Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has talked about banning smokeless tobacco throughout the league.
Some Giants already are taking it upon themselves — with the help of a hypnotist — to get a head start.
The AP just ran an interesting feature detailing how manager Bruce Bochy quit a 40-year habit of dipping. His bullpen catcher and equipment manager kicked the habit, too, thanks to AlVera Paxson, the Arizona-based hypnotherapist.
Bochy detailed to the AP his week following the therapy, which he underwent in mid-April.
“There are so many triggers that you have that make you want to put a dip in. The following day, I did have an urge, not a real strong one. I said, ’OK, I’ve had my day off, now it’s time to put one in.’”
But he didn’t do it.
“The next game I did have an urge. The next two to three days I still had an urge, but it just wasn’t as strong as other times I’ve tried to quit. When I got past the fourth or fifth day, I was over it. I didn’t crave it.”
The therapy cost $300, “the best $300 I ever spent,” bullpen catcher Mike Hayes said.
Bochy made the decision to try it out, even though he was at first a skeptic. Now, though, he makes a pretty convincing case for the therapy, which was April 14, during the team’s road trip to Arizona. He used to dip three times a game, AP reported, in the first, fifth and eighth innings. It’s a stress-reliever, as smokers and dippers will tell you.
That said, winning a World Series championship — as the Giants did last fall — will ease your stress level, too.
Not all the Giants are believers, of course.
“Follow my finger. Do not smoke,” joked bench coach Ron Wotus, waving his pointer finger in a tick-tock motion. “You’re cured. Next! … A hypnotist, come on. Good for them. The mind is a powerful thing.”
Reliever Jeremy Affeldt isn’t yet a believer, either.
“That’s what they all say (that it works). I don’t buy it,” Affeldt said. “Boch is holding up pretty good, though I don’t see him behind closed doors if he’s putting something in his lip. I don’t plan on seeing (a hypnotist). I’d like to keep control of my own thoughts.”
Bochy told reporter Janie McCauley he’s considering dipping recently, especially with his team struggling and in a heated NL West race with the upstart Diamondbacks. But so far, so good.
To learn more about Paxson, here’s her website. Her motto is, “You are what you think — you do have a choice.”
Now if Paxson could just convince Aubrey Huff to think he’s better than a .243 hitter … or convince Buster Posey he has a choice to not be out for the season … or convince Barry Zito to start pitching like a guy who’s making $64.5 million this season through 2013.
Then maybe Bochy’s dip urges really would go away for good.