Friday, October 28, 2011


"I got the power!" are the lyrics of a song that I have no clue what the title is...I just hear it at games. The purpose is to gear up the team to perform at their best and win the game. Sadly, if it was all about a song, we would all be winning Olympic gold medals. But life was not designed that way.

I am referring to the disappointment that kids feel when they are cut from a team. They move through the Kubler-Ross Stages of Death and Dying...Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The woman was a genius since this theory can be applied with any situation in life and not just the last phases as I type my last blog with my very last breath (yes, I will probably have my laptop or iPad on my lap on my death bed chronicling the good, bad, and ugly).

Let's consider the player who was a freshman, recruited for the team and promised the possibility of a try out with the potential to make the team. He is not offered a scholarship, just the ability to try out for the team. This kid has to come in with the attitude of 'they want me' so there are no problems here, right? In many ways, I wish that this player had considered the possibility that he could have been cut...'cause he was....He spoke with Buddy during fall ball after the coach announced that no jobs were safe. He already felt that he made the team and did not push the limit to make it. He quizzed Buddy about traveling and room mates, and meal money rather than how do I make the roster? Buddy. very uncomfortable with the conversations, deflected the questions and moved on to the immediate situation of what was going on rather than what was ahead. Even Buddy knew that this kid would not make it as cuts crept closer and closer. This recruit did not hit during fall ball and failed to make the roster. To say that he was "blindsided' is an understatement and he is beyond consolation right now.

The next player was brought in under a hoax. As legend has it, when the coach visited the baseball academy where he was recruiting two players, the academy lied about the players' abilities. For example, when this player ran sprints, the person holding the stop watch reported the wrong times in favor of the player. Another pitcher's speed was falsely reported too. Both players made the team with scholarships, then their real lack of talent showed through on the diamond. The coaches, feeling betrayed, eventually minimized these players roles and both are in jeopardy this year as one scholarship was taken away and the other was cut in half. One player is now non roster red shirt and the other does not have a role and was basically told that he would not play this year.

Another outfielder was cut because he did not hustle and did not seem committed. He has taken it in stride because he was ready to move on from baseball into a life of many possibilities. Yes, Virginia, there is more to life than throwing a ball. When I was a college senior, I dropped off the tennis team because I was basically tired of it. I did not want to play competitively anymore...I wanted to be a 'big girl.' And so it goes with any college athlete, they have to move through the process.

With Buddy and his boys, I am not sure when they will finally say, "I have had enough." He has no plans even for a college major past baseball. Perhaps he is looking to become a scout, coach, teacher, or work in the front office of a team. Whatever he decides to do, he has to have a passion for it, just like pitching. He has to want to do this job so much that he pulls himself out of bed every day knowing that he is going to work on a job that he loves. I am not sure when he will finalize his long term goals but I am definitely ready to hear what else he likes besides baseball. I am not sure if he can make a decent living sleeping or eating ice cream unless his name is either Ben or Jerry.

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