In the heyday of the New York Yankees, manager Joe McCarthy once interviewed a coach being brought up to the majors from a Yankee farm team.
“How much do you know about psychology?” McCarthy asked. The coach said he had studied it in college. “So you think youre good,” said McCarthy.
The coach replied: “I dont know how good I am, but its a subject Ive studied.”
“All right,” McCarthy said, “Ill give you a test.”
McCarthy said that a few years before hed had a problem and had gone to Frankie Crosetti, his shortstop.
“Frank,” McCarthy said, “Im not satisfied with the way Lou Gehrig is playing first base. Hes too lackadaisical. I want you to help me. From now on, charge every ground ball. When you get it, fire it as quickly and as hard as you can to first base. Knock Gehrig off the bag if you can. I dont care if you throw wild or not, but throw it fast and make it tough for him.”
Crosetti demurred and said: “Maybe Lou wont like the idea.”
“Who cares what Gehrig likes!” McCarthy snapped. “Just do as I tell you.”
McCarthy then said to the coach: “Now thats the story. What conclusions do you draw from it?”
The coach considered the matter for a minute, then answered: “I guess you were trying to wake up Gehrig.”
“See?” McCarthy shrugged his shoulders in resignation. “You missed the point entirely. There wasnt a damned thing wrong with Gehrig. Crosetti was the one who was sleeping. I wanted to wake up Crosetti.”