Monday, June 13, 2011

life lessons that baseball has taught me

you're probably thinking "really? baseball?" and the answer is yes, baseball. baseball is a metaphor for life and some of the things are just annoying little habits that i've taken from the game while other parts actually speak to a life lesson. you can find subtle things if only you look.

- individual accomplishment and team goals
have you ever seen "The Untouchables"? there's a scene where Al Capone (played excellently by DeNiro) is talking about baseball by saying that the team fails if the individual fails in the moment. he then goes on to whack one of his henchmen with a baseball bat. life is like that, you're a part of a team but it's also full of individual accomplishment so that the team's goals are accomplished.

- don't waste a good throw to 1st base
you don't throw it to 1st when you throw it around the horn. the reason is that you don't want to waste a chuck on something that doesn't matter. save the good stuff for when it really matters.

- get a piece of anything close when you have 2 strikes against you
life is full of humanity and you don't want to get caught by a human moment just because some umpire doesn't see things the way that you do. if it's close enough that someone else MIGHT think it's a strike then you better be hacking. be thorough and safe when there's no tomorrow.

- hustle on, hustle off
don't keep someone waiting, particularly if that guy is wearing 15 lbs of extra padding and it's 30 degrees outside.

- thuggery is not intensity
you can be intense and respectful at the same time. yellers get reaction in kind, irrationality gets dismissed.

- don't make an argument based on disagreement
judgment calls can't be argued so if you disagree then swallow your tongue. if there's an infraction of the rules then make a rational argument

- charge the ball
the play won't be coming to you. you have to go to the play. circle around it and come up firing.

- hit the cutoff man
know your job and what must be done. if you make the wrong play then the whole team suffers

- on your toes, glove down
be ready.

- look for the fastball, especially at 2-0
when you have a pitcher down 2-0 then he's not going to want to go 3-0 so he won't fool around. a sure strike is most likely coming your way and that's probably going to be a fastball. if you know what's coming, hammer it.

- wear your sunglasses
failure can easily happen if you're not prepared. don't lose the ball in the sun because you didn't have your gear on

- watch for the signals
if your skip wants you to be doing something then you better be paying attention.

- keep hydrated
uh, its hot outside. drink water.

- wear a helmet
life is dangerous, wear a helmet.

- rub some dirt on it
you're not going to take your bat and go home so suck it up princess.

- don't say "good eye"
everyone will just think you're Australian and say "mate" after you're done.

- wear that
the batter's box belongs to you so if it's going to hit you then turn the other cheek so that you take it on the meat. i'm talking about the "other" cheek but if you're thinking about your head then refer back to "wear a helmet"

- if its not heading for your head then don't duck
if you're ducking then an umpire thinks you're trying to cheat the strike zone against the high strike. a good umpire will give all the high strikes to the pitcher if he thinks you're trying to cheat.

- call him by his title on the field, even if you know his name
respect is never something you should short change.

- at the end of the game, shake the man's hand.
you wouldn't believe the number of times that i've had adults refuse to shake my hand because they didn't agree with something that happened during a game. not cool. bad karma. i've taken up the practice of going to them and offering my hand just so i can redeem their soul and prevent their oncoming ulcer. you don't have to say "Good game" as is the custom but you do have to look the man in the eye and shake his hand.

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