a little over a month ago, when my dog was still in the hunt, i stayed up late to watch the conclusion of the marlins - cardinals game. if memory serves, the cardinals were trailing 3 - 1 in the bottom of the eighth when armando benitez stomped to the mound and recorded two quick outs.
then the game went weird.
benitez quickly induced a weak chop to short that hanley ramirez cleanly fielded and immediately looped over the first baseman's head. at that moment i was as elated as benitez was pissed.
after cursing ramirez, making a lewd gesture to his crotch and wondering aloud why he ignored his spring training ritual by failing to slaughter three chickens to the lady of guadalupe, benitez decided that he could throw fastballs by the bottom half of the cardinals order.
unsurprisingly, benitez was wrong. after fouling back two pitches or so molina slashed a single to the gap to pull the cardinals within a run. then after molina advanced on a hermedia error, ryan ludwick thwacked a four seamer into the visiting bullpen for the lead. at that point fredi gonzales finally walked to the mound to pull benitez and the whole infield, sans ramirez, walked to the mound to strategize.
after the inning i was so convinced that benitez would attack ramirez that i sat on the edge of my seat. according to espn's rob neyer benitez is the best pitcher since zambrano to successfully pair severe anger issues with such a pithy iq. as you might have guessed, the cardinals went on to win the game and thus experienced a small victory in what has been a season (for fair weather fans) to forget.
i mention this simply because often when i face a relational conflict at work or am overwhelmed by the imbecility of the general populace i react a lot like benitez.* for instance, just this morning, when dealing with mind numbing inefficiency at rectangle, i felt like denouncing the social work status quo and flaming every bleeding ego within a fifteen cube radius. fortunately, instead of aggressively goring my coworkers and deemphasizing my clients' job searches in order to start one of my own, i had the wisdom to call upon my consilieres who were more than willing to hear me out and help me strategiez a better way forward.
one of those consilieres is a former ed** of a homeless organization in the midwest. this young leader, who has been recently cited by the milwaukee journal sentinel as robert de niro's doppelganger, recently told me that he once began a staff training by passing around a baseball to each member of his staff. after giving the staff a few moments to fondle the rawhide and fiddle with the seams, de niro's doppelganger asked the staff what would happen if a pitcher threw nothing but high heat to every batter he faced. inevitably, the staff concluded that if all a pitcher brought was high heat he would eventually walk way too many batters and be taken yard far more often than he would like. at that, the ed reminded his staff that just like jeff "soupy" suppan relies on a wide array of pitches to achieve success, his staff needed to diversify their approaches if they wanted their clients to taste success.
so, on account of my rectangle experience and consiliere's advice, i'm desperately trying to develop my secondary pitches. as much as i'd like to tell you otherwise, i'm learning that when it comes to healthy human interaction the old number 1 just isn't enough.
* but not zambrano. my 37 iq puts me in a class far above the big z.
** for the laymen among you, that's an abbreviation for executive director, not erectile dysfunction. get your heads out of the gutter.
A Blessing for The Magi
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