Another case of the yips has broken out…and unfortunately it’s happened to a catcher. Gregg Zaun of the Brewers got it, then cured it, all in the same game. Check out the video here. I know it’s not really appropriate to laugh at someone else’s expense, but damn, for some reason I’ve always found this hilarious. In the same way it’s funny when someone trips (elderly excluded). I dare you to not chuckle when you watch this clip.
One reason I can laugh about it is I never lost control of my ability to play catch. Like I said, funny to watch, but it can’t be a whole lot of fun having that little Vietnam going on in your head. To be honest, I don’t know how the heck it happens. I know it’s generally not mechanical and generally not health related. I also know that the yips strike out of the blue. One day a guy is throwing the ball wherever he wants to without even thinking about it, and the next he can’t hit a guy who’s three feet from him. Tragic, but hilarious (except when it ends someone’s career or the guy happens to be a teammate.)
I played with Chuck Knoblauch when he had it and it wasn’t fun because I got wore out chasing down his errant tosses. I played against Mackey Sasser when he had it and that was funny, astonishing, and sad all at the same time because it was taking down his career. I watched Steve Sax battle it. I’ve seen the yips strike golfers when they putt and even some (Charles Barkley) when they swing…which you’ve got to admit is funny by the way. I’ve watched Shaq battle the yips at the free throw line too.
So, to end this blog on a good note, I’m happy to report that all’s well with Zaun. He somehow got it under control and finished the rest of the game without throwing away another ball. He also had 5 RBI’s that game. But once you’ve had em’ are they always there…just waiting in the wings? To be continued…