Games 3 and 4 of the World Series have proven at least one thing: if you watch baseball long enough, you’ll see something you’ve never seen before. In fact, you’ll see things no one has ever seen before.
Game 3 ended on an obstruction call, a first in World Series history. Game 4 ended on a pickoff, also a first. The baseball has not been good in this series, but the series itself has proven to be must-see baseball.
Two lessons so far, one from Game 3 and one from Game 4:
From Game 3: If you live by impulse, you will die by impulse. If you’re a baseball fan, by now you’ve seen the way Game 3 ended. The focus of the postgame comments was on the oddity of the obstruction call that ended the game. However, the real problem was the impulsiveness shown by Saltalamacchia. In reality, he never had a chance to get Craig out at third. He simply looked up and saw a runner and threw the ball without thinking. That’s the reason the Red Sox lost in the 9th inning. Obstruction had nothing to do with it. Because he made the play on pure impulse, Saltalamacchia cost his team a game.
Consider this a good life lesson: if you live by impulse, you will die by impulse. Eventually, the things you do without thinking will destroy you. It’s inevitable. So, stop today and ask God for wisdom.
From Game 4: don’t let instruction go in one ear and out the other. Kolten Wong, the Cardinals’ rookie reserve infielder, was put into the game to run for Allen Craig. It was the 9th inning and Boston was up 4-2 with two outs. Carlos Beltran, the Cardinals’ most productive offensive player was at the plate. Wong’s only job was to make sure he didn’t get picked off first base. He failed. Wandering too far off the bag, Wong was unable to get back on a routine pickoff attempt by the Red Sox. Game over.
Another good life lesson: don’t let instruction go in one ear and out the other. Wong is a great player, a top prospect. But, his manager, Mike Matheny, couldn’t defend his mental lapse that ended the game. Matheny told reporters that Wong had just been told to stay close and avoid a pickoff. Wong isn’t stupid. He’s not an idiot. He made a mistake. Once he got on first base and the pressure of the game surrounded him, he forgot what he had been told. Whether he meant to or not, he let instruction go in one ear and out the other. It cost his team a chance to score. Instruction from the Lord and from godly people is something we must commit to memory. We can’t just nod at it and then let the pressures we face cause us to forget what we have been taught. This is hard, but it’s vital.
Impulse, Ignoring Instruction…this World Series hasn’t been pretty, but it can teach us a lot about ourselves.