Not only does today's New York Times profile Alan Jaeger, a yoga instructor who works with major league pitchers and pitching prospects, but the St. Petersburg Times reveals that the Devil Rays have scheduled yoga classes for three days a week throughout spring training. What gives? Do baseball players now need, what, some kind of crazy Eastern philosophy that, what, improves their flexibility and concentration? Pfft. That's not manly.
“It’s August, September, October,” Jaeger said. “It’s the ninth inning. You’ve got to finish. Come back to this moment. Come back to this breath.”
It was actually early February, in a small tae kwon do studio in the San Fernando Valley. Outside, children laughed on a playground. In a back room, an agent talked on his cellphone. But the pitchers could not have been more still if they were on the rubber.
“They’re in a trance,” Jaeger whispered.
A little part of me wants to congratulate major leaguers for embracing a new regiment that is likely to improve their performance. A much larger part of me wants to kick Alan Jaeger in the ribs. Come back to this breath, punk.