The Slump Buster and My Tribute to Joe DiMaggio
A lot of things come in streaks when you're a guy.
Your favorite football team runs off three straight wins before losing two in a row.
One week you make it to the gym four times and the next you don't go at all.
Sometimes you get lucky and you're clean and other times you have Chlamydia.
If you're single, sex follows the same pattern, or lack thereof. It comes in streaks. When you're hot, women throw themselves at your car as you drive down the street. Sometimes they bounce off and fall harmlessly to the ground and sometimes they hit an open window and fuck you while you're driving.
You just take it all in because, as a master in the broadly arts, you know you're on a hot streak. Other than ruing the fact that you have a chafed member, a rapidly shrinking bank account and a depleted supply of Cialis, you do not speak of the streak. You do not acknowledge the streak. The streak is to be respected and left alone, lest the streak turn on you.
The problem with hot streaks is they end.
It's unfortunate, but true. Not even Joltin' Joe could hit for more than 56 consecutive games, and he fucked Marilyn Monroe.
Without fail, when a hot streak ends, a cold one begins.
DiMaggio's record-setting hitting streak ended July 17, 1941, when the Cleveland Indians held him hitless in three at bats. Of course, the next day, DiMaggio began what would become a 16-game hitting streak, giving him perhaps the shortest cold streak on the heels of a legendary hot streak in the history of mankind.
The problem here is Joe DiMaggio's results are not typical.
Whether through inattentiveness, cockiness or just plain foolishness, even the hottest player will find his hot streak come to an end. Eventually, you'll start to notice and take stock of how it all fell apart.
You begin to question your fortitude and preparation. You begin to tinker with your mechanics. You begin to think about the cold streak you're on and it messes with your head.
As they say, 90 percent of the game is half mental.
I start to question myself around the two-week mark of the cold streak, noting that something needs to be done. However, an athlete who isn't as finely tuned and fundamentally solid may go on a much longer streak of futility without even noticing.
Things can get worse before they get better under certain circumstances, too. I've always performed well in all venues, both home and away, but some people just play the game better from the friendly confines of their home turf.
When such a performer is on a cold streak and fails to break out in front of his hometown crowd, he may begin to doubt his abilities. The same goes if failure occurs when a trusted technique or method is employed. A once powerful hitter can be rendered useless if his confidence is shaken. When the first signs of a streak messing with a guy's confidence present themselves, drastic measures must be taken.
That's right. The streak buster.
The streak buster can come in many forms, but it's the only thing guaranteed to break a guy out of slump. Joe just needed to go out and get a hit and so does a guy if he's in a cold streak with the ladies, which brings me to the low-hanging fruit.
In such cases, the streak buster is always that - hanging low. Sometimes, you may even pick it right up off the dirty ground.
This fruit may include, but is not limited to: an ex-girlfriend, the booty call, the 14th-best-looking chick at the club, a porn star, a fat girl, one of the whores on the corner of Santa Monica and La Brea.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The ones without Adam's apples.]
Obviously, each of these remedies has its drawbacks, but that's not important when you're trying to bust out of a slump. You really just want to make solid contact, get on base, remember the feeling and realize that, yes, I do know how to do this and I'm good at it.
Certainly, you're going to need to choose your slump buster wisely. The last option was one I recommended to a friend only after his slump stretched through multiple months. His confidence was shattered and drastic measures needed to be taken before he forgot how to swing the bat.
Nobody who's tasted success at the major league level wants to be sent back to the minors. Or in this case, Sacramento.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.