I was thinking this morning about teams. Baseball is always such a good analogy for life. Like I’ve said before, stars are made in the batter’s box, but teams are made in the field.
It reminds me of a question in one of those “Would You Rather…?” games: “Would you rather be the best player on a losing team or the worst player on the winning team?” I think most people answered that they’d rather be a star, but my answer was the winning team. Of course, I went on to explain my reasoning — if you’re only hitting .100 in the World Series, but your team wins, you still get a ring and you’re still the champions, even if you personally are horrible.
In fact, when the stars of a team flounder, it forces the other players to rise to the challenge and play for the team, rather than themselves. We got a taste of that in the Post-Season with Raul Ibanez.
So if baseball is an analogy for our lives and today’s topic is teams, who is playing on your personal team? Life is played out in various seasons, some winning streaks and some lonely days. But most of life is the in between, the mediocre attempts and the mediocre failures. This is our average. So when we are hitting average for whatever season we’re in, who around us is on our team?
In the short span of a year, friends and even family will come and go as far as influence and intimacy (call them your expendables, the ones who often get traded mid-season). The ones truly in it for the long haul (call them your contract players) will stick it out, rain or shine, win or loss; they’re there for you, with you, no matter what. And then there’s the ones who surprise you (your Ichiros, as it were), who come into your life as an expendable and end up staying for the long run.
As we Yankee fans prepare for a new season, 88 men are preparing for their new season in life, more than half will never see Major League play this year. But for this Spring, they’re a Yankee, they’re a team, and they’re our team. And as they say, “once a Yankee, always a Yankee.”