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Going Mental
2003-07-28 09:48
by Jon Weisman

Playing right-center field in a four-man outfield at my pickup softball game Sunday, I made 16 putouts in 13 innings. Isn't that remarkable? I'm not bragging about it - I just think it's amazing that so many people could hit the ball my way.

At the plate, things were shakier. I started out 0 for 4, robbed of a hit once but otherwise making very meek outs. I decided to change my approach, and told myself to go to the plate angry. Not desperate for a hit, but determined. I got solid hits the next three at-bats.

The day got hotter and tireder, and I finished only 3 for 9. What the hell, I'm still an amateur.

But the game really is a mental one, isn't it? It's not all about talent, but about how you use that talent. There are limits, but the limits shouldn't be players at their worst.

I cannot help but think that Dodger hitters have room for growth in their ability to produce.

I take these two concluding paragraphs from Mike DiGiovanna's Saturday game story in the Times as progress for the organization:

Batting instructor Jack Clark's job seems more and more tenuous in light of the Dodgers' offensive struggles they rank last in the league in batting, runs, hits, home runs, walks, sacrifice hits, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

"We evaluate people all the time - I'm not going to categorize his job status," General Manager Dan Evans said of Clark. "We need to be better in that area. He knows it, and the players know it."

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