Dr. David Grand, a psychotherapist who specializes in trauma, has worked with catchers who have throwing disorders (including Mackey Sasser), and says he is "90 percent" sure that Jarrod Saltalamacchia still has one in his system.So Grand has never met Saltalamacchia, never spoken to him, never examined him, knows absolutely nothing about his personal life or his baseball career, and has never read any report (or even read about a possible report) from any doctor or psychologist who might have actually met with Salty.
"He didn't get the remediation necessary to not have it," said Grand, who has not treated the Red Sox catcher. "Based on my experience at all levels, it has to still be in his system, and with enough pressure, it will come out one way or the other."
Grand has watched Saltalamacchia play and believes the disorder could be manifesting itself at the plate.
Grand has read about Saltalamacchia's work with sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman, but his belief is that Dorfman and other sports psychologists don't have the necessary expertise in trauma. His belief is that throwing disorders are triggered by trauma, and unless the trauma is treated specifically, the player never really gets the problem out of his system.
Saltalamacchia was injured once in a home plate collision [Nick is unable to say when], which could be the trauma, or it could be something else in his life buried in his subconscious. ...
In fact, it sounds like Grand has never seen Saltalamacchia in person -- which means that if you have been to a Red Sox game recently, you are more qualified to diagnose Salty's troubles and trauma than Grand is! Nick should have called you!
And, yes, Dr. Nick did mentioned "ribs" this week:
Texas ... The goal is to get Josh Hamilton back in form. The talented outfielder, who missed a couple of weeks with three bruised ribs, leads the league with a .361 average and also has 31 homers, 97 RBIs, and a whopping 1.049 OPS. ...
Cafardo also informs us that CC Sabathia is "jitter-free in big games". Really, Nick?
In 10 post-season starts, CC has a 4.40 ERA and a 1.500 WHIP (4.5 BB/9). 61.1 IP, 61 H, 31 BB, 8 HR -- and those pedestrian numbers have received a big boost from three solid outings in last year's ALDS and ALCS.
Did Jason Varitek's absence behind the plate lead to a subpar season by the Red Sox pitching staff?Cafardo admits this is "a tough thing to quantify", so he does not do any research. None at all. Not even pitchers' ERA with Varitek and not-Varitek. He does, however, quote an anonymous scout* who says the confidence Varitek gives a pitcher "sometimes doesn't show up in the numbers"
* 95% of everyone Nick quotes is anonymous, even though they never say anything remotely interesting or controversial.Here are the Boston's staffs numbers with three catchers:
OPPONENTS G ERA AVG OBP SLG Varitek 36 4.07 .237 .317 .367 Martinez 100 4.26 .256 .327 .408 Cash 24 3.90 .240 .317 .385 IP ER ERA (includes today!) Varitek 249.2 113 4.07 Not-Tek 1090.0 509 4.20It took me about one minute to find this information (and maybe two minutes to add up the stats for the five non-Tek catchers). You can't learn much from it -- maybe Kevin Cash is as good (or better) than Varitek at coaxing solid performances out of Boston's pitchers! -- but it's better than nothing.
If a baseball player showed as little effort in his job as Cafardo does in his, he would hit the ball and then lay down in the batter's box and take a nap.