By now you’ve all seen it. Carl Crawford robbing my boy Brad Hawpe of a homerun in the all-star game. Not cool. Great job for him and the American League but so not cool for Brad in his first at bat in his first all-star game and a chance for America to see one of the best right fielders in baseball. It got me thinking though. A few more inches and the ball is a homerun out of the reach of Crawford’s glove and life is completely changed. Just a few inches..
Recently if you’ve dropped by I Live for This written by one Mrs. Emily Marshall, you’ve read that she and I were able to take some time out to enjoy the American pasttime in the great stadium of Coors Field.
She asked me how life was going and all I could respond was that I felt like I was a giant 747 stuck in a holding pattern. Not landing and not flying, I was just seemingly revolving in a circle trying to figure out the best way to maneuver. Not long after I felt a presence greater than me and I had to smile as I stopped in time to savor the moment. I excused myself to take and picture to capture that memory and when I came back, Emily had asked me if I had gotten my picture.
I sure did.
I laughed as I was posting this, because I remembered taking it and I had moved a few inches over a few times trying to get what I considered the perfect picture. I wanted to remember that feeling and how beautiful the park looked and what a perfect temperature a summer evening can bring. Just a few inches…
It was amazing the next night and how the promise of a few inches of rain could immediately stop a game. Scoreboard read threats of a heavier down pour and lightning, stopping the game in it’s tracks.
Coors rain out by Tom Walsh
A few inches of rain could flood a field and a lot of baseball fans.
The more I thought the more it seemed a few inches could change so much..
How many men would love just a few more inches to work with..?
How many caught stealing second could have stolen bases if they had been a few inches under the tag..?
How many soldiers would still be alive if the bullet had been a few inches farther over?
How many hearts would not be broken if nice words had fallen a few inches closer to the heart or retaliatory words had been a few inches farther away..?
How many homeruns would there be if a few more sliders stayed up just a few more inches..?
How many people would have won the lottery had they been a few inches ahead in the line where the winning ticket was purchased..?
If you heard from Emily, I tried my best to mentor the eager young baseball fan to score some autographs. She had gotten some before at promotional events, but I learned never any at a ballgame.
Before too long, she would figure out that getting autographs at times was just a matter of
inches. After missing out on an opportunity with Chris Ianetta the first day, I was quick to point out where to put the item to be autographed and it was, you guessed it, just a few inches further.
Bam, calling the spirit of Billy Mays (RIP), Emily had not only perfected her technique but had used all the vicarious knowledge I could give to score not one, but three autographs the next day. Bam, Chris Ianetta could now be checked off the list. Emily had her first autograph at a big league stadium.
The always gentleman Clint Barmes took Emily’s pen, went to place his down on the wall, and just like that as it was falling, caught it within inches of it’s departure. Of course being the guy I am, I had to point out I “expected nothing else from our sure handed second baseman.” It got a genuine smile and it was a compliment I was happy to give.
I explained to Emily that ever since I had first met Clint in his Triple-A days many years ago, he has been and I presume will always be a class act. He’s about as humble and nice a guy you could ever expect in a baseball player and I’ve always loved him for that. I still keep his autographs from the Triple-A days with the same regard as his now. Who knows, maybe had his life or a major life experience like him falling down carrying a slab of deer meat in his rookie of the year run in 2005 and had him falling a few inches differently and not breaking his collar bone, he becomes a major idiot?
Clint Barmes by Tom Walsh
Personally, Barmie (as we call him around these parts) I’m glad you never lost that sense of humility you have always carried with you. Maybe it seemed like that injury years ago was an unfair place to get hurt and a few inches the other way, but I like the way it’s turned out.
This poor guy had a blood clot that could have travelled a few inches over into his heart and killed him.
Aaron Cook by Tom Walsh
Before the end of the season, I’d like to see his knuckleball dropping a few more inches and him getting back into that number one starter role we need him to be to overtake the Dodgers.
But you get the point and so does my leg as I need to move this laptop a few inches off it before it gets burned.
Just remember though, whenever it seems like miles before a break in the circumstances, those miles are just made up of inches and it just takes a few…