Saturday, April 25, 2015
2 TOUGH LOSSES JUST MEANS I STAND TALLER TOMORROW
I've been on a baseball field since 8:15 this morning. Miss me? When you run a league and coach and need to check on schedules, deal with kids and make sure the parents are happy and organize the field schedules, etc... well... your weekend becomes busy as hell. When things get organized you pretty much need your teams to deliver you wins. By teams, I mean my Little League club, as well as my New York Yankees. Today, neither happened, and it was a heartbreak all around. I still feel the sting.
I take a Yankee loss hard. I take my Little League losses harder. That's because I'm my team's manager and I have a bunch of kids that have so much potential and so much heart, it kills me when things don't go their way. We fought hard today, we kept fighting back until the game was tied. In the 6th, we were down by one and threatening with the heart of the line up at bat. With 2 outs, #3 came up to the plate. There was a kid on second and the way we fought all morning, there was no way in hell we'd lose this.
I don't know why, but for a split second I thought about what Babe Ruth would do. That's because #3 was at the plate, staring right at me as I stood on the 1st base line. It was clear, a hit up the middle, the run scores and the game is tied. With 2 strikes though, that wasn't the case. It was instead a hard dribbler, and then the hustle. But the pitcher snagged it and threw to first, and just like that... it was over.
I kicked the dirt. The team was quiet. "No meeting gentlemen. Go enjoy the day." It was silent in the dugout. It was silent like it's silent after your parents scream at you for letting your wet, muddy dog walk on the white carpet. They were defeated... so was I. The End. I almost wish it was 31-2. It would have been easier.
After the field hand-off, it was off to my other kids game and that was one of those tee-ball fiestas where everyone wins and there's a tie and all the kids are happy and it's sunshine and rainbows. It was a brief distraction, but that first game killed me and I just remember seeing my kids faces as they each seemed distraught as they walked out of the dugout to head home. It was cemented in my mind.
I got home and turned the TV on for what was the Yankees / Mets match up that needed to happen to make me smile again. But there was more disappointment. I must have pissed off someone, because I just couldn't get a break. As much as I love CC Sabathia, he just didn't have it today. It was one of those outings where I literally looked at the TV and said "Are you freaking kidding me?"
Matt Harvey was on the mound for the Mets. Sabathia, who is now 0-4 to Harvey's 4-0, gave up 7 runs, 9 hits in 5 innings. Esmil Rogers gave up the other run, and the Mets scored 8 runs to the Yankees 2. You wanna know how the Yanks scored? Not exactly epic... but here it goes...
In the bottom of the 3rd, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play. In the process, Stephen Drew scored.
In the 7th, Mark Teixeira hit a solo shot... his 8th of the season. Those are the Yankees runs against a dominant Matt Harvey, and those are 2 losses that literally killed my day of baseball.
Bottom line, I've been going like crazy with baseball for 2 days straight, and there's more games tomorrow too. Sure, I could have organized my writers or pre-wrote something epic for all of you to read this morning when you woke up, but the bottom line is, I'm knee deep in life and just couldn't do it. As I've stated since the birth of Bleeding Yankee Blue; my family, my life come first before all of you wonderful readers. 99% of you get that, and I appreciate it very much. Sometimes when it comes to family, to coaching, I need to walk away and do what I need to do. I would have loved to have been able to report big wins today, not only for the Yanks, but for my kid's team. But as much as we fought and clawed... we fell short.
As I told my kids today, and as I'm reminding myself right now, this is just baseball. This is NOT life or death. But, as much as the sting hurts, I need to remember something... you learn from mistakes. You learn from losses. I learned today as a coach, and my kids did too. The Yankees did as well, and now, we go to sleep and we come back tomorrow ready to win. It's what champions do! It's what we need to do.
Thanks for listening to my story. Today was a tough one, but I will forget today now and come back tomorrow with a hungry baseball team ready to win. That's what human beings do. They are not meant to be quitters. They are meant to be champions.... time to go dream about it and then execute tomorrow. Not only me, but you... and the Yankees too.
Final: Mets 8 - Yankees 2
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