That is to say, right-hander Chris Tillman gets a look on his face like that of Norman Bates — not that he actually resembles actor Anthony Perkins. This is what Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said in describing Tillman, who is pictured above (on the left).
Judging by the photo, it does seem like Tillman has had enough of everyone and everything. And yet, he's described as "easygoing" and "mild-mannered" by MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, the story's author. So what's with the eyes, Bette Davis?
"He's got a look on his face sometimes, it's a little Norman Bates here and there," manager Buck Showalter said, referring to the fictional murderer in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller. "Norman Bates is probably a little too strong. You know [Tillman is] listening to you, but he's pissed off about something."
Another amusing quote comes from minor league pitching coach Mike Griffin, who said Tillman's attitude has changed "360" degrees. Whenever people say 360, they mean 180, because 360 would be right back when you started. But Tillman's maturing attitude is shaping his improving results.
Tillman seemed on the verge of breaking through in 2012, finishing with a 2.93 ERA and solid peripheral stats in 15 starts. Over his first big league three seasons (Tillman broke in when he was 21 years old), he had very little success.
"I know what I'm capable of now," said Tillman, who won more games in last year's half-season than the previous three years combined. "In the past, I never saw the results. It was kind of a roller coaster. There were highs and lows and ups and downs and everything in between. Now I feel like I can stay consistent and what's most important to us is that your teammates can trust you every time you go out there."
So he's like Norman Bates out there on the mound, standing 6-foot-5 and figuratively stabbing at his opponents until they cry for mercy, and not actually stopping even then. OK, maybe this analogy has gone a little bit too far.
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