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  • Ray, you talk about how important it is to experience all aspects of life - the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the disappointments when things don’t always go as planned, along with the joys when they do. You are right on the money with this.

    For me personally, having lived through the darkest of depressions, and having been trapped in addiction for what seemed like forever, I have a real appreciation for the freedoms I have in my life, today. I savor each day, each moment of life, and try to live each day to its fullest. I appreciate the lousy days almost as much as the great days. They’re all part of the human experience, and I consider myself blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to have a full life that includes the whole spectrum of emotions. I remember how flat, and 2 dimensional my life seemed to be when I was on the medication for manic-depression many years ago. I really enjoyed the even keel it kept me on at the time, but the limited range of emotions eventually got to me.

    Tonight, things could have gone one of three different ways for the Diamond Flames. We could have won it all by simply winning both games. We could have finished in third place, by losing both games. Or, we could have come in second place, if we split our games. We took Door Number 3, and split our games, winding up in second place. This was a step better than we did in the Spring, but still hurt like hell to come so close, and once again, walk away empty-handed. But, I will say, while defeat doesn’t taste any better this time than it did last time, I wouldn’t trade the chance to have even played in a game like this, not once but twice in the same year, for anything. It just doesn’t get any better than this. And, while I did make the last, and final out, ending the game and our season, I had previously hit the crap out of the ball all night, and played my best third base, possibly ever.

    I was just tuned in down there, seemingly effortlessly making some amazing plays. Third Base is so much more about focus than any other position on the field, focus and reflex. Tonight, both were my friends. Late in the second game, on a hit to the outfield with a runner trying to come into third base, the left-center fielder fired a perfect throw and I slapped a tag on the runner, a good 2 feet before the base, then he slid into the base, and the umpire inexplicably called him safe. I just lost my mind for a second, and almost got tossed from the game, but reined it in and got back into my focus.

    We dominated the first game, and won convincingly by 7 runs. I had driven in the go-ahead run with run-scoring triple to the fence in right-center field. The right fielder had been cheating in all night, and it was beautiful, making him pay as that ball sailed over his outstretched glove.

    This second and final game was a classic see-saw affair that eventually saw us entering the very last inning of the game, and our season, tied with the Mavs. All we had to do was win the inning, and the championship was ours. But, we just couldn’t do it, this time. Once again, it is my pleasure to experience the agony of defeat. While I would much prefer that thrill of victory, I do know that that sucker is going to taste SO much better, and mean so much more to me, after this experience, when I do get to experience it again. I am going to remember how this night felt.

    But for now, I am savoring this defeat. Letting it sink into my bones, and really feel it. We lost. I made the final out. That sucks. That’s life. Breathe it in. Exhale it. Savor it. Then, get ready for the next thing.
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