For a while, everyone Guinness Lux he would ask himself a question. Instead of skilfully navigating what he now calls “slippery slopes”, he will calmly slide down to his personal abyss.
Got the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic AvoidersThe formerly leading perspective has adapted to the quiet isolation of the home. For the first time living on his own, he gave up a few hobbies that took up his time off the field.
During his auditions for the Dodgers’s second-in-command every day, and later last summer, he retreated to his Los Angeles apartment, unable to get rid of his numbers on Dodger Stadium’s double central field boards. He was struggling with anxiety, the weight of his expectations, it left him sleepless.
“I woke up in the middle of the night, and how you played was going to be the first thing I thought about,” Lux said recently. “I was just bottled up in my apartment thinking about how badly I was playing all day. It was going to roll the next day. I woke up in the morning, I just did not feel well. It was a big snowball effect. “
Instead of expressing his doubts and struggle, he hardened. Years had passed since he was fighting on the plate. he went down a few times after the swinging change in early 2018, and then “basically just went for 18’s all 19,” said general manager Brandon Gomez. In almost 50 games in Triple A in 2019, he defeated the Pacific Coast League, flirting for two months with .400, at the same time more pop than ever before.
But when his strike line weakened in the following years, Lux turned inward. “I was not just me,” he said. He stopped talking to his family or anyone about baseball. He repeated the usual baseball trophies to himself. Stay balanced, stay away from mental clips. Instead, that tour only lowered him.
“It made almost everything worse,” Lux said.
Gomez, who oversaw Dodgers’ player development system for most of Lux’s promotion to the major leagues, called his option last fall a “difficult decision.” Lux’s production failed even before the hip injury put him on the injured list immediately after the All-Star break. The club’s inter-season trade Trea Turner: brought him down to the bench when he returned, a false start to what seemed to be an unstoppable trajectory in late 2019. And the Dodgers, in the middle of a controversial division chase. Giantsneeded a listing location with several other ways to access one.
So the Dodgers sent Lux down to Triple A. Self-confidence traveled with him.
Lux wondered what it would be like if he were on a different team, in a different market. He would probably become an everyday player sooner. The pressure of direct performances to stay in the big leagues was tense. He told his father that the players he had overthrown and surpassed in his teens started playing because of a failure that prevented him from doing so. It just made things worse, like his return to where he was just a few years ago.
“Fah,” he said to himself, “I do not want to be here.” I should not have been here. “I hit 0.400 here three years ago, I have no business being here.”
But Lux did not fall further. Instead, he found his better version.
At the age of 24, Lux now plays in the big leagues every day. Despite not hitting for great strength, Dodgers officials noticed the quality and consistency of his bats. Unlike last year, he no longer becomes too aggressive, he does not lose the offensive traits that made him great. He manages the second base well, even some outside work. Moreover, they see G. Lux, the man they were used to seeing. crazy, energetic second baseman, with a smart striking eye who they hoped would become part of their future field շատ, very well, can still be on the field. its heart.
“He’s a different person,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said recently.
After all, Lux is who he has always been.
Lux was short on his reluctant return to Oklahoma City. It only took 15 days for the Dodgers to bring Lux back to the big leagues, they needed him to try on a defensive glove for the first time to get him to athletes.
The opportunity he wanted came again. The rush was so uneasy that սը Lux tended to lose his gloves, so he started using gloves that belonged to the Dodgers’s former and current minor leagues. Rangers: winger Zack Rex. He still uses it, even after the replacement came this year.
This is a reminder that before that Lux had renewed himself. His return to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark served as a reminder of the process-based thinking that emerged in him from adolescence in the Dodgers system. Anxiety arose when the ip fights affected his ability to throw the baseball accurately while he was promising. It was then that he learned an art he seemed to have long forgotten how to skip.
In fact, it turned out that it was simpler than Lux thought. While in his teens, he had roommates, often spending their nights playing video games, reviewing their days at the plate before optimistically moving on to the next day. 0 did not matter for 4, they would say, because the next day they would defeat their opponents. Often they did. Lux, living on her own, found that her game console was being dusted off, and Call of Duty sessions were becoming less common as she grew up in her big league. But in order to return to himself, he was looking for something to take his mind off baseball when he was not playing.
“He was on a mission,” Gomez said.
Lux took control. He picked up the phone to call his family, friends, and breathe in his feelings, not to bottle them. He took the books as a way to lighten his mind, to find himself in a place other than his own. This spring, Justin Turner He brought a book by Gary Weinerchuk, the founder and entrepreneur of his agency, entitled “Twelve and a Half. Using the emotional components needed to succeed in business. ” It was a gift for each of his teammates, which gave them “a mentality, a look, a piece that can slightly change your view of things, of how you handle things,” Turner said.
Lux devoured it, just as he devoured almost every small amount he could find that put him properly on top.
She has turned her self-confidence into self-affirmation, whispering positive thoughts, reminders to herself when she gets to the ballet square, relaxing in her day. It has become part of his routine, something that has become as consistent as the quality of his bats this season. After relying on Triple A manager Tracey Barbary, he was a regular contributor to Brandon McDaniel, Dodgers ‘vice-president for player performance, and Brent Walker, the Dodgers’ top-flight mental skills coach.
“Inner thoughts, how you talk to yourself, is a lot,” said Lux. “For several years there I did not realize how negative I was about myself. Baseball is quite difficult. So when you’re on your way, it ‘s impossible. “
Lux also approached him Code Bellinger:, who entered the big leagues like Lux, with the ultimate prospect of being the leader. Unlike Lux, Bellinger flourished immediately, fleeing the New Year of the Year award in 2017 and winning the MVP award two years later. Then the game humbled him as well.
“It’s probably the hardest part of the game, it’s the game experience,” Bellinger said. “The more you play, the more you realize that everything has to do with your emotions, not the results.”
Lux did not reach the star position this year, but the Dodgers did not need him.
“He looks at baseball like he does all the members of our team,” Gomez said. “Things have slowed down for him, he just understands his role. And he will continue to increase that role. “
Their line is full of stars, which is enough to push Lux out once again this spring, gaining Freddie Freeman in March. But that door reopened when the Dodgers traded AJ Pollock to: White Sox Shortly before the opening day, սը Lux played almost every day. He sought out the skills that set him apart, especially in the pest box, rather than looking for strength.
“It’s his merit, as it was two years ago,” Roberts said. “He would not have.”
He was looking for advice from those around him, following Freeman և going to certain exercises Freeman uses the approach of all his spheres to embody, and Roberts notes that Lux Freeman’s “No. 1 student “this season.
“I mean, that’s what I did as a young boy,” Freeman said. “It’s those little things. He works hard. He just absorbs everything. “He’s just trying to be the best player he can be. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”
He worked. Lux hits less and walks more. He pursues less, communicates more, hits the ball in the middle, rather than sells for power. At the same time, he was from the 9th place for the best table-making team in a row. Mookie BatesFreeman և Terry Turner.
“It simply came to our notice then. “A guy who really could control the strike zone,” said Clayton McCallo, the Dodgers’ first base coach, who served as the club’s minor league field coordinator while Lux was a minor. ball skills, the ability to manage zone (և) impact. ”
Above all, Lux is comfortable and confident. Be it playing more, be it changing his mindset to overcome the anxiety that was taking him away in the past, or finding a way to work that made him a dentist that the Dodgers hoped he could be. That became his fuel.
His stardom can still be reached. But more than ever in the big leagues, Guy Lux feels comfortable.
(Photo by Gin Lux: Rob Tringal / MLB: Photos via Getty Images)
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