How about those Cubs!
If you were as captivated as I was with this year’s World Series–and the entire post-season–this can be a good time to think about what this post-season can teach our players. I’ve got a few lessons below, and feel free to add in the Comments section.
- Always respect the umpires. You might occasionally see from their body language that a major league player disagrees with an umpire’s call, but they don’t get in the umpire’s face and they don’t argue with the umpire. They tend to keep their disagreement subtle. This is good. There was even a time when Anthony Rizzo had started toward first base, because he had thought he had gotten a walk, but he hadn’t. He came back and apologized to the umpire for heading toward first base before being sure of the umpire’s call.
- Never give up. The Cubs were down in the World Series three games to one, and they did not give up. They played their hardest and came back to win the series. So no matter how many games you’ve lost, or what else may have happened, don’t let it get you down. Just keep playing your hardest. (The Indians did not give up either. They made the Cubs work very hard for it.) I had a rec team once that lost the first game of a double-elimination playoff series, and they rallied and got fired up and came back to win.
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember when the Cubs were playing in the World Series in Wrigley Field for the first time in 71 years, and the eyes of the world were on them? They weren’t playing their best for those first two games in Wrigley Field, and I think it’s because they were feeling the pressure too much. Too much pressure to win the game doesn’t help. It’s better to just focus on the moment and on playing your very best with each and every at bat and each and every play. If you do that, you have a lot to be proud of no matter who wins.
- Always hustle. Remember the time in game 2 of the NLDS when Baez hit what looked like a home run, and it stayed in the park? He was taking it easy out of the box, until he realized the wind had kept the ball from going out. He was thrown out at second. (After that, he was much better at hustling.) So the take-away from this is to always run your very hardest, no matter what, until an out is actually made or you’re safe on base. If you can learn from the mistakes of the pros, you’re doing pretty well.
Any more World Series lessons you picked up on?