A Pitcher’s Loss
The Atlanta Braves has been “my team” for many years. I grew up in a baseball loving family. We made summer trips to County Stadium in Milwaukee for two or three games per season. Eddie Matthews was my favorite, and he played third base. Now, Chipper Jones has been my favorite for many years, and guess what—he plays third base. If you follow baseball much, you know that the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta.
All that said, I happened to see the Braves play the Yankees on MLBN tonight. The starting pitcher, Mike Minor, did a good job and kept the Yankees at Zero. The Braves had a lead of 4-1 into the 8th inning. The relief pitcher (I have a handwritten journal entry of that subject coming up) literally threw the game away. He loaded up the bases, and Alex Rodriquez (“A-Rod”) tied a record held for 73 years by Lou Gehrig. A-Rod hit a grand- slam homerun! He now has 23 grand-slams in the record books.
Good for him. But, sad for the Braves. Mixed bag of emotions for me. How could I not be happy for A-Rod? Worst of all, the cameras zoomed in on the somber face of Mike Minor. He had a good game going and the manager took him out for one base hit on 7 1/3 innings and 90 pitches.
I wonder, if we knew, how many times we have thrown away the diligent work of someone else by our careless actions or words. Loved ones or friends had sown seeds of God’s Word, prayed, and instead of our watering that seed, we destroyed it. Careless living and unkind, even uncomely words make havoc.
My question as I looked on the steady, solemn face of Mike Minor was “How would he react in the clubhouse.” This was his teammate, after all. It is a tough choice to be able to say, “It happens. It is one game out of 162.”
You see, I had a bad day yesterday. I gave way to a bad attitude. But two dear sisters took the time to encourage me. “It happens,” they said. In saying that, they were planting new seed, watering the ground. After all, it is God that gives the increase. The kind eyes of the Shepherd pull me to Him. Another day. Another chance. Sweet Christians standing by to encourage.
“Be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one anohter even as Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
By the way, the same pitcher that gave up the grand slam also gave up two more runs, the Yankees won, 6 to 4.
Soon you will get the rest of the object lesson on the relief pitcher. I promise.