Watching a baseball game on TV can be a great way to spend three hours on a dreary, rainy June evening. The Toronto Blue Jays are about as close to a home team as we have in the big leagues and now that we have a Langley lad on the field, it makes it more interesting.
They are playing good ball in a tough division. Some days, our millionaires beat their millionaires and some days it’s like watching a T-ball team with dropped balls, bad throws, lost tempers and tossed bats. Baseball is always like life, some days you hit it out of the park, some days you strike out.
The big difference is that in baseball, you only have to excel three out of every ten times you come to the plate to be considered a success. A .300 batting average is major league stuff.
Ask your boss how he would feel if you only performed well at your job 30 per cent of the time. You would probably be sent packing, and not just to the minor leagues to get your swing back.
I love to listen to the announcers and colour men. They are there to keep you entertained while the coaches argue with the umps even though, in the history of baseball, no ump has ever changed his call.
While we’re waiting for the coach to get tossed from the game, the colour man will say, “Well Buck, with that last foul ball that is only the second time since 1957 that consecutive red-headed left-hand batters drafted from a California college have hit foul balls into the second row of the left field stands.”
Then they spend some time discussing if this is a modern day trend for red-headed lefties from California colleges.
I also enjoy the interviews with the coaches. One frustrated coach was asked if he was concerned his star player was hitting under .200. He replied, “Concerned!? For what we’re paying him he should be curing cancer!”
Another coach was asked when he found out his third baseman had vascular necrosis in his legs and needed an operation. He replied, “I heard some talk a couple of weeks ago but I thought Vascular Necrosis was a Cuban second baseman on one of our farm teams.” Sometimes the coach is too busy to read the medical journals.
The games develop into a chess match and often a pitcher is brought in to pitch to one batter. He will throw one or two balls, get the guy out and his day is over. A famous pitcher for the Yankees was there to close out every game often only pitching four or five balls to finish off the opposing side. When a reporter figured out that over the season, it amounted to him being paid almost $100,000 a pitch, he replied, “Well, they were very, very good pitches.”
I guess that’s the lesson we are supposed to learn. When we step up to the plate every day we have to be ready. The world is going to be throwing its very, very best at us and we have to stay healthy and sharp if we want to stay in the game. When the calls go against us, we can shout and argue and complain or we can dust ourselves off and try better next time and most of all, remember to have fun. At least that’s what McGregor says.