Players have been going to the DL more and more over the past few seasons for some very curious reasons. Many cite emotional distress, which claimed Joey Votto. He recently missed five games due to dizziness related to an ear-infection. When he returned to the lineup, he thumped two homers against the Indians on May 23rd. A week later he met with the GM and Votto left the club. He has been on the DL since May 30th due to “stress-related issues”. Votto’s absence has the team hoping that he will figure himself out, they are giving him as long as he needs to come back to the Reds in the right mental state.
This isn’t an isolated incident; Dontrelle Willis got a lot of scrutiny league wide for his sudden leave of absence claiming emotional distress and heading to the DL. Same thing happened with Khalil Greene, Zack Greinke, and Scott Kazmir. Many have questioned the timing of these “anxiety disorders”. If a player struggles from anxiety, should a team really be able to put them on the DL? It’s a bailout for a player that isn’t performing on the field! Votto, has been the exception to the rule as he is the only one who was on top of his game when he was placed on the DL. Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for any player that struggles, but I think it’s a cop out to blame it on a disorder.
I think Vince Young learned this lesson firsthand. If you’re not ready emotionally to play, you may just miss your opportunity completely. No matter who you are there will be people that don’t like you, and fans will get on top of you. That’s just the nature of sports! I don’t think many of them realize how lucky they are. They can just say they’re depressed/have anxiety and take a vacation to figure it out. Plenty of people deal with anxiety; I know I do at times. Don’t tell me that a pitcher (Scott Kazmir), needs a mental break from his issues with his delivery! Talk it out with your shrink or coaches and get back out there. It’s YOUR JOB! If you don’t like being a big league player, maybe you should try something else. I hear there’s no anxiety in golf!