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Giants add Bob Tewksbury to coaching staff

The official role is “Mental Performance Coach” and I’m intrigued.

Bob Tewksbury

This is not the kind of move we would normally cover here at, but the offseason is non-rumoring the heck out of the place, so I’ll confess to being fascinated. According to Scott Miller, the Giants have hired Bob Tewksbury as their mental performance coach.

My reasons for being fascinated:

You know the first time I know a “mental performance coach” existed? When I read this profile on Matt Duffy in the New York Times.

Duffy doubled the time he spent absorbing the lessons in his baseball bible, “The Mental Keys to Hitting,” written by Harvey Dorfman, a mental performance coach for the Oakland Athletics in the mid-1980s.

The book, a gift before his first spring training in 2013 from a coach he met in the Cape Cod League, has writing in the margins, tabs on some pages and passages highlighted in marker on almost every page. Duffy, who hit an impressive .332 in Class AA this season, said he had read it eight or nine times.

I’m a believer, then.

Miss u, Matt Duffy.

Bob Tewksbury is an ‘80s/’90s pitcher, and I’m an ‘80s/’90s kid, so, yeah.

50 Reasons Why Only ‘80s And ‘90s Kids Will Understand Why Bob Tewksbury Is So Cool. (33K shares)

More than that, though, he was a bit of a baseball freak, not sticking in the majors until he was 29, finally doing so with legendary command and control. In his All-Star 1992 season, he walked 20 batters in 233 innings.

Seems like that takes some superlative mental performance, alright. I’m in.

He held this position for several years with the Red Sox, who aren’t a bunch of dummies, but they didn’t renew his contract.

For years, numerous players in the system have praised the role Tewksbury — who was hired full-time by the Sox after receiving his Master’s degree in sport psychology and counseling from Boston University in 2004 — played in helping them to overcome professional adversity. Many spoke highly of the ability to relate to a pitcher who spent 13 seasons in the big leagues from 1986-98.

While researching information for this post, I found out that former Giants farmhand Derin McMains holds the same job with the University of Notre Dame. That’s a fun fact!

He’s also held a similar position for the Players Association. Everybody loves Bob Tewksbury! It’s a very fun name to say and type. Tewksbury.

No, seriously, it has to be hard to be a baseball player, and don’t give me your “they make millions of dollars” garbage. It’s a weird life, filled with expectations, disappointments, travel, unhealthy schedules, and demands. If you play the “millions of dollars” card, you eternally forfeit the right to be unhappy, considering the odds are outstanding that your quality of life is better than the vast majority of human beings in this world.

Money and comfort aren’t everything. Having someone who’s been on both sides and can speak from experience can only help.


The only picture I could find of him as a Cardinals in our photo tool is up there. It’s in Candlestick. That’s probably a sign!

He wasn’t on the 1986 team. I checked.

This is a good article on the Red Sox and their efforts to create a behavioral health department. If you’re wondering if Tewksbury was ditched because he was a meanie or chewed with his mouth open, note that he left the Red Sox for the MLBPA, and that they happily took him back the following season.

`It isn’t exactly Yoenis Cespedes on a two-year, $14 million deal, but I’m sufficiently fascinated. Welcome, Bob Tewksbury! Coach the heck out of the Giants’ mental performance.