Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

When to PRESS ON!

Last night while we were warming up on a sultry, well groomed youth league park in Plano…my son, Luke and his Ranger Team were about to play the last game of the season…and RA Dickey was throwing a second 1 hitter in a row…the first time since 1988 when Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays threw two of those one hit wonders.  It should be noted that the cruel fate of baseball had both of Stieb’s back to back no hit outings being broken up with 2 outs, 2 strikes... in the ninth inning…oh the brutal reality.

I remember that 1996 spring day, on my commute home, when cruel fate would strike… just 8 years later from when the Baseball gods wreaked havac on Stiebs back to back one hit games.  The Rangers had sign RA Dickey to the “Big Leagues” with an impressive signing bonus of $810,000.00.  For a change, the Texas Rangers were focusing on a pitching phenom…a total paradigm shift from “lets bludgeon to death the other team with big bats.”
A Rangers physician saw Dickey’s right throwing arm hanging oddly in a photo and requested further evaluation.  The evaluation completed and Dickey’s signing bonus plummeted….to $75,000.00…the reason…Dickey had no ulnar collateral ligament of elbow joint.  Doctors were bewildered of how he could even perform day to day task without enormous pain…little lone hurl an 87 mph fast ball.  He labored in the minors…made it to the majors in 2001….but his stuff wasn’t very good…and in 2006 the Rangers slotted him as the 5th hurler in the rotation only to be rocked by giving up 6 home runs in his season start.
In 2007, a guy by the name of Doug Melvin, GM for the Milwaukee Brewers signed him to the organization…Melvin should ring a bell for the Rangers fan…he was the GM for the Texas Rangers when they signed Dickey in 1996.  To cut to the chase…and to be brutally honest…Dickey’s ERA looked more like James LeBron’s rebound average than a big league pitching ERA.  He bounced around in the minors…from the Brewers…to the Mariners…then on to the Mets…
Somewhere along the way, RA Dickey learned how to throw the knuckle ball…yep…the much maligned knuckle ball.  The pitch that will give the batter fits…heck…most the time the pitcher doesn’t know where it’s going…but it seems Dickey throws it different…he actually pounds the strike zone with it…he doesn’t walk hitters with it…and here is the kicker…it can range in speed from 83 mph to 55 mph…that fact alone makes me want to write bad checks.  His ERA is now where “Holy Cow he can Pitch” ERA’s should be…teams that face the Mets now calculate out where Dickey is in the rotation and pray to the powers to be that allow the same brutal reality that faced Dickey back in 1996 to show mercy on their poor hitting souls in 2012.
This eclectic, avid reader and born again Christian is an enigmatic personality that has scores of life’s lessons wrapped up in his biography.  You never give up…you never quit…even when you labor in anonymity…you Press On despite what cruel reality comes your way...and continue to evaluate who you are…what you are…adapt…over come…and when you can’t seem to throw the fast ball to get an out…do something unorthodox…like maybe the knuckle…yeah…throw that knuckle…