If you watched Monday’s playoff game featuring the Blue Jays and the Rangers you might have noticed that The Jays’ GM, John Gibbons pulled starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (right) with 2 outs in the 5th inning and replaced him with David Price (left).
Who cares right?
In Major League Baseball, a winning pitcher is defined as the pitcher who last pitched prior to the half-inning when the winning team took the lead for the last time.
If you are a pitcher and you play baseball, you want Wins. Team wins yes, and personal Wins. Personal Wins get you into the hall of fame, get you a bigger contract, get you the cover.
Even though Dickey pitched a fantastic 5 innings, he didn’t get the Win. Personally this sucks for him. He’s an older dude. He might never get a playoff win ever again. Playoff wins for starting pitchers are valuable things. He was clearly disappointed and who wouldn’t be, he got 95% of the way there to watch someone else go the last mile and cross the finish line.
The media tried to stir the pot, get him fired up. But he didn’t bite. He calmly and cooly said: (paraphrasing)
“We have a special team. You don’t get to play on a team like this often, and we all know it’s special. Did I want the Win, of course, I am a competitor, but I want the team to win more.”
Listening to him I realized that I am on a few special teams. At home, at work, in life, and on punt returns. Yet, I am human. Luckily I have an ego, and sometimes I can feel it pulling me in. Gnawing at me to get that personal Win. I am lucky because when I catch it in the act I can laugh at it.
You are probably on a special team too.
If you aren’t, join one.
If you can’t find one… build one.