Yes, you are reading this correctly...the defending champions were smoked last night...they were never in it...The Stud came up small. In fact, last week, he pulled his groin muscle and could barely walk. Sparky craving a win decided a lame Stud was better than a dusty Buddy. Here is another example of poor decision making.
By the 5th inning, they put Psycho in (another pitcher with a crazed personality). Psycho was no better and injured himself too. His college coach is going to be ______!
And so, it is 10-0 by the beginning of the 8th inning, what does the team do? That's right, when things can not get any worse, they dust Buddy off, remove him from the bullpen shelf, put his glove on his right hand, and asks him to stop the hemorrhaging. Guess what? He faced 6 batters in two innings, struck 2 out, no one made it to base, no walks...the only pitcher who did not allow any runs or base runners. By the way, if you remove his one disastrous outing, he had 13 K's, 1 walk, and ERA 2.5. This is more than respectable, in fact, it is the best on the team. Too bad Sparky and Stinky did not realize this and held a grudge all season for the one bad pitching performance. Their emotions got the best of them and they were unable to make good team personnel decisions.
I am not happy nor sad about the results of the season. As I reflect upon the summer, there were a number of times that I wanted Buddy to take his button-less uniform shirt off and place it where the sun does not shine in the closest coach, but I held back my antipathy for the process. On a number of occasions I wanted to point the car east and drive until we hit the Jersey shore (no Snooki or Bookie or whoever those people are), but stayed to make an important life point. A person cannot give up even when the cards are stacked up against him or her. Buddy stuck it out and made a statement with his limp arm. Yep, his arm is in a bad state by this time in the season. But he hung in there and showed the tiny town what he could do, yet was never asked to do. Does that make sense? Dad heard some fans talking smack about Buddy last night when he entered the game. They commented on how little he was used. Dad wanted to have a conversation with them and called home instead...don't do it...let it go....it's not worth getting into an altercation about this. As Derek Jeter would say: "Criticism is part of the business."
I am sure that you are now scratching your head, wondering how I can quote Jeter rather than Einstein....Last night on HBO, there was a documentary on Jeter's quest for his 3000 hit. The cameras followed him around until he accomplished this goal. I was mesmerized as I watched his preparation and mind set. Then he made aforementioned statement about criticism and the guy is right. If you put yourself out there on the mound or on the field, people pay to watch a sport and get away from their problems. They are more than welcomed to coach or play from their seats.
This leads me to one last thought about baseball and life (OK, I have more, but will reserve them for future posts). As Buddy mentioned earlier this season, the coaches hated him and he hated them. Yes, the statement has been made. Let's look at this in the context of life and not baseball....
We all work for or have people working for us that we would like to see jump off a pier without a life vest; however, life has been designed for us to use our 'noodles' and figure out how to work with these people in order to accomplish our personal and organizational goals. Therefore, we hone our interpersonal skills and have to work with people that we would prefer worked somewhere else (like on the moon or Mars).
To that end, Buddy must develop skills and strategies to work with people like Sparky and Stinky. He cannot let people that he does not want to have a beer with interfere with his attainment of his goals, therefore, for the rest of the summer, I will harp upon his need to be able to play nice in the sandbox. When another kid has the toys, you gotta play nice in order to be included in the party. I am not telling him to be fake, but to develop some strategy for the team leader to notice his gifts without losing his sense of self or compromising his values. Buddy, this is an important life lesson. Do not let your boss stop you. You must figure out a way to ingratiate yourself to either be placed on the mound on a regular basis or be given enough playing time to be noticed by major league scouts. And so it goes....looking forward to some time relaxing on the beach or family dinners.
Have a good day....