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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Suicide Squeeze
2003-05-13 09:13
by Jon Weisman

Things I thought would never happen, or at least counted on never happening:

Monday night, Eric Gagne faces five batters and allows four runs.

This morning, I scrape the side of my car against a post while parking.

Maybe I can get Gagne to pay for the damage.

This was the first car mishap that I've caused since 1985, and there was no reason for it other than there was a tight space in a parking lot that was one-third full that I thought I could squeeze into. But I didn't squeeze enough.

You should see the scrape. It's bigger than home plate and just as white on my dark blue car.

I'm sitting here now thinking, how can I make this relevant to my readers? Lots of superficial comparisons pop into my head, like silly mistakes on the basepaths or walking the pitcher leading off an inning. But those don't take the immediate toll on your wallet the way a car accident does.

One way that this relates to baseball is that I'm trying to make myself feel better after a bitter experience. That's nothing new when it comes to rooting for the Dodgers - Monday night was no different. The entire baseball season is a quest for perspective.

So here goes.

Everyone blows it sometimes. Me. Gagne. Everyone.

Sometimes you're just gonna blow it for no good reason, but sometimes you've gotten by for no good reason.

There will come a time when the cost of this calamity will be a faint memory, with no emotional charge at all.

Okay, that's helping, but not enough.

I think I've stumbled onto the problem - and I think it actually does relate to the Dodgers. When something like this happens, you can have all the confidence in the world that it was an aberration, as Gagne surely has about himself and I basically do about myself. And yet, you're still staring into uncertainty. You don't really know whether your mishap is merely the sign that you're human, or the sign that you're Adrian Beltre. You don't know whether your run of misfortune is over, or whether it has just begun - and whether it will get a lot worse.

So what do you do? You refocus. You become more careful. You can't relax quite as much as perhaps you were, but you try to benefit from this new attention to the fundamentals.

And then you realize that, although Gagne and Beltre look better financially today than I do, their tightrope is a lot smaller to tiptoe across. Their passion and livelihood are at stake with every bad moment that can become a bad streak.

For me, it's just my livelihood, to the extent that dollars paid out for car repairs affect it. I will say that my passions have taken their own beatings from time to time, but it serves as a reminder that when things go wrong for ballplayers, no matter how good they are, they probably care and question themselves a hell of a lot more than we realize.

For me, overall, life is good. Today, in fact, is my wife's birthday, and though this car accident could have spoiled my celebration of it, I'm reminded that I'm damn lucky to be married to her and to be able to celebrate with her.

And I'm damn glad that my lapse of driving concentration came with a pillar, not a person.

You know, I think I actually feel a tiny bit better. The rest of you may be worse for wear for this therapeutic fooforall, but for me, I will face the unknown and get over this.

Thanks, baseball.

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