Sounds like a screwball idea:
Clemson is making a call to the mental-health bullpen for its baseball program.
Clemson-based Post and Courier colleague Aaron Brenner reported on our website Wednesday that Tiger athletic director Dan Radakovich "suggested sports psychologists will be ushered in to help players with focus and relaxation."
Radakovich said he wants to "make sure we're providing a good mental base" after the Tigers barely made the 48-team NCAA playoffs, then went two and out in the Nashville regional to finish at a listless 36-25.
No wonder Clemson players - and we Clemson fans - need a more stable "mental base" after another disappointing baseball season. Some Tiger loyalists are even virtually unhinged about Radakovich's decision, announced this week, not to fire longtime coach Jack Leggett.
However, Radakovich didn't extend Leggett's contract - and did put conditions on him keeping his job.
As Brenner wrote after "a semi-exclusive sitdown interview Wednesday afternoon with The Post and Courier and two websites covering the Tigers," Radakovich "divulged four objectives he and Leggett agreed to proceed with into the 2015 season."
In addition to the psychological intervention for his players, Leggett is supposed to: seek fresh notions by meeting with coaches from other schools, create a four-member player council with which he will regularly meet, and improve his grumpy image.
Leggett does often seem cranky. Last month, he even dismissed valid Clemson Nation concerns about his leadership by telling Post and Courier sports columnist "Clean Gene" Sapakoff:
"The only fans we have are the ones that believe in our program and believe in our team. Those are the only ones I'm ever concerned about."
Then, when reasonably asked about his job status two weeks ago in the wake of those humiliating, season-ending losses (18-1 to Oregon, 6-4 to lowly Xavier) in Nashville, Leggett replied:
"Am I fully confident that I'm going to be back coaching next year? I'd like to tell you that's a ridiculous question."
A voice of experience
Yet Sapakoff has persuasively called for a Leggett exit, writing four weeks ago: "A No. 46 Ratings Percentage Index ranking with a healthy team is inexcusable for a program that ranks among the best in tradition, facilities and support."
And Gene's a renowned baseball expert who's even coached youth league teams.
OK, so Leggett has taken Clemson to six College World Series in his 21 years as Tiger head coach.
So what has he done for us lately? Leggett's teams haven't advanced past the regional round since 2010, are a mediocre 31-28 in the last two Atlantic Coast Conference regular seasons, and have lost 23 of their last 31 games against archrival South Carolina.
Leggett's also pitched more than a few sore-loser fits. For instance, he rashly accused then-USC coach (and now athletic director) Ray Tanner of "warming" bats during a Gamecock victory over the Tigers in 2011. Leggett did later apologize for that bizarre - and unfounded - charge.
Hmm. Maybe Leggett could use a little "mental base" assistance, too.
Then again, so could most of us.
Plus, Clemson isn't the only institution that should heed this definition mistakenly attributed to Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and Albert Einstein:
"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
So why do we South Carolinians keep refusing to raise the state gas tax as our roads and bridges keep dangerously deteriorating?
And when will we Americans catch on that our still-soaring national debt - now a record $17.5 trillion - is an inevitable consequence of our continuing, contradictory demands for ever-higher government benefits and never-higher taxes?
One day at a time
But enough about such grim topics as America's tumble toward fiscal ruin, South Carolina's decaying highways and Clemson's baseball downfall.
As Proverbs 17:22 (King James Version) advises:
"A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones."
In other words: Laughter is the best medicine.
Just not manic laughter, please.
So rather than fretting yourself into an unhinged state over "unknown candidates" (or too-well-known ones), swallow this vintage double dose of therapeutic wit from The Unknown Comic on the late 1970s "Gong Show":
"I took my dog to a flea circus. He stole the show." ... "How do you keep an idiot in suspense? I'll tell you tomorrow."
And how do you keep from despairing over the proliferating irrationalities of this day?
Just keep in mind that this column is published on Saturday the Fourteenth.
That means you somehow got through another Friday the Thirteenth.
Hey, we friggatriskaidekaphobes have "mental base" issues of our own.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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