Can you imagine how unsuccessful Alex Rodriguez might be without the assistance of a postitive-thinking coach? He might find himself pulled in a double switch in favor of Miguel Cairo late in a close game. Thankfully, the Yankees have a focused, zoned-to-the-max third baseman, courtesy of Jim Fannin, as profiled by the Boston Globe’s Stan Grossfeld.

For the last 1,560 or so games, Alex Rodriguez has received help from a mental performance coach before every game.

”When I met him, I said, ‘So what do you want?’ ” says Fannin. ”He didn’t hesitate. He said, ‘Hall of Fame.’ I said, ‘Really? You’re hitting .220 something and making more errors than the rest of the team. You’ve got the guts to tell me that?” ‘What would you pay?’ He thought I was talking about my fee. I said, ‘You can pay me out of the front change part of your pocket. Chump change.’ I said, ‘You’re going to miss your daughter’s recital.

”He said, ‘I don’t have any kids.’

”I said, ‘You’re gonna miss your anniversary with your wife.’

”He said, ‘I don’t even have a girlfriend.’

”I said, ‘The Hall of Fame could be 20-plus years away. What will you sacrifice? When everybody’s hanging out, you’ll have to be thinking about your craft. Your friends may think you’ve changed. Family may think you changed. Would you pay that?’

”He said, ‘Absolutely.’