Comings and Goings

Originally, this post was going to be something very different from what I am writing about now.  However, a situation after the game prompted me to postpone the original post and discuss this.

For the second time in three days, we had a pitcher called up to Rancho Cucamonga, our Class A-Advanced affiliate, located in California.  Ironically, this pitcher was the roommate I lived with at my host family’s house, and the other pitcher was the roommate I had on the road.  Furthermore, due to injuries, two other pitchers were placed on the disabled list, bringing the total of pitchers new to the team at four (two of which have already pitched for us this season) when all of the transactions are complete.  Finally, we released a catcher last week and signed a pre-draft free agent.  This brings our total of new faces in the clubhouse over the last two weeks to five.

The relationships you establish with players, coaches, and staff members are made thinking that they will last for a while, when in reality, their duration is quite uncertain.  They may last as long as several years, or be as short as only a few days.  The turnover in professional baseball is unlike its kind in any other profession, including other professional sports due to the vast minor league system it employs.

We are always being told to take emotion out the game.  I am beginning to see why that is the case.  This is not the emotion of playing with passion and aggressive intent, but the emotions that are associated with personal relationships.  Personnel decisions and criticism from coaches are never being made on a personal level, but professional and business levels.  Relationships must be trusting and unwavering, but at the same time but flexible and adjustable. 

You need to have a short memory in this game or else all of the failures and detached relationships with people will wreak havoc with your mind.  In a game where failure is so prominent, a day-to-day approach of starting everything anew the following day seems to be the easiest way to go about things.  Sadly, the same approach must be taken with the people you meet along the way.  Someone you grow very fond of may be gone tomorrow, whether it is because he moves on or you do, and using any energy to dwell on this can set you back.  This is why emotional attachment becomes so difficult. 

Everyone in this business is trying to make it to the top.  It is paradoxical that while no one can get to the Major Leagues by themselves, there is not enough room for everyone to make it.  This is a team game played by individuals.  While everyone is striving for the team to win, players are looking out for their individual success along the way.  This balance is often strained and is a major reason why the relationships you develop with people should be kept professional with minimal vested emotion.  There is only so much of the pie to go around, and no one around you is afraid to take your share.

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3 Responses to “Comings and Goings”

  1. The Season Continues « Looking through the Mask Says:

    […] roommate departures for me in two weeks and gives me another example for my recent post “Comings and Goings” where I discussed the high rate of personnel turnover in this […]

  2. Hardest Part of Minor League Baseball « Looking through the Mask Says:

    […] will be and who will be around you.  I alluded to these shortcomings in a post last June, “Comings and Goings,” where I discussed how the relationships you develop with players, staff, and fans could be […]

  3. Jimmy Scott Says:

    This is great stuff, Chris. Great stuff.

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