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I 'column' as I seem 'em

November 3, 2011

You may have missed this, but there was a series of baseball games played recently known by people all over the United States as the “World Series”. Having been an avid sports fan all of my life, as well as a player and official, I was tuned in to every game, with Mark, my middle son, and his family alongside my wife and me nightly as we indulged in pizza, snacks, spaghetti, hot chocolate, and even a little Moo-llennium Crunch for good measure. My beloved Texas Rangers lost the World Series in 7 games although, generally speaking, they represented us extremely well and played some excellent baseball. Having recently lived in St. Louis and the surrounding area for almost a decade, I was privileged to attend a number of games at Busch Stadium and I will say without reservation that it is a spectacular venue to watch baseball, or any event for that matter. “Cardinal Nation” is quite a place and the fans there are unquestionably amazing in their passionate love and support for the Redbirds. The class of both organizations was on display for the world to see during this series and I am personally less devastated by a loss to the Cards than if had it any number of other teams. That being said, even still I have had to deal with PSF (Post-Series-Frustration) and I turn your attention to that issue for a few moments.
Now, I am not a frustrated person by nature, but a few things really irritated me during this series. It was somewhere around 10 p.m. during the infamous game 7 that Facebook readers around the world received my personal commentary on how to solve the inter-planetary
financial crisis; simply figure a way to convert the frustration of all Ranger fans into some type of intergalactic money. Poof! Everybody on all known planets, debt free!
I could certainly have been counted as one of that frustrated legion. I give Ron Washington pretty high marks for his handling of the 2011 season, bringing the oft-historically hapless Rangers to their second consecutive World Series, and even shepherding them to within one strike of the title on two occasions in Game 6. But my frustration thermometer began to rise as he made, what appeared to us educated Monday Morning Managers, a few really questionable decisions at best, and just plain stupid, at worst. I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt in every situation. That’s just the sweetheart I am. But his choices in shuttling questionable pitchers in and out at odd times, sending a pitcher to bat with 2 outs and the bases loaded while experienced hitters rode the pine, and several other unexplainable decisions made me wonder what Nolan Ryan’s thermometer might have read at times. And that’s not even addressing a St. Louis resident umpire’s momentum-changing call that was obviously wrong, which begs to implement instant replay.
But we life-long professional sports watchers know how to deal with frustration. We’ve been doing it for years. You see, I’m mature enough (I never use the “old” word...Redwood trees and the Rocky Mountains are old…people just get more mature) that all I do is quote that timeless motivational cliché “wait until next year”. Amazing how encouraged one can be about something still 11.9 months away!
This brings me to my main point to ponder. How do we really handle life’s frustrations? And make no mistake, dear reader, life is fraught
with them! Most of them are not as insignificant or non-life-altering in the big picture as a World Series. But just think about what frustration does for you if it isn’t handled correctly. Ulcers, high blood pressure, anger, and layers of more frustration are pretty much the expected end of such indulgence. So my word of counsel to all my dear readers is simple. Forget it. That’s right, just forget it. Truth is that very little of what frustrates us is worth a nickel anyway. Just try to remember that life is short no matter how long you live. And it is a sad waste of precious moments to spend them frustrated because MLB executives went behind closed doors and cancelled game six just to accommodate a potential record-breaking TV audience for a game 7 that allowed for Carpenter to pitch for St. Louis. Come on, follow my example and just forget it. You may not agree with anything I’ve said, but I column as I see ‘em!

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