Psychiatrists have finally recognized Baseball Player Personality Disorder–sometimes known as On the Schneid Syndrome. In “The Sabermetrics of Stinking Up The Stadium,” Dr. Ferris Wheeler states that, next to striking out while being intentionally walked, the most painful moment in a washed-up player’s career occurs when he is cut from the team with a bolo knife.
Dr. Wheeler lists urgent questions a therapist must ask to help a worthless player get a grip on himself without bathing in pine tar. These questions, he notes, must be asked with sensitivity and without smirking–unless your face is obscured by a baseball mitt.
Have you ever been sent down to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos?
• Did you ask why or is it usually obvious? (In other words, nobody ever gets sent up to the Blue Wahoos.)
Have you ever been outrighted to Norfolk?
• Is outrighted even a word?
• Is Norfolk a good place to be outrighted to?
• Do Norfolkers mind that you’ve been outrighted to them?
• Do they mind being known as Norfolkers?
• Do they ask questions like “Is there goulash where you’re from?”
• Or “What’s that thing crawling up your leg? Just kidding. Haw!”
Have you ever been placed on waivers?
• Was it a gentle placing, like tenderly setting a garden gnome in among the hosta?
• Or was it more like being dangled from a crane onto the back of a wavering water buffalo?
Have you ever been picked up on waivers?
• When you get picked up do they pick up the water buffalo too?
• Is it like being picked up by the cops, or more like getting picked up by a sailor?
• By a hill troll? A tornado? A press gang? A pickup truck? The dog catcher? The dog outfielder? (Just kidding. Haw!)
Have you ever been designated for assignment?
• How does it happen—are you, like, walking out to center field and you hear the bat boy shout “You! With no talent!” And do you turn around and say “Who, me?” And does the bat boy say “Do you see anybody else out here who isn’t playing center field today?” And when you say “Don’t hurt me,” does he kind of chuckle and say “You be designated.”
• Is it understood that you be designated for assignment? Maybe you’ve jumped to conclusions and have been designated for a free elephant ride at the circus. When it comes to town. Which it never has.
• Or will.
• Or do you have to ask? And when you ask what you’ve been designated for, does the bat boy get sarcastic and say “It sure aint the Housewives of New Jersey.”
• And when you look dumbfounded and the bat boy says “You’ve been designated for assignment,” do you say “What does that mean again?”
• And does the bat boy laugh wickedly and say “It sure aint the Housewives of Dannemora. But it might as well be. Haw!”
• Or is it more like playing tag, when somebody slams you in the baseballs with a catcher’s mitt and says “You’re it,” and everybody hides on you and it gets dark and you’re afraid you’re going to miss your favorite show and you feel very sad?
Have you ever been out of options?
This presumes that at one point you had plenty of options, i.e:
• You could have been president.
• You could have sold title insurance.
• You could have been a contender or even a bartender.
• You could have been a calendar tester.
• You could have had just one lousy visit to your dentist where he didn’t give you the “Start flossing or lose your teeth, your mind and your chance of ever being a vampire” lecture.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.