In for Baggs on another night of offensive offense … A really good story came across the Associated Press wire today by the service’s longtime Bay Area reporter, Janie McCauley. It was about Bruce Bochy’s season-long ability to stay off canned tobacco snuff with the help of a hypnotist. Bullpen coach Billy Hayes and clubhouse manager Mike Murphy also signed up for the hypnosis therapy and have had similarly successful results getting off the dip.
So now, my twisted take: If this hypnotherapy works so well between the cheeks and gums of Bochy and Giants support staff, do you suppose it might have some positive effect between Giants’ hitters ears? At this point, anything might be worth a try. Holy popup, Batman, this is like a really baddeja vu movie, only instead of Groundhog Day, it’s more like Groundout Day.
The Giants were shackled by Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton Monday night for eight innings. OK, Morton’s probably the Pirates’ best pitcher, but this team came into town on a worse streak than the current stock market. They’d lost 10 in a row, and they just got royally strafed by the powderpuff Padres … AT HOME. You’ve gotta beat these boys while their chins are dragging the chalk lines.
Yet the Giants mounted rallies like Boy Scouts on a rainy camping trip using 30-year-old matches. Two on, nobody out in both the second and fourth innings and both times it turned to squat. Short fly to left, force groundout, strikeout in the second. Strikeout, double play grounder in the fourth. With one out and two on in the fifth, comebacker to the mound that’s quickly turned into an easy DP. There were lesser failures we won’t even delineate. You saw them, you know the perpetrators, and you continue to be horrified by them.
Bochy is at the end of his rope, which is saying something even for a guy who’s gone four months without a big pinch of Copenhagen. He said afterward, ”We have to get our mojo back. We’ve lost it and we know it … but we need to get it back sooner than later.”
Get the mojo back? Everybody’s in favor, but at this point, it may require a hypnotist, or an exorcist, or perhaps even an arsonist. But let’s stick with the hypnosis hypothesis for now: “Look into my eyes. You are getting sleepy, sleepy, very sleepy … OK, here we go, fellas: You will not swing from your behind when a simple well-struck ball to the right side will do. You will see a situation and maybe drop a surprise bunt, even if the manager doesn’t call for it (and he didn’t on this night when maybe he should have). You will try to think about what a pitcher is going to throw you in a certain count instead of just winging it. You will remain calm and loose instead of becoming a grimacing ball of tension and trying to win the game all by yourself by hitting one off the big Coke bottle. You will try to protect with two strikes instead of gazing dumbfoundedly at a called third. And, you Mr. Rowand, enough with the goofy gyrations, just stand up there and rake. OK, got it, guys? Now I’m going to snap my fingers and I want you snap out of it — pretty please — then go win some bleedin’ ballgames with your bats!”
Truth be told, I’m not a big believer in hyponosis. But a little levity might be the order of another bad day. If fans keep grinding on this offensive ineptitude, they may need a psychiatrist, not a hypnotist.