Call me crazy, but I’m starting to like baseball. Before this season, baseball was only an irritating part of SportsCenter that kept football and basketball from getting more coverage. Even the year baseball went on strike, there was still some loser talking about it every day.
But things changed when I moved north. I’ve seen baseball games before. I watched 2 Mariners games in the Kingdome (RIP) and I saw the Astros play the Phillies in 1988 in the Astrodome. I was part of a youth choir that sang the national anthem twice at AA games (1 of which featured current big league slugger Paul Konerko). I watched as Yankees choked against the Red Sox in 04 and I watched as the White Sox choked the Astros last year. But now I watch baseball. I care about baseball. I check the standings in baseball. Why? There are two reasons.
First, I have a team to root for. I’ve kind of been a closet Yankees fan for a while. I like Joe Torre, and I love the city of New York, so why not cheer for them? But it’s too easy to be a Yankees fan full-time. I need a team that I can punch-the-clock for everyday. And I’m declaring it out loud right now-I’m a Rangers Fan! Having some loyalty completely changes the game. The trade deadline is Monday, and I only know that because I’m hoping the Rangers will pick up a pitcher. The top three in the AL West are only separated by half a game, and I know that because the Rangers are in third place.
But the real reason I love baseball is the fact that you don’t have to be anywhere near perfect to be considered great. Ted Williams is considered one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game. 53 years ago, he had a .407 Batting Average. Since then, no one has topped the .400 mark. Consider that for a second. Ted got a hit 4 out of every 10 times. That means he struck-out/ground-out/flew-out/etc 60% of the time! That’s more than half the time! And he’s still considered the best! To even think that someone would get a hit 7 times out of ten, 8 times out of 10, 9 times out of 10 is ridiculous. If that was your goal, you would be setting your standards so high that you could never reach them.
How does that translate to real-life? Should I only do good work 40% of the time? Should I only change 40% of the poopy diapers? Would that make me the best dad or employee – probably not. However, should I have realistic expectations for myself? Should I know my weaknesses and how to manage around them? And most importantly, do I know how to celebrate when I’ve reached my expectations?