Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Wow. What began in late September last year is done, for a few weeks anyway.
I’ll admit I’m a little exhausted, emotionally and psychologically. Am I cut out to manage long term? Time will tell.
I’ve been playing baseball in some form or fashion for most of my life. I’ve always loved the game. When played well it’s beautiful. It’s elegant. It’s a thinking man’s game. It’s a game where raw talent and physical ability will only take you so far. When new onlookers see players on the field just “standing around,” know there are 100 different possible scenarios of what could come next running through those players’ heads.
Baseball will make grown men jump up and down with excitement like little boys. It will also make them cry and humble the most grizzled veterans.
I learned a lot my first season as a manager. I learned a lot about teaching and how to juggle multiple, competing interests from my fellow coaches. I learned a lot about a lot of things from my players. I am a better person for all of it and to all of you I say, “thank you.”
I also want to thank all the parents, the spouses, the significant others, the brothers, the sisters, the aunts and uncles, the children, and the fans who came out to support your players this season. It means a lot to all of us to have you take time out of your day on a hot Sunday afternoon to sit on metal bleachers with no shade to root us on. We see you. We hear you. We love you.
We had an amazing season. In January we had coaches and a name and no players. I was worried we might be overstretching ourselves starting off in Division II being an expansion team. Six months later we took the second seed and earned a first round bye in the playoffs. Ultimately, our season ended short of our ultimate goal but we never gave up and fought hard until the last out was made. I couldn’t have asked anything more from my team.
I wish we could have played in and ultimately won the championship but life doesn’t always work out how you want it to. Hopefully you enjoy the ride along the way regardless the final outcome. That’s not a baseball lesson but a life one it took me far too long to learn.
Although our championship aspirations fell short, from day 1 I told my players and coaches my personal measure of success was if I could foster an enjoyable coaching experience for my coaches and an enjoyable player experience for my players. I tried the best I could to achieve those goals. Hopefully, I met your expectations.
For those players that were disappointed about their playing time or their number of at bats or anything that happened on our journey together, please know that I tried to strike a balance between everyone getting on the field and getting their money’s worth against giving the team the best chance at winning. Often times those goals are at odds and as a manager it can feel like balancing three spinning plates at once. That goes for the entire management experience really.
Along the way I know I made a lot of mistakes. I made bad baseball decisions. I had communication mishaps. I acted out of frustration when I should have had more compassion. If I hurt or offended you, please know that was never my intention and please know that I apologize. I will learn from those mistakes and try to do better next season. Ultimately, that’s the best any of us can do.
I have more that I could say but I’ll stop for now. I think I’ll write more often next season as I find it cathartic. Whether anyone reads what I have to say is less relevant. It’s just a nice stress reliever for an emotional guy like me.
Until next time. Good night and good luck.