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.


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