A Lesson About Inchworms
It’s boring and a cliché and I feel like I say it all the time — but as players you really do approach a season one game at a time. You can’t worry about what happened before – that we lost three out of four to the Reds and a tough one last night to the Cubs. It doesn’t matter. Today we’re playing another one against the Cubs and we have to win today.
There is so much failure and negativity in baseball – the best hitters fail seven of ten times, etc. etc. – that the ones who make it to the Major Leagues are the ones who have not let failure crush them.
I let go of things pretty well, though that slump I was in for a while challenged my best coping skills. It was difficult because I was doing poorly AND our team was doing poorly. If you’re not doing well but the team’s winning, it’s a lot easier to stay positive. Whatever bad stuff might be going on at the field, I try to let go of it on the ride home. I’ll listen to music. Or I’ll go over what I could have done differently. By the time I walk in the door, I’ve put it all away and am ready to enjoy my family.
Braylyn is seven months old now. For the longest time she was doing The Scoot. She’ll get up on hands and knees and just kind of fall forward. She’d do this over and over, inching a bit farther each time. We called it the Inchworm. We were down in San Diego a couple days before the All-Star break. I returned to the hotel after a game one night and Jalynne said Braylyn had crawled that day. I was thinking, “Sure. She’s just doing the Inchworm.’’
Then, as if she could read my mind, Braylyn promptly crawled across the floor. The Inchworm was gone, just like that. Braylyn hasn’t looked back.
Jalynne is bracing for her first trip without Braylyn. Our families are invited along for our visit to the White House on Monday, so Braylyn is staying with Jalynne’s mother in LA. Jalynne will be with me in Washington, D.C., Sunday and Monday and in Philadelphia Tuesday. She’ll fly back to LA Wednesday. We’re both nervous, even though we know Braylyn will be fine with her grandparents. Still, you worry about how a baby feels when she’s separated from her mom for the first time.
I think this trip to the White House will be more meaningful than in 2011. I wasn’t on the World Series team, so this time I’ll feel more a part of things. Also – that White House trip in 2011 was part of my last road trip of the year (until I returned with rest of the September call-ups). We went from the White House to Philadelphia then Cincinnati. I got sent down in Cincinnati. I’m feeling a little safer this year.
That’s it for now.
I’ll try to post more regularly. Thanks for reading and for always supporting us no matter what. Everyone here in the clubhouse knows how lucky we are to have fans like you.