Metaphysics of Baseball

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a devoted Baseball fan. During baseball season, I schedule my time so that I can watch my favorite team (the Colorado Rockies) play every day it is broadcast. Lucky for me they televise 150 games per year. I listen to the other 12 regular season games on the radio. When I get rich, I will have season tickets in and visit the ball park often.

No matter who is in the playoffs, I watch all the playoff games, every year. When people ask me what it is about baseball that inspires such devotion, I find myself talking in metaphysical terms about America’s Past Time. As you can imagine, the opening scene in “Bull Durham,” brought me such joy! I was totally sympatico with Annie (the character played by Susan Sarandon). She had made an Altar to Baseball. (And a beautiful one at that.)

I could easily write a book titled “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Baseball.” So…with that in mind, I will write periodic articles about Lessons From Baseball — mostly Metaphysical.

The first lesson from Baseball is — “Reality is What You think It Is.”

Baseball players are notoriously the most superstitious of all athletes. They will put on their shoes and socks a certain way, wear “lucky” items, shave or not shave, eat or not eat certain foods, drive a certain route to the ball park, all to create the good luck they want. The bottom line is that they are trying to create the “mojo” to help them win.

Vladimir Guerrero, who currently plays with the Anaheim Angels — excuse me — the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was in a slump early this season. He has been one of the premier hitters in the game. Several of the sports commentators were saying he was past his prime and he looked out of shape. Some commented on his “Manny Ramirez-style” hair. A couple of weeks ago (June 23, I think), he cut his long dreds off – his first haircut in three years – and later that day, he started hitting again. He hit a double and a home run, getting 3 RBIs in his first two at bats.

The next day, Magglio Ordonez of the Detroit Tigers — a great hitter who was in the worst slump of his career – had a hair stylist cut off his long locks. He had trademark long curly hair, a look he had for at least four years. (The Tigers sold baseball hats with dark curly locks hanging out of them in honor of Magglio.) That night, he got two hits in four at bats in the game.

Both of these guys had been great hitters but they were mired in bad slumps. They decided to make a big change to change their hitting energy. You could argue that they changed their mechanics or they were seeing the ball better or they were facing pitchers they could hit more easily, and you might be right.

But, even if those things are true, they were changing something energetically in their loves. Those were haircuts on guys who didn’t get haircuts for years. Changing their hair so drastically, altering the energy around them helped them believe and feel that they were changing their hitting luck.

If you believe that making a big change stirs up the previously stagnant energy and therefore allows more success, then you will be more successful. Baseball players know this. When they are on a winning streak, they try to keep everything the same to maintain that energy. When they are on a losing streak, they start changing things to stir up the energy.

Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Young