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Ann Cannon: Baseball can teach you a lot about life

By Ann Cannon

| Tribune Columnist

First Published Jul 22 2014 06:51 am • Last Updated Jul 22 2014 07:33 pm

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time watching baseball.

I watched my brothers play when we were kids. And then I watched my kids play when they were kids. And now I watch those kids, aka The Salt Lake Bees, on a regular basis. Also, I listen casually to games (I’m not too picky, although I avoid Rockies broadcasts) on the radio or TV because summer just isn’t summer unless there’s a pot of geraniums on the front porch and an announcer’s voice within earshot.

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Like I said. That’s a LOT of baseball.

I don’t regard any of the hours I’ve spent following games as time wasted, because baseball can teach you a lot about life. It’s true! For example?

• Calls don’t always go your way. Obviously. Particularly when the ump is an idiot. But whatever. Your job is to deal with it.

• Sometimes the people around you are going to make mistakes. Which is frustrating. Especially when you’re doing your part.

• On the other hand, you’re going to make mistakes, too. Which means, of course, you’re going to frustrate the people around you. You might want to keep that in mind when you feel like going off on someone else.

• Karma happens. If you throw a beanball at someone, someone will throw a beanball at you. Except, of course, if you play in the American League. Then they’ll just throw the beanball at one of your teammates.

• Just because something is "retro" doesn’t mean it’s awesome. Take a look at the Padres’ throwback uniforms, and you’ll see what I mean.

• Standing around with teammates on a field of grass beneath a starry sky isn’t a bad way to pass a summer evening. The same could be said of spending time with family and friends.


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• My brother Jimmy points out that it’s better to be in the game than to sit on the bench providing chatter. However, it’s better to be on the bench providing chatter than to not be involved. All things being equal, I’d rather be in the game.

• Baseball can be pretty boring sometimes. So can life.

• On the other hand, exciting stuff can suddenly erupt. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it probably won’t last for long.

• Don’t hesitate to take time off from the game to buy a Coke and a bag of peanuts, because (trust me) the game will still be there when you get back. Taking a break now and then is always good idea. Especially if food is involved.

• Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice for the greater good of the team. Which isn’t always fun for you personally, of course. But there it is.

• You don’t need to apologize for winning. Women, in particular, feel the need to apologize for competence. We should knock that off.

• On the other hand, you shouldn’t make excuses for losing. Figure out what went wrong and try to fix it instead.

• You’re not always going to hit a home run. But here’s the good news: You don’t always have to.

• There’s still time to turn things around. The great thing about baseball is that you don’t play against a clock, which means that even if you’re behind when going into the bottom of the ninth, there’s always the possibility for a rally. I like to think a person can always change the direction of his or life.

features@sltrib.com



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