OK, but can medical hypnotherapist AlVera Paxson put left-hander Barry Zito(notes) in a trance that will allow him to snap off his curveball again, and locate his fastball, just like he did back in his Cy Young days?
One minor miracle at a time at San Francisco Giants camp, please.
In the meantime, manager Bruce Bochy, bullpen catcher Bill Hayes and longtime equipment manager Mike Murphy will testify to the results that one $300 visit to Paxson has produced for each of them.
In a report by Janie McAuley of the Associated Press, Bochy, who is 56 years old, said he no longer chews tobacco after living with the habit since turning 18. He used to dip before and after games, and had a routine of dipping in the first, fifth and eighth innings. He has tried to quit before, like most nicotine addicts. It never lasted.
And then came a day in mid-April when the Giants were in Phoenix to play the Diamondbacks. Before getting to Chase Field, Bochy stopped at Paxson's office at the recommendation of Hayes and Murphy. After spending about 3 1/2 hours in a deeply relaxed state in a session with Paxson, he headed to the ballpark — still a skeptic.
He arrived in the clubhouse and didn't want a dip. The game started and there were no cravings. He has handled the occasional urges ever since.
"It was really strange," Bochy said. "There are so many triggers that you have that make you want to put a dip in. The following day, I did have an urge, not a real strong one. I said, 'OK, I've had my day off, now it's time to put one in.'"
But he didn't do it.
"The next game I did have an urge. The next two to three days I still had an urge, but it just wasn't as strong as other times I've tried to quit," he said. "When I got past the fourth or fifth day, I was over it. I didn't crave it. I didn't want it. I was fine."
Not only that, but Bochy says he would have spent more than $300 on tobacco already if he still dipped.
"It's pretty disgusting in a year's time how much nicotine you put in your body," Bochy said.
(Say, can hypnotherapy help with wacky tobacky issues, too?)
"People were not born chewing tobacco," Paxson said in a telephone interview from Arizona. "Your mind knows how to not do something more than you know how to do something."
Paxson doesn't expect to see Bochy again about nicotine. In this Q&A she conducted, Paxson said one session of hypnotherapy is all some need.
"It's an awesome thing," she said. "Once you know how to work with your mind and body, it's easy. Once you know how to do that, you can do almost anything."
Imagine what she could do with the rest of the Giants.