Stack your Bench

May 14, 2013

We just finished reading an article at One Thing New that uses stripped down baseball logic as a metaphor for life. And. We. Loved. It.

We're not the Boys of Summer, but we've seen Bull Durham all the way through. So the advice about stacking your bench - surrounding yourself with 'great hitters,' the friends and family who will always have your back - was like a line drive to 'yeah, that's so true.'

sliding

Or see if this one sounds familiar. Runners on first and third, first base tries to steal second. Are you going to take your eye off the runner who's itching to score just to stop the steal? No you're not, because your team is yelling for you to Eat it!, which means simply, let it go. It's not important. Trust your team (your friends, your family, the little voice inside your head) when they tell you not to sweat the small stuff.

And then came our favorite and the article's namesake:

"In Little League, when a right fielder catches a line drive, unless he or she has an exceptionally strong arm, he doesn't try to huck it all the way to home plate. That's because he knows he'd never make it. Instead he makes a shorter, faster throw to the "cut" - usually the shortstop or first base - who then gets the ball where it needs to go. Basically, the fielder delegates the out. Instead of trying to do it all, the rule in baseball is to use your help."

veterans

Do you throw to the cut? Do you ask for help when you need it? Or have you convinced yourself you can bring home the Bacon & Cheddar Ridgies and fry them up in a pan all by yourself, thank you very much? Asking for help doesn't mean you're not fantastic and independent and all of the other things we want to believe about ourselves. It just means you're human. You're big enough to recognize when you need it and to trust your team.

This is when it occurred to us we had been using a baseball metaphor all this time. We talk about taking one for the team. At work. At home. As a neighbor, friend and especially as a parent. We put our immediate needs or desires aside for the greater good. We might pack school lunches every night before bed, set aside money for something important, jump out of bed early to study or spend a few minutes together. And truthfully, it's not that hard when you realize you've stacked your bench with the kind of people who would do the same for you.

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