Guest blog post by Mike Edmisten
I went to a fight this weekend and a baseball game broke out.
Ok, I know that's an old, corny cliché . Pretty true, though. I was at the game this week where the Reds and Cardinals lost control and a melee broke out right behind home plate. After a few days, I thought I'd share a few thoughts about the incident.
1. Running your mouth invites trouble. Brandon Phillips made some…um…not-so-nice comments about the Cardinals. I like BP. I think he's a great player (albeit off his game right now). But he talks a lot. And this time it got him and his team into trouble. "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." (Proverbs 10:29) BP might want to pin that one up in his locker.
2. Teammates fight for each other. You can say what you want about the fight. It was immature. Foolishness. Uncalled for. And you'd be right on all counts. But this truth is also right…you've got to be willing to stand up for a teammate. Even when that teammate isn't perfect. We don't know what kind of conversations happened between BP and the rest of the Reds in the locker room. But on the field, it was all for one and one for all.
Here's what Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes said. “It’s 100 percent defend your guy, regardless of what he says or doesn’t say. Once we get in the clubhouse, we can go over some things. But in between the lines with the opponent, we absolutely got to defend our own.”
Same goes for the Cardinals. When one of them got into a scrape, the whole team rallied to his side.
Makes me wonder how the church would look if we always chose to fight for one another instead of against one another. We are, after all, on the same team.
3. Leaders take charge. One of the most impressive things about this incident is how the umpires handled it. They took control as quickly as possible. The ejected both managers. They warned every pitcher that entered the game that if he hit a batter, he and the acting manager would ejected.
And nothing more happened. We thought it was going to be a rowdy, unpredictable game considering that the fight broke out in the first inning. Actually, that was the end of it. The umpires took control and quelled it.
When tensions rise, what is needed is strong, swift, decisive leadership. It is not the time for weakness or uncertainty. A leader's metal is tested most in the tense moments.
4. You will live to fight another day. This fight (and the three game sweep) does not spell the end of the Reds' season. It also does not automatically usher the Cards into the playoffs. There is a lot of baseball yet to be played.
You've got to keep swinging. Life may not be going the way you had hoped or planned, but you can't afford give up. There is another game to play tomorrow.
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)
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