Sunday, May 1, 2011

Winning and losing

Hello. As my readers know, this blog was started to set the record straight from my maternal perspective. Over the years, my son, "Buddy" has been the topic of a number of discussions/gossip sessions as to the extent of his baseball prowess. Friends and foes wonder (often aloud) how he became so successful in this sport. They were unaware of what it took to play at the division 1 level. Mumblings around town were uttered...."he doesn't deserve it...why didn't I get noticed?....he's a fraud...he's not that good..." Since his dad and I are the only ones besides Buddy who know what effort he has extended, I decided to write an anonymous blog to share the struggles of trying to make it to the Big Leagues. It take more than a dream. It takes dedication, athleticism, sacrifice, and very thick skin just to make it to college. As far as the majors are concerned, I am not sure yet. However, it seems that he has that goal in mind, so I will continue to write until the process is over and he has either made it or not....

Yesterday was a historic day for my favorite southpaw. The team was on television for the first time this year. Buddy was captured a number of times warming up in his bullpen while looking focused and ready. He was called in a crucial moment at the end of the game and took the first loss of his college career (on television...national tv.....with highlights and low lights....)...and the losing pitcher was "Buddy...."

Oy! Poor is one thing to lose your first college game, and another thing to do it so publicly.....ouch! Buddy is not a gracious loser...neither was/am I. When you compete, you compete to win. When he was a young boy and would lose a game, I would pull out one of my tough tennis loss stories...."Yes, I remember the day when the team relied on my victory to win the title and I was smoked in two sets by a girl with one leg who was blind...." He never liked my stories....

Back to Buddy...yes, the game was lost yesterday. he was on the mound. Was it his fault? Sure, if the victory depending on him striking everyone out. However, if the victory was based on "team" play, then he did not lose it. It seems that there are 9 guys on the field for a reason. Therefore, when someone throws a ball to first base, the person catching the ball needs to have his foot on the base for an out. Also, when throwing a ball from the outfield to try to get an out at home plate, the thrown ball should land in the vicinity of the catcher. Do you see where I am going with these comments? One last thing, with no one out, don't try to steal an extra base. If the bases are loaded with no outs, learn to place a bunt or send the ball into the outfield for a run to score...just the basics as I see it.

Am I trying to get Buddy off the hot seat? No, he takes the loss on. He was on the mound. He wants to do this for a living. Therefore it is time to place wins and losses in perspective and develop a "thick skin." According to a very forlorn pitcher, the other guys felt that it was his fault. "All of the guys?" was my question. Were they watching the same game that I watched? Probably, therefore, I cannot believe that every member of the team has decided that he was to blame for their losing by one run in the bottom of the 9th. If they do, then they do not understand the game that they have played for years. Therefore, I believe that Buddy is overreacting and overly-sensitive. After the third phone call home, he mentioned that some of the guys stopped by his room to tell him that it was not his one blames him, and so on...this is what a team is all about. Taking wins and losses in stride and deciding how to improve for the next outing...not pointing fingers at each other.

So, what is BP Mom's perspective? Here goes....I keep it very win lose some....Dennis van der Meer, a tennis professional once told me during a clinic: "you should win two and lose one...two wins for ego loss for humility". There you have it. Competition is based on a balance. The balance lies in the ability to treat victory and defeat the same. Winning and losing with grace are important. Can I tell that to a 19 year old pitcher who lost his first game on national television? No, not yet. He has to learn it on his own. He has to become tougher. As he said yesterday: "this will never happen again. I will train until I become the best." I have no doubts. As his coach texted him...."I have faith in you..." As his mom, I do too. Scars toughen the do losses. As dad said: "If losing didn't feel so bad, winning would not feel so good...." Words to consider as he looks ahead to future challenges.....

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