Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
I am very excited to be bringing back this segment for 2014. Luckily my very close friend, and therapist, has once again agreed to let me publish their words and advice for all to see. If you missed this segment last year, here is a little catch-up for you:
"A good friend of mine is a therapist and they agreed to treat me for my baseball hang-ups, free of charge. They also agreed to let me post the sessions on the site, so long as I do not reveal ANY information about them."
As always, this is not the entire transcript of our conversation. We talked for about 2 hours…and I have a pretty strong feeling no one would want to read all of that. So, I have condensed it down to a much more manageable chat for you.
To kick off the 2014 season, I have enormous hang-ups about Francisco Rodriguez, aka K-Rod, aka The Father-In-Law strangler, aka Jerkface Rodriguez. As you can see, there is no love lost on my end for this bullpen specialist. Let us see if Dr. Awesome can help me to work through my spite and contempt for this once dominant closer.
As is tradition, my dialogue is after the letter “L” and the good doctors will be after the letter “D”.
D: Let’s try to start from the beginning on this. Did you dislike K-Rod before he was a Brewer?
L: I mean, probably. The truth is…I don’t think I cared that much because he played in the A.L. for a long time and then he was a Met. The Mets pose no immediate threat to anyone. Of course I hated when he choked out his father-in-law after a game.
D: Talk to me about that. What do you remember about that incident?
L: I always say that he choked his father-in-law because it sounds better, but I think he just punched him. The Mets blew a lead and he was not asked to come in and try to preserve the victory, so he just hauled off and punched his wife’s father. That is the sign of a guy who is a piece of sh–. Then he had to take mandatory anger management classes. Ever since that incident I have had zero respect for him. Then he beat up his girlfriend as a member of the Brewers…that didn’t help either.
D: So you think that he is a bad person?
L: I think that is an understatement. Being a fiery player is one thing, but you need to leave that baggage at work. Rule #1 of having a stressful job is, “Don’t ever bring your work home with you.” This guy is not the type of person I want associated with my team.
D: I think that your concerns are valid, but I am confused about how this pertains to baseball?
L: What do you mean?
D: You are talking about this guy like he was a friend of yours. Shouldn’t you just worry about how he performs on the ball field? A few weeks ago you told me that Ryan Braun should be judged by his on the field performance going forward, so why is this any different?
L: Well lying and repeated acts of violence against loved ones are two very different things.
D: I understand that, but take a second and consider that if K-Rod goes out this season and becomes the closer,he saves 45 games, and the Brewers make the playoffs. Would that scenario in any way change your feelings?
L: Probably not.
D: Ok. Why?
L: Sometimes you can not remove the person from the player. What Ryan Braun did was unacceptable and juvenile. But he was not arrested, nor did he inflict physical harm on anyone. He didn’t go out and beat up the BioGenesis guy after he was sold out to Major League Baseball, because he has some shred of humanity. People who immediately resort to violence to solve problems are terrible people, especially against women, and more importantly against the mother and grandfather of your children. Franky Rodriguez is one of the lowest forms of human life and he will always be that way. All of the anger management in the world will not change the guy.
D: You really pulled a politician move on that question…
L: Thanks? I think.
D: That may have been my fault, let me try asking this another way. What if the Brewers make the World Series and K-Rod saves 4 games in the Series? He is one of the primary reasons that the Brewers are World Champs. From a historical standpoint, you would never be able to see images of the World Series without him in them…are you going to be able to deal with that?
L: I mean, I won’t really have a choice. It would be worth having to see his face every year in October if the Brewers won the Series. But I certainly wouldn’t tell my niece or nephew about him and what a great player he was. I would simply omit him from any retelling of the Series I did. It’s like what I do with Mark Chmura from the Packers.
D: Interesting. Who is Mark Chmura?
L: Oh, yeah. You probably have no idea what I am talking about. He was charged with sexually assaulting a girl in a hot tub. He played tight end for the Packers during the mid-90’s Super Bowl runs.
D: This just took a unique turn. So when you talk about that team, you just pretend like he was never a part of it?
D: I have an idea, just go with me on this. What if you just watch the season and pretend like K-Rod isn’t there already?
L: Well, I mean that is certainly something to consider. The difference is that Chmura’s hot tub issue arose after his prime playing days, so he didn’t play any more after that. Are you proposing that I just…imagine K-Rod is some other person for 162 games?
D: Kind of. What I am suggesting is more like…selective acknowledgment. You chose whether or not to acknowledge his existence.
L: How would I even begin this type of mental sorcery?
D: It’s easier than you might think. Every time Franky heads out to the mound, pretend that he is Pete Rodriguez. Maybe Pete is a young up and coming player who you have been following in the minors for the past few years, and you really like Pete Rodriguez.
L: So you want me to Ryan Braun my brain?
D: Two things: yes and don’t use Ryan Braun as a verb. It makes verbs look bad (one of the worst jokes known to man).
L: Cute joke.
D: Not my best work.
D: Look Lou, your issues with not liking K-Rod are valid. You are not a violent person and you would never hit woman. No one is going to disagree with your reasons for disliking the man, but if you are going to enjoy this season you need to bridge the gap between player and person. Since that seems unlikely for you, I am proposing you trick your brain into making the Rodriguez jersey a symbol rather than a man wearing a jersey. Get it?
L: I get it, but you are asking me to perform dark magic. Where does it end?
D: You are taking this way to literally right now. How does Ashley (my wife) put up with your nonsense?
L: No personal stuff Doc, we are on the clock. We can discuss my wife’s sanity at my usually scheduled time.
D: My apologies. But can we just try the Pete Rodriguez idea for Spring Training? If it isn’t working for you, I have another idea.
L: Ok, but it seems like you are really reaching on this one. Usually we come to some resolution, this time I feel like we are simply treating my ailment and not curing it.
D: As a doctor it is my job to treat you and cure you…so at least I am doing the first half of my job.
L: True enough.
D: Let’s give Pete Rodriguez a chance, ok?
L: You win. You always do.
Well it wasn’t the session I had hoped for, but I am going to give it a go and see what happens. My apologies if it seems a little choppy, but like I said at the top this is a cutting of a 2 hour conversation.
Anyone else looking forward to watching young prospect Pete Rodriguez this season?