Rambling On About My Glory Days: Don’t Believe Players When…
No, this is not another story about players using or not using steroids. This has to do with another question that becomes common as the season begins to wind down. As another trade deadline has come and gone fans should get ready for this question. Traded players are often asked about their old team and if they are pulling for that team to win. Almost always the players answer to this query is “Yes, I have a lot of friends over there.” I am sorry, but I don’t believe them. It is always a good feeling when another team wants you enough to trade for you, but there is also some disappointment that your previous team no longer did. That feeling of rejection is there no matter how necessary of a trade it was for the team trading you or how good you think the trade could be for your career. It still hurts and makes it tough if not impossible to root for the team that got rid of you.
I consider myself a pretty good person and grateful for what people have done for me. I was extremely grateful to the Los Angeles Dodgers for drafting me and providing me with great training to become a major league player, but when they traded me I had a hard time rooting for them to win. I sincerely wished the best for ex-teammates and coaches, but to truly want the organization to win, that was another thing. The same went for when I was traded by the Indians and released by the Mariners and White Sox; it was tough to root for them. I Thank God I didn’t play for more teams or I might not have anyone to root for.
All kidding aside, the good news is that time heals all wounds, at least wounds of this petty nature. Eventually, after being out of the game for a period of time one begins to look back with gratitude for the opportunity given, great friends made and for the great experiences the organizations provided. With time, you realize the disappointment mostly came from having to leave a somewhat comfortable situation – Ball Park, organization, living conditions and most of all good friends â€” for the unknown situation with another team. Organizations have to do what they think is best for the organization and over time you realize it was business and not personal.
Former major leaguer Jack Perconte is the author of The Making of a Hitter (http://jackperconte.com) and has a baseball instruction site that can be found at www.baseballcoachingtips.net. He has recently published his second book Raising an Athlete – How to Instill Confidence, Build Skills and Inspire a Love of Sport