Forget The Sermon on the Mount; give us one on the pitching mound
Baseball is the perfect metaphor for life! All baseball fans know that, and that’s what we talk about while drinking at the ballpark. “When I’m down in the count, I swing defensively.” “When I keep my eye on the ball, I have a better chance of making contact.” “My love life is down in the dumps, maybe I’ll get a hit by pitch tonight.“
The metaphor doesn’t work if it is a save situation
But the baseball metaphor does not work in situations where The Chicago White Sox bullpen starts to warm up with less than a two run lead. Because in that situation, no matter how good your starting pitching or the teams hustle, the game might as well be over.
When a shortstop dives to stop an extra base hit, and then holds the runner on third before getting the out at first, it reminds me of when I make more money in a contract by holding out on signing it until I can verify a higher offer elsewhere.
Do your best, but quit caring when the coach does something stupid
Even when we have lost a good game, fair and square, with no unearned runs, I can go home with my chin up, knowing that we played our best. Thus is life as well.
“What if Moses instead had encountered an injured bullpen with weak late relievers and an unreliable closer? I’m telling you, he would get extra innings out of his middle relief.”
But when Ozzie Guillen puts in Bobby Jenks with only a two run lead in the ninth, I don’t trust it anymore. I’ve seen him blow three run leads. I may have cared for eight innings, but not anymore. It doesn’t seem like my game anymore. The whole foundation is pulled out by the bullpen. And when Bobby is solid, which he often is, Linebrink blows it, or Thornton. Ugh. I am not going to get mystical and poetic about the meaning behind that crap in my life.
An easier spirituality
There are so many reasons why any religion worth its name could benefit from hitching its wagon to America’s pastime. As an outsider, do you relate to the image of a “burning bush?” I doubt it. I can’t take that situation and then put it into other parts of my life.
What if Moses instead had encountered an injured bullpen with weak late relievers and an unreliable closer? I’m telling you, he would get extra innings out of his middle relief, especially if they have the lowest ERA of the pitching staff. I’m talking about Chris Sale, we need to use him more if we are going to catch up to the Twins. I could resonate with Moses if he did that.
If I were to go to Church or Temple and hear about admirable qualities displayed on a baseball field, I would try to emulate them. I need spiritual metaphors about the struggles between offense and defense on the diamond. Just as long as we get a good eight innings out of Buehrle first.