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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On the Heartache of Brooks Conrad

Although I'm a SF Giants fan, my heart just aches when I watch replays of the errors that Atlanta 2nd baseman Brooks Conrad made that allowed the Giants to win the third game of the National League Division Series playoff.  In college and minor league ball I had my share of errors that cost my team the game, and I remember how sometimes I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. I can't imagine what it must feel like to do that in a playoff game, in front of 40,000 fans and on National TV (just imagine what Bill Buckner must have felt like after he made that error in the 1986 World Series!).

I just hope that Conrad's errors don't end up defining who he sees himself to be. Some professional athletes never seem to recover from things like this. An old teammate of mine from my playing days in Alaska, pitcher Tom Niedenfuer of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was never the same (i.e., he wasn't as effective a pitcher) after Jack Clark hit a key homer off him in the playoffs back in the mid-1980s.

I only hope that in the end Conrad realizes that there is more to life than baseball.  It's a great game, but it's still just a game.

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