The Giants have been in first place for a while now. Only a few weeks ago, they were 9 games out and the best team in baseball. The fans were loving it, and some people on the East Coast actually noticed. Then the June Swoon came along. This was a major component of each season while following the Giants in my youth, so historically, I learned it’s nothing to get too excited about. It happens, and then things get better again in July. But as the team dropped to 4 games in front of the pack, fans started forming an anxiety club.
Please note: the team is still in first place. They’re 3 games ahead of the guys from the South. So what’s the problem?
It’s been said many times (cliché alert ahead!) that baseball is like life. And we all know that it ain’t over til it’s over. Just like in life, you win a few, you lose a few. And, it’s a long season. There’s still plenty of baseball to play. Enough with the clichés, let’s address these comments.
Baseball really is a lot like life. Sometimes you have a great run, where everything is working well, your work and personal lives are just buzzing, and you seem to have everything under control. Then something happens and it starts to unravel, hopefully just a little here and there, but occasionally it’s a big unravel. And what do you do? You pick yourself up again and go on. You know you can handle the latest glitches in your life because you’ve done it before. You’ve learned to be resilient, handling those little or big problems that come your way, knowing that you can get through it. In fact, a little failure here and there is what makes us strong and builds character. I can hear Mom and Dad in my ear while I’m typing this, but they were right. None of us would be able to handle life if we didn’t have those successes and failures along the way.
So back to the Giants. It’s been a great run so far. They’ve shown that they’re a good team and can handle the ups and the downs. Even in the midst of a long losing streak, Tim Lincecum was able to throw his second no-hitter in 2 years yesterday. A huge accomplishment — congrats, Tim! — and a huge boost for the team and the fans.
But it’s a long season and there may be more roller coaster times along the way, just like we have at work or at home. Life happens. Baseball happens. Personally, I don’t get too worried until the last 2 months of the season unless it’s obvious that injuries and the baseball gods just aren’t looking favorably on the team. I do get nervous when a team is on the top all the way through the 162 games, because that’s hard to sustain and it doesn’t give a chance to practice that resiliency, which will come in handy going down the stretch to the post season.
Baseball is about teamwork, chemistry, individual accomplishments, support from the fans, and timing. All of the right ingredients have to come together so the team peaks at the right time. I’m OK if the Giants aren’t the top dog throughout the whole season. I expect them to be contenders, and I hope that they are peaking in September and throughout October. I welcome the ups and downs, just as I welcome them in my own life.
A problem with being in first place? I don’t have one.
As Marty Lurie always says, ‘It’s baseball. Anything can happen.’ Just like in life.