Zack Greinke typically keeps a low profile in the Dodgers clubhouse. But when the sanitation of his work space is compromised, do not expect him to sit by and be needlessly exposed the germs, bacteria and other pathogens.
Greinke plays a relatively small role in an upcoming book by Molly Knight, The Best Team Money Can Buy. The book chronicles the success and failures of the Dodgers in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, providing an in-depth look behind the scenes of a team facing lofty expectations.
According to an advance review obtained by Craig Calcaterra for Hardball Talk, there are gems laced throughout the book. One such gem features a bold statement Greinke made to the clubhouse during a meeting called by manager Don Mattingly.
According to Calcaterra, Mattingly wanted his players to "loosen up" as they struggled through a down stretch just before clinching the division in 2013. Greinke promptly stood up.
"I've got something to say," he said to a quiet room.
"Some of you guys have been doing the number two and not washing your hands," he continued. "It's not good. I noticed it even happening earlier today. So if you guys could just be better about it, that would be great."
According to the book, Greinke then sat down, and no one could figure out if he was being serious or not. When it became clear he was serious, the players laughed.
Greinke's serious appeal got the results Mattingly wanted -- the team loosened up.
Humorous as it is, Greinke's comments are more significant when placed in the context of a social anxiety disorder he has struggled with since entering the major leagues.
In fact, he almost quit baseball altogether when he was playing for the Kansas City Royals -- the struggle of managing his disorder in such a public setting was difficult for him.
Greinke did find a way to cope, and he's put together a nice, successful career. But being able to put his anxiety aside to call out his entire team at once probably illustrates just how much the hand-washing situation had frustrated him -- even if it's hilarious to us outsiders.