Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Portrait of a Pitcher

You do not understand what it is like to be a pitcher.

*  Perhaps you can relate to the feeling of responsibility and pressure, all eyes on you, waiting, until you're ready to let fire.

*  Perhaps you can relate to the uncertainty, knowing you're about to give your all, but not knowing if it will be enough.

*  Perhaps you can relate to the direct competition, being measured against another, someone who might just be better than you -- or might simply get lucky when it counts, ruining your best efforts, leaving you shocked and bitter.

*  Perhaps you can relate to the job instability, knowing that your boss is more than willing to bring someone else in should he suspect that you're not up to performing your job.

*  Perhaps you can relate to the micromanaged performance assessment, having your every product examined and evaluated by an arbitrator whose standards shift unpredictably.  Worse, you will be quickly removed from your position and disciplined should you show any sign of frustration toward his verdict.  Regardless of evidence, you will not win an argument with him.  Not now.  Not ever.

Yes, perhaps you can relate to all of this, but you cannot relate to the overriding pitcher's fear that at any moment, at any place, at any time, there is a high risk of suffering an injury that will end your year -- and, possibly, your career.

Imagine a teacher in the midst of a lesson suddenly dropping down to her or his knees with a yell of agony - a teaching muscle has been torn.  Imagine a doctor telling a lawyer in a sad, grim tone, "I'm sorry.  You will not practice law again."

It doesn't happen, except to pitchers.  Unless you're a pitcher, you don't understand.


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