Morning News: The ‘Sensitive Bus’ is bad

Here are today’s news bits:

BLAH BLAH BLAH LOSS LOSS LOSS: The Phillies are now 1-5 after losing to the Blue Jays on Wednesday, 7-1. The one was another Scott Kingery home run. He’s been good so far.

Meanwhile Vince Velasquez got in his first throws of the spring. In the first inning he looked outstanding, pumping his 95 mph fastball for swinging strikeouts. The second inning wasn’t so good, and he didn’t make it through. Altogether he went 1.2 innings, surrendering two hits, a walk and three runs.

Mark Leiter Jr. looked great, however, striking out five in six innings. So we have that going for us. Which is nice.

TODAY’S GAME: Oh yay, it’s the Yankees again. A 1:05 p.m. start in Clearwater against the Spring Training Champion Yankees, who finally lost their first Grapefruit League game Wednesday to Detroit. Now we can all breathe.

The Phils lineup:

  1. Hernandez – 2B
  2. Santana – 1B
  3. Altherr – CF
  4. Hoskins – LF
  5. Crawford – SS
  6. Alfaro – C
  7. Flaherty – 3B
  8. Joseph – DH
  9. Ortiz – RF

Nick Pivetta is starting against C.C. Sabathia.

I smell a win.

PITCHING RUMORS: The newest rumor connects the Phillies to Lance Lynn. According to Jon Morosi, the Phils and Lynn have talked over the past few weeks, but nothing is imminent.

So basically something that happens all the time. Cool.

SENSITIVE BUS: You may have seen the report yesterday from Jim Salisbury about “The Sensitive Bus,” a plastic yellow toy used to remind players when they’re getting too, in the words of Pitching Coach Rick Kranitz, “sensitive.”

“You know, sometimes guys get a little sensitive about things,” Kranitz said. “They start jabbing each other a little, getting under each others’ skin. It doesn’t even have to be about baseball. You have to have tough skin. The boys, they don’t ever want the bus in their locker.”

Some readers will disagree with me, I’m sure, but I personally think this bus is a terrible idea, a way to stifle real every day emotions among young men feeling immense pressure. Some may think it’s a good idea to keep players in one mindset, not to get carried away emotionally, etc., but I personally believe expressing one’s emotions is a good thing. It’s healthy, natural and, without doing so, can really harm oneself and others.

I’m also miffed at why Gabe Kapler, who has been stressing open communication and meeting players at their level, would go along with this exercise, which is designed to close off a player from expressing himself and, thus, being open and honest with his coaches and the team. In short, it’s toxic. The Sensitive Bus is bad.

I wrote more about it here, which is where I’m writing daily about the entire baseball landscape. Read it if you’d like to get a longer version of my opinion, which dives deeper into the psychology of something like The Sensitive Bus.




  1. Jeff Orbach

    March 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

    One worry I have about Kapler is that he turn into Red Sox Bobby Valentine. So weird that he burns everyone out with strangeness in a few months. Sensitive Bus? I don’t know that it should have been publicized, much less enacted in this era of stupidity. It strikes me as a prize that will be awarded in a “Kangaroo Court” sort of thing.

    If we are truly concerned about the “sensitivity” of our over paid athletes, maybe we should resolve to stop booing them and cheer no matter how bad they are. Maybe give them all participation trophies at the end of the year. REALLY?

    Professional sports is a hard way to make a living, especially when you are young and don’t know anything else. These are young men who were successful in every level they’ve been on and are maybe having trouble for the first time in their sports life. You have to grow a hard skin for not only sports but life in general.

    It’s part of growing up! Get rid of the bus, stupid idea. A stuffed Armadillo would be better.

  2. pamikeydc

    March 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Agree w you Tim. And I read your corresponding article. Very true and well written.

  3. Padugan

    March 1, 2018 at 9:51 am

    I think you are missing the point about the sensitive bus. It’s one thing to be emotional, being a crybaby is something else. The bus keeps that in check. It’s sad that this has to be a thing, but we are dealing with Millennial players,regardless of the fact they are athletes they are still Millennials, who think the world is fair and cares about their feelings. They are detrimental to the workplace and the clubhouse is a work place. I for one will be bringing the sensitive bus up at or next management meeting. it’s a good idea and more politically correct then just giving them the punch in the face that they deserve.

    • czontixhldr

      March 1, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      May I offer this modification?:

      Millennial players,regardless of the fact they are athletes they are still Millennials, who think the world [should be] fair and [should] care about their feelings [as much as they do].

      • Padugan

        March 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm

        Wrong, the world should not be fair, because it’s isn’t possible. If it was, we’d be having this discussion face to face, inside the phillies locker room, as we’d both be on the team. Also, that yellow thing in your locker would be the “sensitive bus”.

      • czontixhldr

        March 3, 2018 at 12:04 am

        Me? Sensitive bus? Somehow I think you misunderstood me.

  4. MPD

    March 1, 2018 at 10:23 am

    No one in the work place wants to be around a sensitive little B, save that for when you are at home if you must act like that. Yes these guys are young but they are not in middle school. When I was 22, 23, 24 and working as a professional my coworkers expected me to show up on time, work hard and not be sensitive about things. IF they have an issue than they can talk it out like men or talk it out with whoever is at home.

  5. Keg

    March 1, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I think we all might be missing the point. Although I love some of the thoughts.
    The idea is to not get to bent up about whatever is bothering you. You get the bus because you all need to know; you’re in this together. Don’t take it so personally. The other guys will see it, give that player a little ribbing, everyone laughs, and moves on. Simple.
    It’s not about stifling emotions at all. Just don’t take things so seriously. Go Phillies!

    • czontixhldr

      March 1, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      I think you are close to the message that the sensitive bus is suppose to deliver.

      I think that message is “Don’t feel sorry for yourself and let your emotions affect your performance negatively”.

  6. Rod S.

    March 1, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    I think the sensitive bus is flat out bullying by management. It’s the same thing as calling a player a sissy.

    • czontixhldr

      March 2, 2018 at 7:19 pm

      I could not disagree with you more.

      There is a huge difference between saying a guy is a “sissy”, which refers to physical cowardice, and telling him he is not mentally tough enough to shake a bad inning or bad ball.strike call off, and go out and shut down the other team – which is to what I believe the “Sensitivity Bus” refers.

      IIRC, because I watched the game, in the 2003 postseason, during the famous “Bartman” incident, mark Pryor was visibly upset when the fan interfered. he then proceeded to surrender the lead and the game.

      OTOH, can you even imagine that Roy Halladay would have let that affect him? Halladay had to consult a sports psychologist, but he finally figured out that he should only worry about what he could control – which was the next pitch.

      It’s not about bullying. It’s about making pitchers understand that bad things will happen during the game and they have to be mentally tough – yes – insensitive to the bad things, and just go out and put the next pitch where they want to throw it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2018
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top