A baseball season is 162 games stretch over six months, and if you’re good can go even longer. And it’s become clear that the mental demands can be as great as the physical.
As a result, teams are finally starting to address the question of how to get the players the help they need.
“It’s a very timely question,” Chicago White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn said on the Danny Mac Show. “In fact this last offseason we hired a fellow by the name of Dr. Jeff Fishbein, who’s a sports psychologist, he works exclusively with the White Sox now. He’s worked previously, for the last 10 years, with the [Florida] Marlins before that. He’s been around, going back all the way to SoxFest, he spent a few weeks down in Arizona with us in Spring Training, and he’s just available as a resource.
LISTEN: Rick Hahn On The Danny Mac Show
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“Ozzie, over the years, has joked on numerous occasions that ‘I don’t need a pitching coach or a hitting coach, I need a team of shrinks.’ And this year he actually has someone on staff right now, who’s available as a resource, to help with some of the performance and on-field issues, which are very real. And I do think that probably four or five years ago, there was finally a little bit of a breakthrough in the game, which obviously is very slow to change.
“But when a guy like Zack Greinke can come out and say ‘I have these very real psychological issues that prevent me from performing and I need help,’ And then he’s able to rebound and have a Cy Young caliber season after he gets that help. All of a sudden I think it became a little more acceptable for guys to say ‘You know what, I need some help as well.’ And we’re, as an organization, now providing them that resource.”