New City, New Concerns
by, 04-16-2011 at 12:04 PM (763 Views)
The Brewers On Deck festivities were in full swing, as a crowd of some one-hundred Brewer fans took to they're seats in front of a podium where newly acquired Brewers ace pitcher Zack Greinke sat patiently awaiting his interview. His eyes gazing into the distance in an attempt to avoid eye contact with his audience. I happened to be sitting in the front row, getting an up close look at Milwaukee's new superstar. You couldn't help but notice he looked surprisingly nervous for a guy that had undoubtedly done hundreds of interviews in Kansas City.
Some that may not know his story, might have described his behavior as a nervous reaction. I know better. Greinke suffers from a common disorder known as social anxiety. It may seem strange, how can a guy that plays in front of thousands for a living be so afraid of social situations? Although he may suffer from the most severe case in Major League Baseball, he's not alone. Former Florida Marlins superstar Dontrelle Willis was known to suffer from a minor case, along with Cardinalds shortstop Khalil Greene who was indicated to be receiving an undisscloved form of treatment for anxiety just weeks before being placed on the disabled-list.
What do all three of them have in common? They each lack consistancy.
Many Brewers fans have wondered if Greinke's anxiety disorder will be negativley effected by the pressure of having the Brewers playoff hopes resting on his shoulders. He's in a new city, with new teammates, and a whole new atmosphere filled with fans that are referring to him as "The Messiah" who is destined to take Milwaukee back to the World Series. In Kansas City, they dared not pray for a .500 season much less a world series ring.
I often wonder if he knew what he was getting himself into when he accepted a trade to Milwaukee. Although the Brewers haven't exactly been a powerhouse in the last few years, with the additions made in the off-season, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say they were a serious playoff contender with or without Greinke. Now, their not only the favorites to win the division, but some have gone as far as surmising Milwaukee as a championship-calliber team. It has been speculated that part of the reason he perferred not to play in New York was due to pressure. While by no means does Milwaukee compare to the pressure Yankee fans bestow upon their stars, the stakes are still high. If Zack struggles out of the gate, Brewer fans will not take kindly. Let's not forget, following his horrible 2005 stint with Kansas City in which he lost seventeen games, he took seven months away from the game to received treatment for depression.
Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself...