This weekend, I was reminded about not beating yourself.
Saturday night, I watched Steve Trachsel make a mess out of a pivotal playoff start by not throwing strikes. Granted, the Mets offense was nowhere to be found, but Trachsel couldn't make it out of the second inning because he walked five batters. When you walk that many batters, your fielders fall back on their heels and when you do actually let the other team put the ball in play, they wind up missing a lot of balls by just a half step, which is what happened.
Then, tonight, my Zog team played a fall softball game. We couldn't field our way out of a hat. It was awful. We're normally a very good fielding team, but we threw the ball around and bobbled a lot of easy plays. We found ourselves down 20-6. We even managed to score 10 runs with two outs in the last inning, but it wasn't enough. It was a game that got away because we beat ourselves.
So back to the Mets. Enter Oliver Perez... a guy who has been beating himself for two seasons by not throwing strikes. The Mets needed to stay in this game badly. The bats were cold and Perez was a wildcard. Well, he wasn't perfect, but he didn't beat himself. He threw strikes... and kept them close until the Mets offense exploded. Up by seven runs, he kept throwing strikes even when the Cards started hitting home runs... three home runs.. all solo shots, because he wasn't walking batters ahead of those hits. He left in the sixth inning with a big lead, and for a guy who went 3-13 this season, that's about all you could have asked from him. Unlike the guy who pitched the night before who rang up 15 wins this season, he didn't beat himself.
That makes such a huge difference in any aspect of your life. Make the other guy beat you. I manufactured a run in my Zog game tonight by lining to right and not stopping when I saw the right fielder bobble the ball. Let him throw me out. If me makes the play, I'd get up, say, "Nice throw" and walk off... but I was forcing him to be better to get the better of me. Then, on a bloop single to right again, I ran through a stop sign on the way home.
Let them throw you out at the plate.... don't hand them your opportunity to shine.