The Team Makes or Breaks it for Me

In everything I do, I try to surround myself with hardworking, positive people who will go the extra mile--and do so in a way that really makes things a good experience for everyone around them.  That's important to me as I tend to feed off the energy of others.  That's why, when I think about travelling, my first question is always about who I'm going with, because the people I go with are going to make or break the trip for me, regardless of who I'm going with.

That goes for sports, too... especially at this age.  I'm 26 and I'm not going to make the major leagues...   at least it seems highly unlikely.  I play softball to have fun.  I hustle and try to win of course, but I'm not going to lose sleep if I don't, because I've got other things in my life.

So, today, I did something I've never done before.  I walked off the field in the middle of a game.  I play in a men's fastpitch league in Brooklyn and we're not doing well.  Last week we didn't field... this week we weren't hitting.   I show up.  I hustle.  I play and bat where I'm told. 

So, in our first inning of the second game, I missed two fly balls, which I really never do.  The first one, I got distracted because the first baseman ran out to me and, even though I called it, I wasn't sure if we were going to run into each other.  I looked down at him for a split second and it was just the wrong split second to look down. 

The inning wasn't really going well for anyone in the outfield.  Before that, the centerfielder showboated one with one hand, tried to do one of these Barry Bonds catch off to the side of the head things... and it bounced right off his glove.  At least I wasn't showboating.

The second play, I realy didn't think it was going to me, so I hesitated, but I still had it tracked down.  I ran over to catch it... and it just didn't happen... bounced off my glove.  Bad play.. it happens.   Smacked my glove and just resided to get it next time.  That's all I can do.  Get it next time.

Then all of the sudden, the kid who manages the team called to me to come out...  he was going to replace me in the field right in the middle of the inning.  I really couldn't believe what I was hearing until I saw this guy come off the bench with his glove.  I was totally stunned.  I mean, you take people out for not hustling, for arguing, but dropping the ball?  We're not major leaguers...   especially not our team.  Stunned.

So I ran off, letting the manager, a guy my age, know that this just wasn't right.  And, without hesitation, I grabbed my bag, said, "See you later" and walked off.  I didn't throw anything.  I didn't get angry... I just walked off.  You just don't make an example of someone who is trying their best...  it doesn't really solve anything, and its absolutely not the kind of team I have any interest in playing for.  I love baseball and I'd play everyday if I could, but not with people who take the fun out of it, because then what am I really playing for?

What would have been the best thing to do?  I dunno...  maybe let my bat do the talking and get my hits while I was the DH and not worry about what happened in the field.  But, sometimes, you just have to take yourself out of a situation where you're not being treated right if you don't have something worthwhile to sacrifice for.  My Zog team plays for charity... the Fordham team carries the name of  an institution I believe in and I'm proud to be associated with.  This team, if its going to play favorites, point fingers and make examples of people when its 3-6, stands for nothing.