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.
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
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
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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