One Play Doesn’t Make a Season

Here we are at the final playoff season of the 2012-2013 school year and at this writing some games and matches have been decided. I just wanted to toss out a reminder for those of us who are fans and that being the fact that actually one play really doesn’t decide the outcome of a game.

            Here’s the thinking, there is an outstanding play at the game’s end and we are prone to say “well that one play decided the game.” I have been guilty of saying it, but in actuality, no one play does decide a game, it is the sum of many plays that did happen in the course of a game or in some cases, missed opportunities.

            During the course of every game there will be hits, errors, strikeouts, walks, etc. that can have a bearing on the game’s outcome, but it will being the compilation of all, not just one or two. It’s not right to place glory or blame on one player because of one event that occurred because, in the case of baseball and softball, it’s a team sport. You win as a team and you lose as a team.

            If you drop a fly ball in the outfield or let one get over your head in the outfield, it is a bit more glaring than letting one go under your glove on the infield or throwing one in the dugout. That’s because of the distance involved to the situation at hand. You’ve got a bit more grass between you and the base paths when you are in the outfield and that can work against you in the case of a misplayed ball. Still, no one plays decides all.        

            Here’s where I’m going with this thought, even though there could be a defensive breakdown in an instance, that didn’t actually cost you any more than the time that you had bases loaded with no outs and failed to plate a run. Or vice versa. Again, it’s the sum total of things that did and didn’t happen that determines the outcome.

            My pastor shared in Sunday’s message the fact that all who are believers in Christ are part of His body of believers. Just like a human body has many parts, so does our spiritual body of believers and all are important to make that body function.

            We can make a connection with our teams too. No matter how great your pitcher, if you catcher cannot catch, you are in serious trouble. A good pitcher is made even better when he has a great defense behind him. If those guys don’t have your back, you’re in for a long day because you are not going to strike everyone out. Your first baseman has got to be able to handle a glove and handle it well because they’re going to have to dig throws out of the dirt. It takes everyone on the team doing their job, fielding their position and hitting to win.

            So let’s be careful not to down our players if they make a mistake, if they fail to make a play or produce a hit. Everybody that has played the game and played many games at all has struck out. Even the Hall of Fame has pitchers who walked batters, players that made errors, batters that failed to produce in the clutch. No coach is going to make the right decision one hundred percent of the time, although they would like to.  

            As you go the playoffs, cheer the players, encourage them, support the coaches and remember it takes everyone working together to be successful, even those of us who are fans.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.