Winning still isn’t everything

AT LEAST losing can give you some time to rest (Shutterstock).

All good things, goes the saying, must come to an end.

Well, actually, that is good.

Searching for a story behind pitch clocks and guessing where Shohei will play next year, followers of baseball have been gushing over the Tampa Bay Rays “fast out of the blocks” 13-game winning streak that started on Opening Day.

It was a modern record, but the streak ended Friday when the Toronto Blue Jays brought them down to earth, 6-3.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I like winning as much as the next fellow, and being an Angels’ fan since the days of Bill Rigney and Jim Fregosi, I definitely have been on a thin diet of that.

But, you know, losing has a quality all its own.

Winning may build your confidence, but it can also nurture arrogance and over-confidence. Losing teaches you humility and a kind of wistful optimism, as in “Wait until next year!”

Winning can be nerve-wracking. People start asking you, “How long do you you think the string can last?” and start searching for leaks in your lifeboat. If you have real noticeable success, you start worrying, “Am I gonna be the one who messes it up?”

And when the inevitable descent from perfection comes about, those questions start to all sound like “I knew it wouldn’t last.”

You can keep your 13-game winning streaks. I prefer winning two out of three or four out of six. It’s more sustainable and easier on the blood pressure.

Jim Tortolano once played on a basketball team that won only one game all season. No pressure at all!


Categories: Opinion

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