Thursday, June 9, 2011

There's no crying in baseball?

"There's no crying in baseball," retorts Tom Hanks in the movie, A League of Their Own.

Emotion is important to express, even in baseball. When I coached youth ballplayers I wanted them to draw on their feelings. There is nothing worse for hitters and pitchers than to be unattached from themselves. Professional ballplayers get into slumps by over-thinking their worsening situations.

When I was 10 years old I struck out twice in the jamboree for our Little League team. It was my first chance to play in a real uniform. I cried on the way home. My Dad, who was my coach, simply said that there would be better days. I remember that day vividly because I cared. Yes, I cared enough to cry.

Football as it turns out was my favorite sport. I think it was because it maximizes thinking and feeling. I get frustrated watching baseballers control their emotions. I watch the Seattle Mariners starting pitchers coolly hand the ball over near the end of games with a slim lead only to see it vanish. My emotions get worn just from watching.

I liked Lou Pinella as a coach. He made players and umpires aware. There shouldn't be too much cool in baseball. Sometimes crying is O.K!