Thursday, August 20, 2009

When one man doesn't do his job

It is 4:22 on a 103 degree Sunday afternoon in Hutto, Texas.

You have pitched nine scoreless innings in this, the championship game of Texas Continental Amateur Baseball.

You have puked twice. Drank two liters of Gatorade. Had an icepack around your neck since warm-ups. You’re dizzy, nauseated and done.

The coach has just lifted you for a pinch hitter.

The other team has pieced together a shutout themselves. Three guys throwing alot of junk have kept your team scoreless with some amazing defense.

Your team has a runner at first and third with one out thanks to a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a hit batter.

The pinch hitter is a stud. Lots of power. Been scouted for two years. Cocky. Likes the pressure.

He gets to the box and looks at your coach in the third base box. He’s shocked to see the bunt sign.

He knows what the coach wants. Push a bunt between the pitcher and first base. The runner at third scores. You win the game.

He gets back in the box. Pitcher winds, batter squares, and an 87 MPH fastball is on the way.

He pops it up.

An eighteen year old kid that has been playing baseball since he was 5, been to more camps and private coaching clinics than you can count, pops up a bunt. Didn’t get the bat in proper position. Bat head drops. Pops it up.

Both runners break.

The catcher snags it. Catcher fires to third and the runner is tagged for the third out. Inning over.

In the top of the tenth, the other team scores three. Your team fails to score in the last at bat. Your team loses.

That’s what happens when one man doesn’t do his job.

All the efforts of others can be ruined. A perfect strategy is for naught if not executed properly. Hopes, dreams, lives can go out the window.

When one man doesn’t do his job, it can be disastrous.

The father that doesn’t instill values in his children.

The investment banker that loses sight of who owns the money he is managing.

The teacher that assumes a child is dumb by missing her dyslexia.

The preacher that becomes more important than the message.

The CEO who always chooses safety rather than taking any chances.

The journalist who trusts an unreliable source for the sake of a scoop.

The retiree who is sure he can drive home two miles from the bar.

The college graduate who thinks fighting wars is someone else’s job.

The lawyer that’s too busy to be a proper advocate for his client.

The young man that can’t and won’t say no.

The politician that sends his military to war in a conflict he doesn’t have a clue about.

When one man doesn’t do his job, he fails himself, and the implications can ripple for miles and generations.

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