Zack Greinke says 'stupid' players make for better baseball players

September 5, 2014

There's too much thinking in baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke says. Mind over matter is a waste of energy. Dumb it down. Stupid is only as stupid does. Greinke, one of the best pitchers in the league, tells Everett Cook of the Los Angeles Times that he usually performs better if he doesn't think too much about what he's doing. And that opinion extends to other players as well, Greinke said.

Eleven years into his major league career, he's still trying to get out of his own head.

"Baseball is a sport where being stupid and keeping things really simple a lot of times is the right way to do things," he said. "There are very few guys that are capable of processing a lot of information and applying it and still being good at it. … I don't want to name names, but there were guys I played with that were so stupid that they're really good, because their mind never gets in the way."

Such an ethos might sound counterintuitive, but it actually makes sense — only if you don't think about it too much. There's so much information available in baseball. There are so many choices to make. So many possible outcomes. It is, by nature, overwhelming — that's why 70 percent failure is considered success.

Greinke came into the majors with the reputation of being an introvert — because he has a social anxiety disorder — and he can be shy. But he's also funny, intelligent and super-engaged in many aspects of how a franchise is run. He might seem awkward to be around but if you put in the effort, as Cook obviously has, you're going to get a fascinating perspective on baseball.

Also: Who are the "stupid guys" Greinke was talking about?


More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports: 


- - - - - - -

David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at and follow him on Twitter!

Follow @AnswerDave