Commentary: Managing emotions during stretch run


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Jim Young - USA Today Sports
Jim Young - USA Today Sports

One of the few perks about getting older is that you gain perspective on things that you can’t see when you are younger. It turns out life is not about finding the bar where all the hot girls are, nor is it about accumulating personal treasures and trophies. And it is certainly not about whether or not your team’s shortstop made two errors and broke his belt last night.

It also is not about who should be playing what position and batting where in the order or why is the manager running that guy out to the mound again when my mother could hit him. Life is about enjoying the moment, loving someone more than anything else on earth, and keeping yourself healthy so that you can enjoy doing both for as long as possible.

As the pennant races start to heat up, now that the calendar has flipped to September, so has the vitriol and venom increased towards players and managers as teams are fighting for their spot in postseason play. Here is where perspective needs to come into play.

Just like they did in April, May, June, July, and August, teams are going to win games and they are going to lose games. Like many have said before, a win in April is just as important as a win in September and a loss is still a loss no matter what month it comes.

Players will continue to make errors in September and they will continue to get hits, and these will be just the same as they were in May. Screaming for a player to be traded because he made an error in September is nonsensical, especially when a player you may like better makes an error in the same game, but you want him to win the MVP.

I understand the irrationality of being a fan, I’m a fan too, but living and dying with each game and each play is just not healthy or productive. Stuff happens and there is nothing any of us can do about it when it pertains to our beloved team. We need to leave it to those that can do something about it and hope that your team has the better GM, manager, and players to bring us what we all hope for, another world series win.

Brewers manager Craig Counsel had the best perspective I’ve heard recently. In response to a question about Cole Hamels calling out Brewer fans for talking about a rivalry with the Cubs, Counsel said, "I really look at it like we're spending way too much time trying to classify rivalries. Like, enjoy the baseball games, man. I mean, home, road, I'm happy I'm in the building."

I couldn’t have said it better. These are great times to be a Cubs fan. We finally have a team that is winning consistently and every year we are in the discussion as a playoff team. Remember when that wasn’t the case? I do, and I like now way better. This is a great team so just enjoy the trip and don’t get caught up in the minutia of every pitch and play. Just be thankful you are in the building and get to see this.

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