During a Major League Baseball stretch run, teams look for an edge anywhere they can. In other businesses, companies have enlisted graphologists to analyze a prospective employee's handwriting during the hiring process. Maybe Mike Scioscia and Don Mattingly should do the same before they fill out their lineup cards.
The Los Angeles Times asked Sheila Lowe, president of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation, to examine some Dodgers' and Angels' autographs.
Her work was performed within a limited context. Lowe promised that she was only vaguely familiar with both teams.
Here are a few of her relevant findings:
• Kenley Jansen's long strokes that slash to the left could be cause for alarm, Dodgers fans.
"He holds on to the past and finds it hard to let go of situations that have pained him," Lowe said.
Not the best quality for a closer.
• Clayton Kershaw's angular, illegible autograph shows "a highly intelligent, impatient person who 'gets' things very quickly. He has the ability to see the big picture and respond in an instant."
• Yasiel Puig, when he signs on paper and not a ball, has a fluid and rhythmic style that indicates "he's probably an excellent dancer."
He proved that after the Dodgers clinched the West last year. Unfortunately, his autograph fails to provide any clue as to when he might return to hitting consistently.
• Jered Weaver's signature is illegible and has a series of looping circles before letting out a final stroke. To Lowe, that appeared to be a windup, and she wondered if he might be a pitcher.
Perhaps the Angels could scout memorabilia collections for similar autographs. They could use an extra arm or two in their rotation.
• Mike Trout's signature is so hard to read that analysis is difficult. Lowe says his autograph implies impatience, "a lightning-quick thinker whose mind is moving at warp speed."
Interesting, because while his home runs are up, his stolen bases this season are down.
• When Albert Pujols was a child, his father told him to come up with a signature that he would be proud of.
It makes sense that Lowe says his tall capital letters are a sign of someone who takes a lot of pride in his accomplishments.