At some point in your career, you will find yourself in front of a television showing a Big League game wherein someone you’ve played with, or against, is in the Bigs while you are not. You will see the back of his jersey as he winds up on the mound, or hear the announcer call his name as he digs in at the plate. And in that brief moment, when all you’ve ever known to be true and good seems to vanish in a puff of smoke, you will choke in your haste to scream, “How the *#@%! did this guy make it to the Bigs?”
I’m talking about that player who couldn’t catch a cold, couldn’t hit himself out of a wet paper bag, couldn’t throw strikes if you gave him a strike throwing machine. The player that was so terrible you swore he had to be performing “extra curricular activities” for the coaching staff to remain employed. Yes, him; he’s in the big leagues and you are not. Sucks, don’t it?
Take a deep breath and relax. Try to remember that no one ever said this game was fair, or that it wouldn’t shock you with its mindboggling maneuvers. No one said being the son of some famous guy, being a relation to a team owner, or signing for so much that failure wasn’t an option weren’t good enough reasons to send a guy to the Show. They most certainly are, and you’ll just have to deal with it.
It might help you cope if you take time to remember that the Big Leagues are about luck as much as they are about dedication and production. As the old saying goes, “the right man in the right spot.” Sure, you may be thinking, “but he was the wrong man!” and you might be right. Maybe he’s a disgrace to the uniform, or, maybe, just maybe, you caught him during a bad week, or a bad season? While it’s a fact of life that guys who make it to the Big Leagues don’t always belong there, it’s also a fact that some players bloom late in their careers. Who knows, you might be on of them yourself someday?
That doesn’t make you feel any better though, does it? Well, go ahead, feel like you got screwed, that’s part of the minor league life as much as anything else. However, I strongly suggest you get over it quickly. If you were in his shoes, you wouldn’t be worried about how you got there, only that you got there, and sulking isn’t going to make you two trade places. My advice, keep doing what you’re doing and maybe you’ll be next in line. Keep playing hard, grinding it out, and fighting the good fight because, just like you may have seen some mystery player when he was at his worst, maybe some scout out there is ready to catch you at your best.
Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next player that causes some other minor league meat bag to shout at his television, “They called up this *^%$#^&*# guy?” And what a glorious day that will be.