Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You Can't Win Two Without Winning One

It doesn't matter how they won as long as they got the win.  Giant fans should be somewhat used to torturous games and they're content when the orange and black come out victorious. In other words, the fans aren't particular about how things might seem because you can just as easily lose looking good.

Speaking of looking good, can everybody please let up on the Pablo bashing.  The reference to the dinner plate versus home plate is killing my appetite for Panda.  Send him the good vibes and see if he doesn't reward.  Why do I say this?  Because it happened to me many years ago.

I grew up with 3 brothers, all of whom were fortunate enough to be on championship winning teams. I, on the other hand was not so fortunate.  It was through no fault of my own it is just the way things worked out.
It wasn't my error that opened the door for the other team to take the game over.  In fact, my glove usually kept my team in the game. Although, I must admit, I was the last out in a championship game. I think we were 2 runs down and I was the tying run. That doesn't make me the cause of our loss but had I gotten on base our chances would have been kept alive. So I suppose I may have cost our team a championship win.  That is, IF, the batter behind me also delivered.  And perhaps the batter after him as well.

But the point of this was that my father never let me forget this.  What seemed like every opportunity he would say, "You're a loser. Ever win anything?"  Now he passed this off as tough-love but it ate at the marrow of my bones.  My twin brother was always there to enjoy a tag-team type chuckle when my father would get on a roll of winning and losing.  He'd point to the trophies and say, "That's winning."  Then he'd glance at my twin and say, "You know what it feels like."  And then with a smile he'd aim that grin my way and say, "DO YOU?"  And a roar of laughter erupted.

When I coached I thought there were a couple of times to try "tough love."  But when both of those young men's fathers approached me their reasoning was correct.  Because had I put myself in their place, showed a little empathy, I darn sure wouldn't have wanted a coach to take that approach with me. And when I think about one of the dads, he turns out to be the person responsible for my playing Saturday softball with a team of personalities that has treated me with the utmost respect that I just realized you get more with kindness than the cold-hearted know-it-all response to a player struggling.

Pablo's busting his hump.  It doesn't matter how big Pablo is it matters that he plays for the same team you root for so back him up.  Support the guy.  He gets hot, and it's not too late, he can still carry the team into the next round and quite possibly even further.  No time for tough love.  That's for the Bobby Knight's of the world.  Bullies who seem to get some sort of enjoyment out of belittling others in positions of inferiority to theirs. 

(Inspired by Steve Cresci. Steve may just be the nicest person I have ever met and I flashed on the days when I was coaching the Giants in the South City Midget Leagues.  I remember him questioning my approach and to think I did it to his son just made me feel horrible.  I thank him for questioning me because it made me check myself whenever the need for tough love crossed my mind. I think I shelved that approach shortly thereafter for good. I went the way of trying to reach the player on their level. Something that may have worked with me a whole lot better than, "You're a loser!"

Kevin J. Marquez