In The Jungle Book, Kipling introduces ‘jungle boy’ Mowgli and immediately presents his young readers with distinctions of humankind versus the remainder of the animal kingdom: a keen, specialized eyesight and the opposable thumb are two. Further, and discussed beautifully in Power, by Robert Greene, is man’s ability to use social power in concert with his physical gifts for behavior and performance that is far beyond the capacity of other beings.
Baseball maximizes to an exquisite nth degree the combination of physical and social powers, perhaps as few or no other activities do. And yet, for a given team, event or game, nothing is perfect. In every season of life, we need reassurance, a higher power, a father…someone behind us.
We started the 2017 season with Jay Bruce smokin’ the ball (‘Smoke That, Jay’), but no path is straight or easy. To see the team down at this point in the season is painful for fans after the past two years of riding relatively high. Terry Collins, with his obvious managerial, mentoring and social capacity, knew just how and when to drop his arm around Jacob deGrom’s shoulders for the world – but especially, for his pitcher and other team members – to see and know. It worked, with three wins in a row — but we have to keep the faith for the next 11 games against some very tough teams.
Get your spiritual game on, put your hands together, feel that arm around your shoulder, and let’s make some Holy Smoke.
Happy Father’s Day.
Montclair, New Jersey
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