plate. As a baseball fan, I hope he can turn it around.
   16. The Original Gary Posted: March 18, 2001 at 04:54 PM (#67644)
Bruce,

I agree. Knoblauch still has value as a leadoff hitter. I feel his defensive problems have distracted him at the plate as his numbers dipped slightly. Even still, he is the best option for the Yankees at leadoff. Hiding him in left field is certainly an option but that just avoids the problem rather than cure it. If that kind of move would relax him at the plate, perhaps he could approach the pre-2000 numbers and New York would then benefit. As a long time Red Sox fan, I hope Knoblauch continues to struggle at the plate. As a baseball fan, I hope he can turn it around.
   17. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 19, 2001 at 07:46 PM (#66059)
In Monday's ESPN column, Rob Neyer says that the Yankees should "probably just cut Knoblauch," trade for a one-year solution at second base, and have D'Angelo Jimenez play second base at Triple-A until he's ready.

Frankly, this is the least logical idea I have heard in terms of how to tackle the Knoblauch problem. Knoblauch, while obviously not the player he was in Minnesota, is still a capable leadoff man who can reach base 39 per cent of the time, with above-average speed. Regardless of what position he might be able to play, a leadoff man of his quality still has some value to a team. Even if Knoblauch is only useful as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner (and that's a worst-case scenario), the Yankees should not release him outright.
   18. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 19, 2001 at 07:46 PM (#66319)
In Monday's ESPN column, Rob Neyer says that the Yankees should "probably just cut Knoblauch," trade for a one-year solution at second base, and have D'Angelo Jimenez play second base at Triple-A until he's ready.

Frankly, this is the least logical idea I have heard in terms of how to tackle the Knoblauch problem. Knoblauch, while obviously not the player he was in Minnesota, is still a capable leadoff man who can reach base 39 per cent of the time, with above-average speed. Regardless of what position he might be able to play, a leadoff man of his quality still has some value to a team. Even if Knoblauch is only useful as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner (and that's a worst-case scenario), the Yankees should not release him outright.
   19. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 19, 2001 at 07:46 PM (#66859)
In Monday's ESPN column, Rob Neyer says that the Yankees should "probably just cut Knoblauch," trade for a one-year solution at second base, and have D'Angelo Jimenez play second base at Triple-A until he's ready.

Frankly, this is the least logical idea I have heard in terms of how to tackle the Knoblauch problem. Knoblauch, while obviously not the player he was in Minnesota, is still a capable leadoff man who can reach base 39 per cent of the time, with above-average speed. Regardless of what position he might be able to play, a leadoff man of his quality still has some value to a team. Even if Knoblauch is only useful as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner (and that's a worst-case scenario), the Yankees should not release him outright.
   20. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 19, 2001 at 07:46 PM (#67645)
In Monday's ESPN column, Rob Neyer says that the Yankees should "probably just cut Knoblauch," trade for a one-year solution at second base, and have D'Angelo Jimenez play second base at Triple-A until he's ready.

Frankly, this is the least logical idea I have heard in terms of how to tackle the Knoblauch problem. Knoblauch, while obviously not the player he was in Minnesota, is still a capable leadoff man who can reach base 39 per cent of the time, with above-average speed. Regardless of what position he might be able to play, a leadoff man of his quality still has some value to a team. Even if Knoblauch is only useful as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner (and that's a worst-case scenario), the Yankees should not release him outright.

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