Spring Training is here! Or Opening Day is just around the corner…

I love baseball. It’s a metaphor for life. Here’s a few reasons I think so…

    -There’s no real ‘clock’ governing the time that each game will take. It’s over when it’s over. And not one minute earlier.

    -Everything and every player in a game matters; there are no insignificant roles, and no inconsequential people.

    -The very best hitters still fail 70% of the time, even when they’ve given everything they know how to give.

    -Self-sacrifice (the sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, and moving the runner over by grounding behind him) is greatly appreciated and vastly undervalued.

    -When times are hard with your team, its imperative that a fan looks for bright spots, the silver lining of the clouds if you will, rather than focus on the negative. Because what you look for, you’ll find.

    -Enjoying an ice-cold beer and ballpark dog at the park with your girl is one of this life’s truest enjoyments.

Part of my baseball on the brain comes with the advent of Spring training & the exhibition games have begun in earnest. The season is just around the corner.

The start of the season makes me feel both nostalgia and hope – from all the years of Spring training that I’ve experienced, the memories of listening to games on my little transistor radio, the baseball biographies (& fiction) that I incessantly devoured, (the Jackie Robinson story is still a favorite), and the series of old movies that I inevitably found a way to watch at this time of year, like “It Happens Every Spring”, and “Angels in the Outfield” – the original, though my kids loved the Disney adaptation.

My team, the World Champion San Francisco Giants, (that never gets old) won the 2010 World Series – something that had never happened in my life time. SF won series – hope deferred; hoping beyond hope that this would be the year. 2010 it was. Makes this year’s spring training more fun.

Spring training brings hope; to me it’s new life and new opportunities – a veritable clean slate. I ponder what I want to be true of me… less insistence on needing to be heard, to be right. To want to listen better, to understand. To speak my mind, in truth and love… to function at a ground-level in relationships rather than leaving them layered in unexpressed deep thoughts & feelings. To value what is truly important. To love well. Full of grace. Quick to forgive. Hoping the best. Celebrating life & relationship.

On that note, me & theBean aim to be at more Aces games – a lot more. We’re partnering with friends on some season tickets… should be finding out in the next little while when the joy starts.

30 more days til Opening Day.

Labor Day, baseball, & relationship

I spent the majority of this Labor Day, laboring. Had a killer work out, then went into the office during theBean’s 1st shift of the day. Don’t cry for me, Argentina – I am comfortable knowing that I have enough time in the day & week to do what I have to… & no more. And working on a ‘holiday’ isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. It was so quiet in the office; not a creature was stirring.

For the last several weeks, throughout our series “GOD – the Holy Spirit,” I’ve been ruminating on something that my friend Morris Chapman said. Long ago in a place far, far away, Morris was playing the piano & ‘freelancing’ lyrics… & he sang something like, “LORD, I don’t wanna just seek Your hand, I wanna seek Your face…”

That line has stuck with me for years… & reminds me that what I need, what changes me, my life, my heart, & mind is relationship & fellowship with God. And that God would dwell with me… ala Revelation 3:20…

It’s easier to seek His hand… to come to God with a wish-list or a ‘Christmas list’. With the “I wants” & “I needs” clearly marked. in hand…

Baseball to me is like good poetry. And I love the SF Giants… not because they’ve won a World Series in my lifetime, but just because. I fell in love in 1973, & have been smitten ever since. For better or for worse…

My Giants started the day 1 game out of the lead in the NL West… which leaves me hoping beyond hope that maybe This could be The Year that my Giants win it all. If they make the playoffs, we’ll see how it goes. I like their pitching, & am pleasantly surprised at the recent binge of clutch hitting.


I’ve been alive long enough to see the world change, & baseball with it. There was a time that the following quote by Jacque Barzun may have been true:

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball

I don’t think so anymore.

The pace of the game, subtle nuances that escape all but Vin Scully, the unwritten rules, & a 162 game season so rudely interrupted by the start of America’s real national pastime, football, have all combined to relegate baseball to a 2nd tier sport that slips year after year towards the brink of obscurity.

I’m on a study binge; kind of fun, as my study binges usually happen on the verge of something big for me & mine. Currently reading through When The Spirit Comes in Power.