A ‘Moneyball’ lesson in life: ‘Get on base’
Updated: March 30, 2012 1:54PM
I’ve decided that the correct answer for just about any question this spring is: “He gets on base.”
That answer comes from one of last year’s best movies, “Moneyball.” That simple phrase answers the questions put to Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A’s, about why he wants certain players over other players on his team. Because, Billy’s assistant answers every question, “He gets on base.”
If only every move were that simple.
But it is spring, and with spring comes a new baseball season.
Here in Chicago, every baseball fan must be full of hope. It is clear from the rosters on both the North Side and the South Side, hope is all we have. I’m not sure anyone can get on base.
The Cubs start their season with a new manager and a new general manager. They open against the Washington Nationals, a good opener for a team going to bat with more hope than men who get on base.
For the White Sox, also with a new manager, hope begins agaiin against the American League champion Texas Rangers. The Rangers get on base. And the White Sox? Well they didn’t get on base last year, and when they did, they didn’t go too far.
And despite all my hope, there is no indication things will be different. Oh well.
But, “Get on base,” is going to be my mantra this spring.
I’m going to use it this year with my own baseball team.
For the 10th year, I’ll be coaching a team in my hometown’s youth baseball league.
My advice to the boys will be simple: “Get on base.”
I’m thinking that if I tell them that simple phrase enough this spring during practices — “Get on base” — they will.
And perhaps if they learn that lesson, they can learn to simplify other tasks in their lives.
If the simple answer to winning baseball is “Get on base,” perhaps they can understand that the way to get good grades in school is to “Do your homework.” Perhaps the way to get along with everyone at home is to “Get your chores done.”
Perhaps the way to win the game of life is as simple as finding the corollary for “Get on base.”
Do you want to get rich? Then “Save your money.”
Do you want to be happy? Then “Enjoy the moment.”
And so on and so on for every aspect of life.
Baseball is our game. It explains America the way no other sport does.
So wherever you are and whatever you may be doing right now as hope springs eternal on the North Side and the South Side, I have some simple advice for you.
“Get on base.”