Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I Can't Stand Baseball Players

For all you ballplayers out there (i know you're probably not reading this, but you should be) Do me and everyone else a favor...stop talking about yourself. Stop talking about how great you were in Little League and how I should have seen you against the 12 and under yankees in '01. Stop talking about how many people you struck out in middle school or how many wins you had in high school. Stop telling the story of how you hit a homer in the last inning of the big game or that you hit it off of a future 1st round draft pick. I don't want to hear about how hard you threw that one day or that your team was ranked 3rd in the nation for 5 years in a row. First of all, what the hell rankings are you talking about? The AAU national association of who gives a shit? Also, nobody cares. Nobody cares whether you were your team's MVP or whether you were player of the week 12 times in one year. I don't care if you were a 1st round draft pick or an undrafted free agent. That also means, I don't care how much money you made. You may want to tell me. I know you just can't wait to let me hear how rich you are...save it. 
Im over baseball players affirming the stereotype of dumb, cocky, jock. The fact is that so many ballplayers are really good fairly humble people who are just out there doing what they love. However, the only people anyone ever hears are the ones who talk the loudest...usually about how awesome they are. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Second Best Game in the World

I love golf. 

Golf, next to baseball, is the best game ever. To those who say it's just a game for yuppies who like dressing up in ugly pastels and chasing a little white ball...you're right. I pulled out my seersucker shorts and yellow polo shirt, shelled out 35 big ones and teed it up along side the elderly and wealthy port st. lucie crowd. I don't know what it is about the game that gets me every time. Maybe it's the outdoors without getting dirty. Maybe it's the inevitable golf car racing that occurs as soon as you leave the clubhouse. Maybe it's the 2 balls I have to hit off the first tee to feel like im ready to play (even if they're both 60 yards out of bounds). Very possibly it's the way I find my groove only after 36 ounces of alcohol have been consumed. But without a doubt it's the one shot that you hit perfectly and stick 5 feet from the pin that brings you back. You could miss every fairway, every green, every putt, and every beverage cart lady and still, when you hit that one shot you have to smile and say, "I love this game."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Don't Sweat It

Next to arguing with an intelligent woman (like my clearly superior fiancee), there is nothing more exhausting or futile in this world than worrying. The fact is, we cannot accomplish anything by worrying. It's a cycle of if's and buts that eventually lead to fear of something that hasn't happened yet. We've all experienced worry in our jobs, relationships (the silent killer), beliefs, etc. But today, even knowing all this, it hit me like a wall rushing up to meet me. 
I hate worrying, so I've learned to disguise it as anxiousness or curiosity. I woke up this morning tired as usual (not a morning person) but it was worse than normal. It was that heavy feeling that makes everything and everyone 50x more annoying. All morning I couldn't help but wondering if/when I would ever make progress in my career, all the while mumbling to myself about how I deserve it and it wouldn't be fair if I didn't move up.  My worry about things that are out of my control led me to resentment which led me to a sense of entitlement. All that to say...I was a miserable person to be around (you know those people). 
Anyway, I brought my bible to the clubhouse yesterday in hopes that I would be motivated to read for the first time in a while. I was sitting at my locker, bible closed in front of me, really just getting sick of myself. I'm usually a nice guy and I really enjoy it, so for me to be brooding emo Collin all morning was eating at me. I had some spare time (shocker, i know) before the game today and so I just started praying. No powerful earth-shaking banter between me and God, just your normal "hey, it's me. I'm struggling here." And so comes the good part. Isaiah 40:31. "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." I had to take an inventory of where my hope was and where it was coming from. The reason for my worry wasn't that things aren't going as I planned, but that my hope is in some circumstance I made up, not it the One who creates circumstances. And then, just then, my eyes opened up and I was ok. Not perfect, not ecstatic, but really ok. Really content. 
My remedy to worry...contentment.  Plan of attack from here is to, as Paul McCartney put it (minus its existential origins) "Let it Be."

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Day Older, A Day Wiser

I'm not a rookie (first of many baseball/athletic references) at the social networking phenomenon. In fact I have pretty much run the gambit of all of the major ones: Facebook, Myspace (though sleezier than once thought), Xanga, Twitter, AIM, etc. Even with all of the social commentary at my fingertips, I couldn't help but explore the first and most honourable of all avenues...the blog.
The title of this blog does not necessarily mean that simply for reading this one will become any wiser (although older is an inevitability. I'll try to keep it brief). It simply means that, in my life, time and wisdom go hand in hand in the same direction. I believe that no matter how unwise (can we find a different word?) one may be at whatever age he/she is, they will get wiser with time. I have 21 years of wisdom instilled in me via, among many others, the Christian Church and my Christian family, college and minor league baseball, music, and Love. All too often the manifestation of my wisdom involves the combination of all the afore mentioned. Today, something about baseball. 
Minor league baseball is, for all of its shortcomings, The Great Equalizer. Some may say "you're wrong". Hear me out. I am currently in Extended Spring Training for the New York Mets, and in our clubhouse on any give day you can find no less than 15 different countries represented, 10 different languages, 80 different schools from 60 different conferences, and socioeconomic brackets ranging from "wipe my ass with this 50" to "i've never seen a 50". We've got dads and husbands, only children and one of 12, lefties and righties, innies and outies, black and white and many many shades of brown. We've got first round draft picks and free agent signees each with their own discreet or indiscreet signing bonuses. We have them all in one place fighting for the same 25 major league roster spots. Ok, there are lots of politics, sure, but in the end if you can play you've got a shot. As they say in the poker world (to which i was introduced yesterday to the tune of $240) "All you need is a chip and a chair". In my world it would be better said that "all you need is a jersey and a tool" (not a chainsaw or anything, but 1 of the 5 baseball tools...i'll explain sometime later). I love the fact that, no matter how hard people try, no one person is bigger than the game. No matter where our checkbooks, skin color, language, or "ya, but I know a guy" puts us...we are all in the same boat. The same grueling and wonderful boat that's headed to the Bigs with some of us. The hard part is trying to stay on board the whole time.