Exercises To Improve Balance For Athletes

For instance, it may have been that Mo Vaughn of the Boston Red Sox was defending his pride with his performance in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 17, 1997, when he launched two unexpected home runs. Prior to the game, media and hometown fans had turned against Vaughn because he had openly criticized Red Sox management over the handling of his contract negotiations. Believing their beloved slugger had become another overpaid crybaby, the crowd of23,648 at Fenway Park roundly booed Vaughn as he came to the plate. Clearly upset, Vaughn smacked a two-run homer to give Boston a 4-3 victory. Mo’s a very emotional person, teammate John Valentin said after the game. He lives and dies for this city. I think he’s a little hurt with the way things are going.

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Fight or flight in baseball is not uncommon. Many players and coaches believe that slugger Albert Belle is more productive when he is angry and defending his pride. Belle motivates himself by being mad at the world, wrote Baseball Weekly writer Tim Wendel. In the 1995 World Series between Belle’s Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves, Belle had just one hit as the Indians lost the first two games. Teammates hoped his anger would erupt (Albert has not been as frustrated as I want him to be, Cleveland outfielder Kenny Lofton said), and it did prior to Game 3. Belle walked into the clubhouse prior to the game and faced journalists, whom he disliked for intruding into his personal life. He started shouting at them: All you media , get the out of here now! Most of the reporters left, but NBA announcer

Hannah Storm did not. I’m talking to you, you a! Belle yelled at Storm. Get the out! A short time later out on the field, Belle’s bat exploded: He drove in his first run in Game 3, then homered in the next two games. He uses his emotions to propel him, said Frank Mancini, a Cleveland clubhouse attendant and a close friend of Belle. Albert thrives on his anger.

During spring training the following year, Major League Baseball fined Belle $ 50,000 for his five-minute tirade against Storm and directed him to seek anger-control counseling. Belle was furious, and he showed it by homering in his first at-bat the next day.

Belle seems able to keep his anger at a controlled, productive pace for long stretches as well. In 1994, he was suspended for using a corked bat. He angrily denied the charge. When he returned to the lineup, he hit .426 over the next 20 games. He looks at a game as a battle, Mancini said. It’s war. Anybody who’s not on his team is against him. That’s the enemy. Of course, this type of avenging angel can turn against you. During a bench-clearing brawl in 1996, Belle nearly broke the forearm of Fernando Vina of the Milwaukee Brewers. At the next game, Vina got pumped up defensively to rob Belle, snaring his hard ground balls three times at second base. We robbed him three times . That was nice, to get him back a little bit, Vina said.

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