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Steve Blass在71年世界大賽獲得兩場勝投,
72年球季賽取得19勝,之後就只贏過三場比賽 (AP)

The article is translated from A mound of troubles
The New York Times Magazine--Pat Jordan

What happened to Rick Ankiel and Von McDaniel has befallen a number of major league pitchers over the years, most notably Herb Score of the Cleveland Indians in the 1950's, Steve Blass of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970's and Mark Wohlers of the Atlanta Braves in the 1990's. They had a lot in common: blinding youthful talent, sudden success, thoughtful and intelligent natures. They were all nice guys, humble men, who somehow never trusted their success. It came too quickly. They didn't deserve it. What if they lost it? Indeed, Von McDaniel once said that "maybe things came too easily." 
除了降臨在 Ankiel以及 McDaniel 身上的不幸之外 (回顧一下慘狀),大聯盟歷史上也有好幾位大聯盟投手發生類似的情況,特別是50年代克里夫蘭印地安人隊的 Herb Score,70年代匹茲堡海盜隊的 Steve Blass (73,74年),90年代亞特蘭大勇士隊的 Mark Wohlers (99年) 。在他們身上可以找到一些共通點: 耀眼的資質,快速成名以及細膩且具有智慧的天性。他們同樣是謙虛和善的人,但不知為何沒有成功。事情來得太快,也非他們應得的,又為何會失去呢?  McDaniel 曾說過"也許是事情都太順利了"

18歲加盟紅雀的 Von McDaniel (AP)

Pitchers who forget how to pitch seem to fear not failure but success. They don't want to face the pressure of the expectations of their success. So they rebel, self-destructing in a way that puts them beyond blame. The reason for their failure, their fear, is so deeply rooted that neither they nor anyone else can ever drag it to the surface to make them confront it. It's all a mystery. But the only way they can ever overcome their apparently inexplicable collapse is to admit that it's no mystery, that it is their fault. They are afraid.
忘了如何投球的投手們似乎比較害怕的是成功。他們不想面對期盼他們獲勝的那股壓力。因此他們開始反抗,自我毀滅。那股讓他們失敗的恐懼深植於他們心中,以至於自己 (其他人)都沒辦法拉自己 (他們)一把。他們對於無法解釋的崩盤唯一能克服的只有,一切都是自己因害怕所產生的錯,非關神秘力量。

(Rob Tringali Jr./Sportschrome East/West)

What are they afraid of, anyway? Throwing a baseball? They have been doing that since childhood. Somewhere along the way, though, they realize that it makes them special. After that, a simple act takes on mythic importance. They begin to think about it, the mystery of their gift, and they get lost. They stand on the mound, their minds filled with discordant thoughts. Sometimes they replay their pitching mechanics over and over until they begin their motion and, unbelievably, it all flies out of their heads like a bird loosed from a cage. In midmotion, they remember nothing, move as if in a dream, weightless, until they release the ball and come back to where they were -- on the mound, waiting for the catcher to retrieve their latest wild pitch. Now, too late, they remember everything. 

Joe Cowley在投出無安打的隔年的五場先發
(Keith Myers/The New York Times ) ps.名字上有連結


Thought is their enemy. They either remember too much or forget everything. Both cause their failure. All they really need to do is perform an enormous act of will not to think. All they really need to do is what one of Rick's minor league pitching coaches once told him: "Just throw, man. Just throw." 

他們真正需要的是Ankiel在小聯盟的投手教練曾對他說的 "Just throw, man. Just throw." 


Rick Ankiel的過往日子 (1)
Rick Ankiel的過往日子 (3)
Rick Ankiel的過往日子 (4)
Rick Ankiel的過往日子 (5)

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