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Old 05-03-2009, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,666 posts, read 71,883,334 times
Reputation: 35910

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Ralph Branca was a Dodger pitcher who will always be remembered as the guy who gave up Bobby Thonson's home run, that cost the Dodgers a trip to the World Series.

A couple of days ago, there was a college baseball tournament in town, and one of the team busses pulled into the Burger King while I was in there. The dejected players, who had just been eliminated, all clustered together. One player, remained separate, holding back tears, while adults traveling with the team tried to console him.

He was the pitcher who had just given up the game winning home run in the last of the 9th inning. I felt very sad for him. This was something I will not live long enough to forget.

OK, he's about 20 years old, but he has parents, who will have to deal with this. What do you say to him?

I would have said "You're one in a thousand or more---a member of the pitching staff of a winning college baseball team that was the top seed in a tournament. The other 999 kids that went to school with you would have given anything to be out there doing what you do well. but they don't have what you have.

"Let me give you a list of pitchers who have given up a game winning home run in the ninth inning. Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Mariano Rivera, Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean, Roger Clemens . . . . This happened to them because they were good enough to be there. Cy Young LOST 316 games."

Last edited by jtur88; 05-03-2009 at 07:12 PM..
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,666,452 times
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Being an aussie, I do not know the fine detail of baseball.

I am a bit confused about this statement
"the pitcher who had just given up the game winning home run"

If the pitcher had deliberately thrown the game, well then I understand him being excluded. However I suspect the team lost. Just as much by that last pitch as by any missed hit or lost catch by any player for the whole match.

I recall the coach of my kids soccer team giving them a bit of a dressing down because they were loosing and the kids had had a go at their own goalie. The coach said, rightly in my view, that the team wins, the team looses. If the opposition get past the goalie, then remember that they already got past every other member of the team. So lay off the goalie and focus on your own game.

Now the OP gives the example of a 20y.o being excluded from the team and feeling down. Well I would feel down if I was being excluded.

So if I were the parent, I would give him a hug, pass him a beer and say put it behind you.

If I were travelling with the team, I would pull the coach aside and say if you dont deal with this right now then all the team building you do all season will be wasted.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,666 posts, read 71,883,334 times
Reputation: 35910
Think of a hockey or football goalie, who allows the winning goal as the clock ran out.. He was simply beaten by an opponent who had his own moment of glory. He then wanted to go and crawl into a hole and hide, unable to even face his teammates, who had depended on him. His teammates would have consoled him, but he was too crushed to face them.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:42 AM
 
2,874 posts, read 6,281,892 times
Reputation: 5146
When my son was about ten, he struck out with two men (boys) on base to end a one run game. His team didn't advance in the play-offs and the season was over. He was crushed. Absolutely crushed.

I said all of the Mom things that I could think of without any appreciable change in his funk. It wasn't until his coach reminded him that there are three outs to every inning and they are called Out 1, Out 2 and Out 3. They are not called "Out Sort-of-important", "Out Really-Important" and "Out Life-shatteringly Important". His point was that the third out is just one of the three, no more and no less and that one out does not define the game that the entire team just participated in.

He also reminded my son that Chipper Jones gets paid tens of millions of dollars to hopefully get a hit about 30% of the time.

Somehow these were the things that provided my ten year old son enough comfort to get in line to get his Snow-Cone...
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,666 posts, read 71,883,334 times
Reputation: 35910
A lot of coaches, nowadays, like to put inspirational quoatation on the locker room wall. I think if I were a coach, I'd like this one:

"I lost a lot of fights
But I learned how to lose OK."

---Billy Joel ("Keeping the Faith")
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