Though he’s not currently under the employ of the ballclub he’s most commonly associated with, Bill Lee claims that from time to time, he’ll chat with various members of the Red Sox taxi squad in Pawtucket, RI (“I’m like a horse whisperer, I can break bad habits.”). Mass Live’s Evan Drelich quizzed the Spaceman about his diagnosis of Daniel Bard and the enigmatic Alfred Aceves (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :
Bard’s problem is breathing, as Lee sees it. Maybe a run from the highest mountain in Maine, Mount Katahdin, to the ballpark would help, Lee said with a laugh.
“He wasn’t picking up home plate, he didn’t want to let go of the ball,” Lee said. “He was having an anal retentive moment, which goes back to Otto Rank and (Sigmund) Freud. When you start going back to your glove, you’re going home to mama. You want to break that habit. It’s a breathing problem.
“Correct his breathing, correct his pitching. Got to work from that principle first. And I told ’em to take him to Mount Katahdin and run him all the way back to the ballpark. By the time he got back, he wouldn’t have a breathing problem.”
It was a bad day,” Lee said of Aceves’ final outing with the Sox before his demotion. “It was just a bad day. He didn’t want to pitch, Oakland was all in their hoodies and everything else and they came out to play and the Red Sox didn’t. And it was a bad day and he didn’t cover first base and then he blamed no runs. He just had a bad day. We all have bad days. But he’s still a very good pitcher, and a very good long man.
“He’s a very sensitive guy and we had a tragedy in this town. Ballplayers are like canaries in a mine shaft. Miners used to take them down, and if there was any whiff of gas, a canary would die and allow the miners to get out. He’s a sensitive guy, very emotional. But he can be tough and durable. We’re all like that.”