We Can't Let Zack Greinke's Struggles With Anxiety Define Every Aspect of His Life

A pause away from the baseball-related aspects of the Greinke trade. Yes, Zack Greinke struggled with social anxiety and depression in the past. However, we cannot let that become the filter through which we understand and explain every aspect of his career. In the last day, I've read and heard quite a lot of that, and this tendency does a disservice to our understanding of how these issues work.

So now, according to some, Zack was worn out by losing. To others, he doesn't care about winning enough. He either couldn't handle the pressue, or wanted more of it back. He either wilted, waned, or simply got bored. Enough.

People have problems. People have strengths. People have physical and mental and emotional struggles. Not to be trite, but we've all got something. And it's pretty publicly established that Zack Greinke has had some struggles of his own. However, he's not simply a walking instantiation of a guy who might be depressed. Why's Zack wearing a yellow shirt today? He must be crying out for attention. Or maybe it means he's telling himself to slow down...

One of the most annoying aspects of the media coverage (and the local guys have generally been much better on this) is that every slight fluctuation in Zack's career is now somehow tied to his state of mind. In a way, it reminds me of what used to happen in my English classes. An off-handed remark that an author was [blank] would in two weeks produce at least three or four papers that used [blank] to explain any and everything that happened in a novel or poem.

Our human lives aren't that simple. And part of why so many people are still afraid to discuss their own mental or emotional struggles is that, while it certainly is a major part of their lives often, they don't want to be defined by it. And that's what we do. We'd do well to look at Greinke's HR/FB rate, arm slot, and the Royals infield defense, for example, before we concoct some theory, malicious or otherwise, to explain every up and down of his career.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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