July 9, 2012 — Am I the type of person who gives up too easy?
I was last night. I spent a quiet Sunday evening watching the Texas Rangers host the Minnesota Twins in the last game before the All-Star break. As the game entered the 9th inning with the Twins leading, 1-0, I was determined to continue believing the Rangers would plate the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth.
But then I lost faith. The Rangers brought in closer Joe Nathan despite trailing by a run. Nathan failed to demonstrate his usual closing dominance and instead allowed a couple of base runners. Then the pitcher committed a throwing error that played a key role in the Twins increasing their lead to 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth.
The thing is, I didn’t even see the Twins plate their third run. Disgusted with the Rangers, who I assumed were about to lose for the sixth time in seven games, I changed the channel and returned a phone call that was a bit overdue. During that phone call, while the Rangers were in the process of coming back in the bottom of the ninth, I cursed the Rangers and wondered aloud how they could have the best record in baseball and still make me so angry.
I never went back to the baseball game. I read and dorked around in my music room and then went back to read some more.
And then I opened up Flipboard on my iPad, where a friend had posted a picture from the Ranger game. She seemed excited about the outcome, so I assumed she had just posted a photo from the previous night, when the Rangers scored a run in the bottom of the 10th to win, 4-3. But then I looked the to right of the page and noticed several other friends expressing excitement over the Rangers’ comeback win.
The Rangers seized a win that probably has more significance than merely a notch in the win column. So I was happy. But, of course, I was also a little disappointed in myself. Mostly because it makes me wonder how many times I’ve given up on myself, admitting defeat when victory was still a possibility.
It’s easy to look at the facts. The Rangers had been shut out through eight innings and going into the ninth found themselves down three runs. Collectively, the Rangers were not swinging the bat well. That was enough evidence of a looming loss for me to change the channel and forget about the game for the next couple of hours. And maybe ninety percent of the time, I would have been right.
So maybe this will help me to live for that other ten percent.