CHICAGO — Liam Hendriks uses both physical and metaphysical aspects in order to fine-tune his game.
As an example, the White Sox closer noticed his extension was a little short during a blown save in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Royals, as well as there being too much drop on his fastball after talking to people at Codify Baseball.
But Hendriks also felt “lighter” after speaking with Rubi, his tarot card reader. She also will be sending crystals and bracelets to help Hendriks figure out his locker, after Hendriks saged his locker on Monday.
“I had some sage spry I spritzed around my locker,” said Hendriks, who saged a few other players on the team who were “a little bit more open to it.”
“Things like that that are able to, in theory, remove negative energy and put a positive spin back on everything.
“It’s just something that I’ve known. It seems to change the way I perceive things. That’s one of the hardest things to do is just change your perception on certain things, whether it be to get you out of that negative funk, focus on positivity, focus on this one thing that can push your forward. For whatever reason it seems to work for me. It takes that edge off and all of a sudden I’m able to flip that switch a little bit quicker than I would by myself.”
Hendriks actually has been working with Rubi since 2018, when his wife, Kristi, saw something about her on an Instagram post and reached out. Rubi has become part of the family, with Hendriks mentioning how they’ve all spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together previously.
Her baseball knowledge is limited, at best. Hendriks laughed Monday in pointing out Rubi calls it the “mount” and not the mound in talking about pitching.
“That’s the best part about it,” Hendriks said. “She’s not a baseball fan that’s giving me information that she thinks is right. She has no idea about the game. She’s telling me purely from an emotional and a physical standpoint of where she can kind of feel and see the difference of the way I’m talking about things and the way I describe things.
“She has given me a couple of exercises where I’m manifesting certain things, whether it be just waking up and saying the five things around me I’m very grateful for or the three things that really I want to define me as a person. Those things help me get kind of locked back into that positive frame of mind and the thing that I’ve been preaching the last several years of my career.”
Hendriks talks to her at the start of every new year and reaches out for a reading when he goes through struggles. Rubi basically reinforces points of focus already in place for Hendriks, sort of like reading a book and a certain passage jumps out and really resonates.
“She also said at the start of the offseason she foresaw above three [years], not four, and for over 50 [million],” said Hendriks of Rubi’s free-agent projection. “And this was in the first week of October, or just after the playoffs. If you want to talk about accuracy, she’s got that pretty down pat, too.”