Daily Archives: March 29, 2007

Prior knowledge

Back in January I posted a comment about Cubs pitcher Mark Prior and his gall in asking for a raise. Yesterday I read that his rehab isn’t coming along as expected and he is being optioned to the Cubs’ AAA farm club in Iowa. Amazing isn’t it?

He had to know he wasn’t doing very well when he asked for more money. Guess he was trying to get as much out of the gravy train he’s been riding since 2003 before the Cubs’ organization figured out that there was no one behind the curtain anymore. At least the Cubs will be able to get an occasional inning out of Kerry Wood before he finally becomes a memory as well.

It’s time to face the music. Prior is done. Don’t count on him coming back to be your fifth starter, much less your first. In the five stages of death the first is denial. Time for the Cubs organization to move past that stage and into anger — anger that they’ve wasted this many years waiting for a rehab that’s never going to happen. In fact, Robert Downey Jr. has a better chance of rehab being successful than Prior. Sad, but true.

The difference determination makes

Had another one of those experiences last night that goes to prove once again that it’s not the teacher, it’s the student that makes the success.

One of my pitching students, a young lady named Rae Ann, has been working on learning the screwball all winter. She actually has the spin down, and has had it for a while. But she has been unable to get her arm to go along the right path to get it over the plate. She has consistently been well inside on her throwing side (lefty pitcher).

Last night the pitch was 95% there. A few missed inside still, but she was getting a lot of them over with good movement. Her dad told me she went out for three hours to work on it one day over the weekend, then spent another hour outside the next day doing the same thing. She had decided that she was going to get this pitch, come hell or high water, and darned if she didn’t!

Learning new things, whether it’s a pitch, hitting, playing a musical instrument, or even riding a bicycle doesn’t happen overnight. It only happens when you are determined to make it happen. Once you make that decision to achieve a goal, and that nothing will stop you, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It was exciting to see Rae Ann throwing that pitch. I’m sure it will serve her well this summer. More importantly, though, the lesson she learned about working at something you really want will serve her well long after her softball days are done.

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