Baseball: A Metaphor for Life

Baseball is famous for being a game of averages. As the number of events grows, so too does adherence to the mean. This is why Yasiel Puig’s upcoming decline can be predicted with confidence, and if it doesn’t happen in the second half of this season, it will happen next season. Or the next. Or he’s just the best hitter of all-time.

Life is a lot like baseball. Every day there’s a game, and most don’t feel all that important. Some days you obliterate your average — you may even do this for a chunk of days in a row, which in baseball would be called being hot, or in the zone, or on a streak. But then the roller coaster comes down, and you lose a friend or get fired or get wasted and make an ass out of yourself or unwittingly insult someone or sit around and stare at a television screen or don’t pursue your goals or just go 0-for-4. These days bring your batting average down, and at the end of it all, you will have batted your average. That much I promise.

Raul Ibanez – The Whiff

So then, the trick is to do the things that are necessary to improve your average. The highs can be higher, or more frequent, with a higher average than they can be with a lower average. The lows will still come, but maybe they won’t be as low. In the end, you hit .300 rather than .250.

Today, I went 0-for-4. I came home and planned to do a quick load of laundry. In the words of Walter Sobchak, “my dirty undies, dude. The whites.” As I’m putting together the load of darks that will make me feel like I’m washing clothes more efficiently in the adjacent machines in the basement, I look at the pair of shorts that I plan to wear around 2 p.m. when the whole excursion is over and done with. They’ve been worn, probably only once, and not yesterday. They are sitting on this trunk-thing that I use to store shit that I don’t need. It’s not hoarding if you can’t see it. Anyway, they are my favorite khaki shorts. I have some other shorts to go to, but these are the ones I want to wear today. I look at them and consider, for a long three seconds, putting them in the laundry basket and guaranteeing the freshest possible future me. I decide against it, because they aren’t dirty and over-washing shit just ruins it faster. I take the two loads downstairs and start the washer. I come back upstairs.

At this point, it’s high time for my second coffee of the day (and first in six hours). I rinse out the reusable foil K-cup thing because I’m a piece of shit with a Keurig machine at my house and the trash islands are my fault. So is all the flooding. Fuck me… fuckin’ asshole. But in all seriousness, I only use it as a hot water dispenser. An oversized, overpriced, underperforming hot water dispenser. And at the time French pressing just seemed like too much work, and I tend to drink All Of The Coffee.

Step 1: Fill the mug this high. Step 2: Lift mug. Step 3: Walk around and bend to pick things up next to the clothes you want to wear. Step 4: It’s okay to cry.

So, given that I want the 10-ounce size, what do I do? I act per my average, and go for the 11-ounce mug with the solid three-finger handle. Why do I do this? I don’t know, maybe it feels more efficient, again. I’ll tell you what it actually is: stupid. It’s stupid to fill any container with liquid and an open top to 91% capacity. That is not smart. Obviously, I take my coffee into the bedroom to grab my laptop that is just to the right of the shorts, on the trunk-thing that never gets opened. Leaving the room for error that I did, my error overcomes the “room,” and I end up with the only pair of shorts I wanted to wear today blotched with a splatter pattern similar to at least one I encountered when teenage me met pictures of Marisa Miller. All this while my two shittier, not special pairs of shorts are three flights below in the midst of the only wash cycle that I am willing to go through today.

Hey... are you watching that coffee mug?

Hey… are you watching that coffee mug?

The first thought was, “Fuck, are you serious?” The second was, “Of course you would do that you dumbass. Why did you grab the small mug?” The third was, “What happened here was simply below your average. The problem is not that below average performances or results will happen, because that is a guarantee for everyone anyway. The problem is that your average is not high enough. The problem is that you chose not to wash the shorts you specifically picked out to wear when the laundry was done, and also that you chose the smallest possible mug from a plethora of options that would have easily held the waving line of coffee between their rims.”

It is for reasons like these that it is imperative that we work hard, work smart, and learn from our experiences in order to raise our batting averages. An 0-for-4 is always around the corner, but they tend to be fewer and farther between for .320 hitters than for .260 hitters. Ergo, we gotta raise that average. To infrequent-ify shit like today.


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