This is something way outside of the norm for a blog, but I wanted to try it and see how it would go. A very dear friend of mine recently decided to open up their own practice. This particular friend is a very gifted speaker and in everything that I can surmise, a very good therapist. (For the record, they have asked to remain nameless…so I will be avoiding any and all descriptions. Sorry).
Recently I was over at their house and we were talking about baseball and therapy, when I uttered the phrase “I wish that I could have baseball therapy”. To which my friend replied, “Well, why can’t you?”.
That exchange lead to my friend agreeing to do a free therapy session with me over the phone, as well as agreeing to let me post it on this site. My goal, over time, is to show how truly neurotic I am about the Brewers and hopefully to work out some of my issues with specific players, coaches, and past team decisions. I thought it best to start with the person on the roster who has caused me the most grief personally, and as of recently, professionally. This weeks therapy session (no pun intended) revolves around my feelings towards Rickie Weeks.
**Please keep in mind that I did remove some of the “session” because it was way too long. Even what I kept is too long, but wouldn’t make sense if I left any more out**
I will be the L and I will notate the Doctor’s dialogue in a D.
D: Let’s start with something simple. When I say the name Rickie Weeks, name the first thing that pops into your head.
D: That was a pretty quick answer. Why do think that is the word you associate with him?
L: Every year the “experts” (actually did quote signs) talk about how this is going to be his breakout year. The guy has been in the majors for almost a decade now and I still have not seen him break out. I have seen him break…over and over again, but I have never seen him put together an entire season of solid, consistent play. It is never a matter of if he is going to get hurt, it is just a matter of when. And over the past couple of years, it feels like more and more people are crazy about him…I don’t understand why? Am I missing something?
D: Have you ever met him?
D: Do you think that the reason everyone likes him, might have something to do with who he is as a person, rather than what he does on the field?
L: Maybe, but there are a lot of nice guys who are terrible baseball players, so why should that matter?
D: Some people attach themselves to the personal side of the athlete. That can be easier than attaching to the performance they give on the field. Does that make sense?
L: Sure. I can see that. Weeks seems like a perfectly nice guy.
D: I have been to games with you before and you seem to be more concerned with performance than you do with how nice the person is. Do you remember the time you got us in trouble for screaming at Guillermo Mota?
L: Yes. I’m still sorry about that. (This is a story for another day)
D: No need to apologize, but let me paint a picture for you. Imagine you are playing professional Monopoly, in front of fans.
L: Monopoly fans?
D: Dude, do you want to keep doing this or not?
L: Yes, ok. I got it. Monopoly spectators.
D: Imagine that you pick the thimble game piece and people immediately start to boo you. Then that putters out. You roll a few times and then you land on the Go To Jail space. Boo’s rain down on you, people start to chant “Thimble sucks, thimble sucks, thimble sucks”. Then when you get out of jail you land on someone’s property and have to pay them, more booing. How does that make you feel?
L: Well, it isn’t the thimble’s fault. So I guess I would be confused and maybe a little upset. But it’s just a game, so I guess I would be…
D: You with me now?
L: I see the point that you are trying to make. It is just a game, so why waste your time and energy being negative. But that doesn’t totally apply to my feelings about Rickie Weeks.
D: Do you grasp the overall concept that Rickie Weeks can only control what he can control? Disliking him because of injuries is foolish. Those are out of his control, just like going to jail in Monopoly is often out of your control, or which game piece you pick…
L: I can appreciate that point.
D: Can you ever envision yourself getting over the fact that he rarely makes it through a season due to injury?
L: I can’t promise that Doc.
D: How about this…would you rather he have a high ankle sprain, or miss 50 games due to a positive PED test?
L: Ankle sprain
D: Look Lou, the guy isn’t Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez. His style of play lends itself more to injury, then that of a guy like Aramis Ramirez who trots around the base paths. Rickie Weeks goes 100% all of the time, just like Carlos Gomez. Do you have these same feelings for Carlos Gomez?
D: But he is injured quite a bit, right?
D: Ok then… How do you feel about where we are at so far?
L: I do feel a little bit better (laughter).
D: Now, there were two things I identified right away. We addressed the first one, so let’s go over the other glaring issue I see with your dislike for Rickie Weeks, which is the national media perception of him.
D: I already know the answer to this, but what comes to mind when I say ESPN?
L: Fake journalism
L: I do not have enough time to go over all of that with you.
D: Let’s go another route. Which baseball specific writer…journalist bothers you the most?
L: Buster Olney
L: I never really cared for him, but then last off-season he Tweeted that the Brewers were the front-runners to sign Jose Reyes. The problem with that was that Jose Reyes signed with the Marlins like 20 minutes before he posted that to Twitter. The guy takes his opinions and tries to spin them as fact and the people who employ him do the same thing. I never trust anything that comes from ESPN or anyone associated with the Mickey Mouse Sports Network.
D: Would you ever work for ESPN?
L: Absolutely not.
D: Under ANY circumstance? Million dollar salary?
L: I don’t think that I could look at myself in the mirror, so I am going to stick with no.
D: Slightly off-topic, when did the MLB Network start?
L: Maybe 2009 or 2010. Not sure exactly.
D: How do you feel about them?
L: Good. No real beef with them other than a lack of Brewers coverage, but I do not think that is their fault.
D: When Rickie Weeks was a “up and comer”, do you know roughly when that would have been?
L: His rookie year was 2005, so I guess from that season up until about 2009 or 2010.
D: And the “experts” you referred to earlier, is it possible that most of those people were employed by ESPN?
L: It’s probable and likely.
D: Have you ever considered the possibility that you have nothing against Rickie Weeks?
D: I think that your issue with Weeks stems from a hatred for ESPN and their baseball coverage and your spite for frequently injured players.
L: The ESPN hatred is right on, but I do not have spite for all oft-injured players.
D: That may be, or maybe you are angry because the team continues to stand by a player who is often hurt. I am going to venture out and say that the organizations refusal to try and add depth or competition at the position, is what bothers you. Which has nothing to do with Weeks.
L: You are some kind of sorcerer…but, I still don’t like him and think that his days are numbered.
D: That’s fine. But I wanted you to understand that your mind’s eye can view things however it so chooses. You chose to dislike a man…a ballplayer, when really you dislike the circus that surround him. I think that you need to re-evaluate your reasons for disliking Rickie Weeks. The reasons you laid out for me, do not add up. You can change your perception of him, if you want to. The question is, do you want to Lou?
L: I don’t have to pay you for this right?
D: No you do not.
L: Ok. In that case, you are absolutely right doctor!!! I am cured. I want to love Rickie Weeks. I will learn to appreciate Rickie Weeks and his glorious Predator moster hair.
A very special thank you to my therapist, who is an amazing person and I could not be happier about their willingness to do this. Now, my doctor has agreed to do more, but I don’t want to bother them if no one enjoyed this. Please leave a comment about whether or not you found this interesting, loved it, hated it, want more breakthroughs, whatever. Any input is good input. This is an experiment and the only way an experiment works is with test subjects. So please, leave some thoughts. Thank you.