Monday it starts. Baseball for real.
And Don Wakamatsu will suit up as a big league manager for the first time for real . Not just a coach, not just a manager grinding through spring training with a bran-new team trying to get out from under the shadow of a 101-loss team, but a manager who is hoping that his consistant message will resonate with his players and culminate in good results.
“We’ve just gone through six or seven weeks of grind, but the message to the club from this day forward is still going to be, ‘This is where you’re at now. What do we need to work on?'” Wakamatsu said. “I’m trying to get everybody to understand that it’s not just about April 6. It’s about how much we can make these guys improve through the course of the year because some of them are young and they’re going to be here a long time.
“I’ve told them, and I will continue to tell them, ‘I want you to be the best player you’ve ever been in your life at the end of the season.’ To me, that eliminates the, ‘I’ve got to do it today’ feeling. Not that I’m discounting getting out of the gate, but I don’t subscribe to that. That’s my philosophy in a nutshell, to try and get better and better and better and put any fires out that come along during the season.”
And then there’s a touching and interesting story about Don’s heritage…
I so appreciate and admire those who had to struggle and fight and persevere to get where they are in life. And, while I wouldn’t trade my own “easy and sheltered” upbringing, in some ways it makes me feel less deserving and certainly makes me want to ensure that my own children are reminded that not everyone was or is born with a silver spoon.