Responding to the suggestions made by former Red Sox star pitcher and motivational speaker, Curt Schilling, Boston GM Ben Cherington has hired a full-time shrink to listen to the complaints of players about manager Bobby Valentine.
Dr. Joyce Bratspoiler of the Cape Coddling Institute will be in the clubhouse before, during, and after games and will also go on the road with the team. Her book, Confessing You’re Spoiled, But Not Guilty, presents her theory that grossly over-paid spoiled, athletes who feel guilty about their superiority can be cured and lead normal Narcissistic, self-absorbed, amoral lives.
The Red Sox believe that she can cure any players who suddenly relapse into compassion for the less fortunate and begin to experience non-specific feelings of guilt. She will be working with a few pitchers who are becoming detached from reality; unable to understand why the lower class, whom they refer to as “the fans,” are upset at them for acting like spoiled brats.
She will also work with manager Bobby Valentine to help him with his tendency to speak the truth, candidly, to the media. His first assignment is to learn to mindlessly repeat these phrases to the media:
“Oh, that’s just Josh being Josh…”
“Oh, that’s just Ben being Ben…”
“Curt needs to be more Curt, but I need to be less curt.”
She showed the media a video of a role playing session with Valentine; he pretends it is the top of the fifth inning and his starter has just walked three batters and given up a home run on a hanging slider and, with Dr. Joyce playing the role of the emotionally damaged pitcher, Valentine arrives to take him out of the game.
The first video was how Valentine used to handle the situation:
VALENTINE: You were horseshit today, Beckett!…Give me the goddam ball!
Now, notice the difference in the second video:
I feel your pain, Josh. You must feel devastated by those walks and that traumatic grand slam. You must be feeling primal fear and self-loathing…poor, poor, baby…
PITCHER (Played by Dr. Joyce):
My ego has been damaged. Do you have a Kleenex?
There, Josh, Blow! Better?…Take a deep breath with me and blow out all that hurt…OK, now come on, big hug now…there, that’s my Big Boy…
PITCHER (Played by Dr. Joyce):
I told you, I need my own personal catcher. And I am still hurt by those remarks you made about me on ESPN…Do you have another Kleenex?
There, there, Josh…I know that you are sincerely trying to self-actualize, so, as a compassionate fellow sentient being, I will leave you in the game. Take a deep breath with me and blow out all that hurt…
She also reports progress with three Sox pitchers, who were beginning to identify with the commoners, who did not have the luck or talent to become a millionaire for throwing or hitting a baseball, using her famous “Pool Staring” technique.
She fills the Jacuzzi with water and turns off the jets; she turns out the lights and lights an organic, lavender-scented soy candle; the player sits on the training table and stares at his reflection in the water.
They repeat the following phrases, until they can again feel the desire for beer, fried chicken, and video games.
“I am not guilty; I AM better than the fans.” “I am special and the fans are not.”
“I deserve to be spoiled; my agent never lies.”
The effectiveness of her treatment methods was underscored, when Valentine appeared before the media and announced, in a barely audible voice, that he would not take any questions and would read a prepared statement:
“As a result of my therapy session with Dr. Bratspoiler, I now realize that I must spend most of my time communicating with my players and find ways to offer positive reinforcement to make them believe that they deserve to be spoiled and I must begin to spend much less time thinking about baseball. Most of all, I learned that I must try to never be curt.”
Subliminal message: Curt = wrong.