Hunter Strickland is not due to come off the disabled list until August. His ill-advised door-punch which fractured his hand has undoubtedly harmed this 2018 San Francisco Giants team.
This isn’t his only instance of anger getting the best of him, of course. The San Francisco Giants certainly hope Strickland is able to learn to control his anger in the future.
Last year, he beaned Bryce Harper because … reasons, and incited a cute ‘lil brawl. While it’s important for Strickland to get back on the field to help out the bullpen, it’s much more important that the Strickland who returns has taken a page or two from the school of Zen.
This will probably be difficult for him. Zen preaches self-control and encourages meditation, which seems like two things that would not come naturally to Strickland.
Many athletes of all sports are able to use their anger to their benefit so it’s not as if you have to rid yourself of anger to be a good pitcher.
But as Master Yoda helpfully reminds us, “Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” If Strickland can internalize his anger and use it to paint the corner with a 100 MPH fastball instead of aiming at a guy’s head because he got a hit off you last time, he’ll be a much-improved pitcher.
Yet, something tells me that Strickland is more like the fictional character Andy Bernard from The Office. Andy had his own struggles with rage-induced punches. In Andy’s case, he returned after anger management and was not as prone to anger.
However, that rage never went away as he ended up punching the wall again. So Stricklan
I wholeheartedly believe in the capacity for people to change. But I also believe that for some people, once you’re prone to rage, you’re always prone to rage. Let’s hope I’m wrong.