Sunday, August 10, 2003

I Dreamt I Was Wally Pipp

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The full content of column will be available here at Bambino's Curse on August 16, ie, 5 days after original publication date per the arrangement I have with FSNE.

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I Dreamt I Was Wally Pipp

So ten days ago I went on vacation and the Red Sox trailed the Yankees by three games. Today I return and the Red Sox trail the Yankees by three games. There is a lesson for myself here of course. While away I did have access to TV and newspapers but I quite purposely avoided anything and everything related to wins and losses on the diamond.

Had I been paying attention, I'm sure I'd have gone through the typical Red Sox fan emotive oscillations between the peaks of "nothing can stop these Sox, it's destiny" to the valleys of "here we go again it's hopeless." But in the end all my passion and emotion would have been wasted energy. Looking at the AL East standings, it's as if those games had never been played.

It's not about the outcome, it's about the process.

If you've read this summer's bestseller Moneyball, which I just did finally during one of my rain soaked days at the beach (did I mention it rained every friggin' day?), you'll recognize the aphorism of objectivity above.

Note to self: Try to be more objective while the 162 game season unfolds. (Response from self: Yeah, right, that'll work.)

Speaking of Moneyball (and be warned that I'll be "speaking of Moneyball" quite often in the coming days and weeks such is its impact on me), one of my favorite passages from the book relates to Scott Hatteberg's penchant for chatting to opposing players while playing first base.

First base as [Hatteberg] played became a running social event … Jeff Bagwell gets on by a fielder's error, and Hatty lets him know what a Bagwell fan he is, prompting Bagwell to go into this Eeyore like dirge about what a poor natural hitter he actually is. "He keeps saying, 'I hate my swing I hate my swing' and I'm like, 'Dude, you are unbelievable'"(Lewis).

Well, after getting in yesterday and reading the five days of guest columns here at Bambino's Curse, the "Dude, you are unbelievable" sentiment is one I'd like to extend to each of the guests: Isaac Taylor, Michele Catalano, Dave Pinto, Alex Belth, and Tony Pierce. I mean I knew all the guests were good writers, it's why I was like a Paul DePodesta in assembling the lineup, but the quality of their individual work exceeded my expectations. I feel like I could easily be a Wally Pipp this morning.