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Like life…professional baseball has plenty of powerless situations

May 18, 2011

Laguna Hills, CA – On this night before my son John Lamb (1-2, 3.12) takes the ball for his 50 professional baseball start for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in Tulsa, OK at ONEOK Field against the Tulsa Drillers, I am reminded of many things unsaid during the past couple of weeks. One thing I’m sure of is just like life…professional baseball has plenty of powerless situations during a player’s career. There are many more conditions not worth concern versus those that can be controlled. This can be shared across most sports for sure but maybe just a little more so in the failure base game of baseball. Maintaining vigilance against the items that can be harnessed is much more critical than spending one minute of concern about situations and decisions made by others. Teammates, conditions and opportunity are three areas worth mentioning with a topic of powerless challenges in professional baseball.

The Kansas City Royals have every reason to smile now with all that has been recently said about their farm system and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals are a prime example of this level of talent and respect within baseball. The Naturals stay near the top of the standings for team reasons and our family is continuously grateful to have their son on roster and take the ball every five days to the mound. The defending Texas League Championship flag at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR adds no mystery that all teams are going to continue every effort to take it away. The human reason of any team sport is engrained with some powerless situations during competition. Add a failure basis to the game and you can have volatile encounters with athletes, management, coaches, staff or fans when everyone wants to win. Teammates have good games, bad games and just average games but the most important thing to understand is simply pick up your team by simply doing your own job. Everything else falls into place when players limit their concerns to their own actions while playing the game. John Lamb is fully aware of his team role to throw strikes and field his position. As sure as the pain in my back, he wishes he could still swing the lumber, or lay down a bunt, to contribute but those thoughts only stay in his dreams now. Expect nothing less during the Naturals’ Thursday night work against the Drillers, Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies organization from the left-hander trying to help his team win another game. Teammates open doors to long-lasting friendships and blessed experiences shared by only a select few during a professional journey.

All the levels of professional baseball have been affected by weather during the 2011 season. More games have been postponed or delayed this year than ever before and many have influenced the general routines of players and pitchers. This is obviously not worth any ounce of concern. It is merely another perfect example of the necessary adjustments that professional baseball players have to make on a regular basis during a season. Work still has to be completed to support condition and rhythm of the game to compete with or without the skies cooperating. Most if not all professional level organizations have been challenged beyond belief to work consistently this spring. This year has brought more awareness of meteorology than ever before around minor league ballparks to decrease damages. Playing in the diverse weather conditions in the country is part of the development needed by ball-players. The sooner they can figure out the challenges associated with climate the quicker they can move on too much more important hurdles surrounding the game.

The basic opportunity of playing professional baseball comes with talent at various ages for young men. Once a player signs that contract the opportunity for advancement comes from forces never worth concern. Show up, work, develop, execute and repeat the process for as long as your locker has gear. Being a good citizen in the communities you play and good teammate is foremost but John Lamb has never missed a day around a ballpark to, if nothing else, just watch and learn from other’s success, or failure. Every day around the yard can offer a valuable experience to any baseball player that uses the time wisely for future opportunity in the game. Sure the goal by most that have ever played the game is to be a “big leaguer” but statistics point towards far more never reaching that goal. Some players will endure hundreds, or thousands, of games during their careers and every one can offer enormous value being involved. My son is still in the hundreds at this stage of his early professional baseball life. Conversations with the 20 year-old have confirmed his continued study of the game to help him do his job. Do your job and with a little luck you might get the chance to take another step up the ladder to the goal. Opportunity in professional baseball comes naturally by value of a player’s action.

No more continued attempts to discuss powerless situations around life and the game of baseball or every facet of the Naturals recent games in the Texas League. A clear focus is on the fact my son will take another small step toward a tiny milestone in a professional baseball career. Tomorrow’s game against the Tulsa Drillers in a Texas League contest will be his 50th of his young career. The last few starts by John Lamb have been better than the first couple to start the season but he knows there is plenty room for improvement. Very rarely does my son show that he is fully satisfied with any performance during a game, so I’m not surprised with his humility for the last couple of starts with the Double-A level affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Our lives continue to be blessed thru our associations with professional baseball and plenty sure tomorrow will be another exciting memory of this journey.

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2 Comments
  1. Brian permalink
    May 20, 2011 10:16

    Hope John is doing okay. Royals Nation is pulling for him!

    • May 20, 2011 13:26

      Brian,
      Thanks for the well wishes…more will be known very soon about the left arm!

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