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Monday, May 22, 2006

Sin, Guilt, and Baseball

I was talking with some friends tonight about guilt and I thought of something I heard someone say once. In professional baseball, someone who fails 70% of the time is considered a great hitter. In life, we often punish ourselves for our sins and failures, but it might be better to hang in there and keep swinging. These failures, if Paul is to be believed anyway, are simply part of the game. Great hitters (and pitchers) let go of their failures and move on with the game. In life, I think it works the same way. Acknowledge what has happend and move on.

I went to a Yankees game a couple of years ago near the beginning of the season. Derek Jeter, one of the best hitters in baseball, was in the middle of a huge slump. He was batting something like .116 with no homers. He was the leadoff hitter facing the A's premier pitcher, Tim Hudson. The great Yankee fans rose to their feet in support of Jeter and seemed to summon all the history of Yankee stadium with them. Jeter hadn't hit safely in 11 straight games. The first pitch was delivered in the middle of the plate and Jeter punished it, sending it right into the little Babe Ruth memorial in left field. That was probably the most magical hit I've ever seen. It felt as if the Yankee greats lifted Jeter on their shoulders to help him out of his slump. Jeter is undeniably a great hitter, but in baseball the odds are never in your favor. It seems to be the case in both life and baseball that a ton of discipline and practice is useful, but in the end there are greater forces at work which bring about the desired result. Failure is inevitible, but success belongs to the patient ones who persevere.

p.s. - Rather than put another post about baseball up here, let me take this opportunity to jump on the Aaron Rowand bandwagon and show this incredible play. I was already a big Rowand fan, but he may have already solidified his Philly legend status after being here for only a few weeks. This amazing catch took place with 2 outs and 3 runners on base. No doubt that he won the game with this one. This guy is Philly material.

1 comment:

Wayne Bawell said...

Amen. The deeper meaning and purpose of sports is for us to relate them to life. Like football, I'm always trying to reach the goal(line), and that goal(line) is being like Christ. Perserverance my friend, perserverance.