Reading Room: Physical game, mental game

"I don’t believe the game is mental," Guillen said. "When you play and you’re 4-for-4, your mind is in the right [frame] of mind. When you pitch eight shutout innings … The thing about mental in baseball is this game you got to play every day. People say it’s mental. Yeah, mentally to prepare yourself."

-Ozzie Guillen

I don't know what that means. But if we want to talk about baseball's physical nature, there's Chris Sale describing how he throws his slider to Brett Ballantini, and in great detail. It's a couple days old, but it's such a great use of access that I wanted to give it its time at the top of the page.

And in the corresponding article, Ballantini goes through FanGraphs' pitch data for the best and worst pitches on the Sox's staff.

Christian Marrero Reading Room

Let's go back to the mental aspect, where Gordon Beckham says that chasing bad pitches is what's undermining his season, and not mechanics. That strikes me as an oversimplification, because he's swinging through cup-high fastballs, too, but pitch recognition is probably the bigger bear.

Flowers blooms. Flowers blossoms. Don't mind me, I'm just kinda keeping track of these puns. But also, if you want to read nice things said about Tyler Flowers, there's plenty to work with.

Ballantini takes a crack at what Colin discussed on Tuesday -- what kind of room do the White Sox have to work with?

And here's J.J., looking at Carlos Quentin's situation in particular. I wonder if there's anybody who thinks he has a real chance at staying put.

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