Labels and Expectations

What is a position player in baseball?  Essentially it is anyone who plays defense on the field.  This excludes the pitcher and technically, in the American League, the designated hitter, whose sole job is to hit.   While the majority of baseball players focus on playing only one position, each team usually has a couple of utility defenders whose job is to be versatile and handle whatever position is needed on any given day.   As I am sure you can deduce, there are advantages to both roles.
Ever since I have known David, he has focused on only one position.  In high school it was shortstop with the periodic appearance at third base.  In college David played only second base, however, he did play third on occasion during his summer stints in Cape Cod.   When he started playing professional baseball with the Yankees in 2008, it appeared his role, as an everyday second baseman, would stick.  Fast forward to today and let’s just say a lot has changed in a short amount of time.  I know I have said this repeatedly and I am sorry if I sound like a broken record, but nothing about the baseball life is certain.
Now that David has started playing third base with a big unknown whether he will return to second any time soon, or even at all, I have had many comments directed towards me.   Several people have asked me if I am excited and aware of how this could open a door for David now that there is a need-not-mention injury up in the majors and with the 40-Man “label” attached to his name, I am sure there are many assertions being made.  Let me just say this… David and I don’t really get excited and we have even less in the way of expectations.   We also don’t feel that his being on the 40-Man changes much of anything right now.  Regardless of what is or what may be, we believe we must stay as even keel as humanly possible in this very erratic life we live.
Aside from being unaffected by this move, we realize that nothing has changed outside of his position.   Someone very wise once told me that you should never have any expectations in baseball.   This is not to be confused with aspirations or the pursuit of success; David and I have nothing but the highest ambitions relative to his career in baseball.    These expectations that I speak of are intangibles that you have absolutely no control over.    For example, last off-season, David and I were aware that he was eligible for the rule-5 draft and that there were three possibilities going into spring training.   Firstly, we knew there was a “chance” he would be added to the 40-Man roster in order to be protected, but honestly it was the last thing we ever expected.   What we thought to be far more likely, after two years on the Disabled-List, is that David would either be picked up by another team or that the rule-5 draft would simply come and go with us untouched.   To be quite honest, we expected the latter but what actually happened far exceeded our expectations.
While this unexpected turn of events was quite a nice surprise, we both knew there was still a lot of work to be done before David ever saw his chance at the “show.”   If anything, I felt there was a huge amount of pressure on David to succeed.   This was a pressure that I never felt before in baseball.  It was David’s first year back after what seemed like the longest two seasons ever and it was uncertain whether he would be healthy enough to play on opening day.   Even today, David is still on a strict program that is serving to ease him back into playing every day, but there is no way of knowing when he will see 162 days of playing time without frequent days off.
Many can see his inclusion on the 40-Man as a success, but in reality it is nothing more than a label – one that brings along with it a remarkable amount of expectation and absolutely no certainty.  Up until recently, I have been a dreamer and someone who lives in the future to a fault, but David is a 100% realist and lives only in the present.   He has helped me to see how there is a job to do everyday and that regardless of other’s expectations, you only have control over your training and the effort you put forth on the field.   Even when you train hard, your output may not always be what you expect.  Nevertheless, there is always work to be done.
Knowing David for as long as I have, I am aware that he is hardly satisfied.    He believes in working hard because talent only takes you so far.   That being said, he has also told me that he feels he has a lot of improvements to make in order to play at the level that he has always envisioned himself.   There is an enormous hunger within him for success, but we are well aware that what happens is ultimately out of our control.   We have been blessed up until this point by the grace of God and while we aren’t exactly where we thought we would be at 25, we know we are part of a greater plan.   Whether David ends up playing second base, third base, sitting the bench or even retiring before he ever fulfills his ultimate dreams, we know it will be in harmony with the Universe and according to God’s will, His grace and His perfection.

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  1. Reply

    Colleen Lamb

    August 1, 2012

    You are truely a baseball women.. Every word very true. Great post!

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      August 1, 2012

      Thank you so much Colleen! 🙂

  2. Reply

    tom bello

    August 1, 2012

    …. Wow, fantastic writing and great insight to your journey, Camille — just as you were about to close the story (I was anticipating a comment about your fear of the unknown or for David’s dreams going unfulfilled etc), but, then you go and close it with: “we know it will be in harmony with the Universe and according to God’s will, His grace and His perfection” and it literally gave me chills. Through my own ups and downs in life (like everyone has), I’ve learned that no matter how hard I wanted something to happen sometimes, I really had no control over it and in reality, the greater plan was always a saving grace somehow (and always better for us in the long run). The fact that you are so young and already have such a deep understanding of this is really something special and your husband is insanely lucky to have you by his side. It’s refreshing to watch/read you openly glorify God in your life and no doubt, in return, he is helping you grow spiritually along your journey. The funny thing is, maybe David’s journey isn’t about David and baseball at all …… I would be willing to wager that the “LARGER” longterm “life’ plan for you guys has nothing to do with baseball. So, I’m standing by watching it all unfold as you document it beautifully … Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride … Peace and Love, always … Tom Bello

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      August 1, 2012

      Thank you Tom. I have become a lot closer to God this year, along with David, and I honestly don’t know how to live this life without strong faith anymore. It is really the only thing that can keep me semi sane.

      • Reply

        Tom Bello

        August 2, 2012

        …. Well, there’s always a glass of wine to help keep your sanity too! 🙂

  3. Reply

    MLBNewman

    August 2, 2012

    Congrats on breaking into the MLB.com/blogs Latest Leaders rankings, Camille! http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com/2012/08/02/mlb-comblogs-latest-leaders-july-2012
    Mark/MLB.com

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      August 2, 2012

      Thank you Mark!!! I am so exited!

  4. Reply

    MLBNewman

    August 3, 2012

    You and David might enjoy this post by your fellow PRO blogger Ben Hill, who just saved a huuuuuumongous post about his visit to the Trenton Thunder:
    http://bensbiz.mlblogs.com/2012/08/02/on-the-road-crab-fries-cheese-balls-and-tribute-bands-in-trenton
    Mark/MLB.com
    http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      August 3, 2012

      Thank you for sharing! That was an amazing post! I love seeing tours of stadiums. 🙂

  5. Reply

    Lyn Leahz

    August 28, 2012

    God bless you for your step of faith in getting closer to God sister. This world sure doesn’t make it easy, but then Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have never seen yet believe.” (quoting that from my head! LOL!) Stay strong and keep up the good work for Him! Time is short as prophecy is fulfilled around us. Very nice blog, by the way! Blessings sister!

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      August 29, 2012

      Thank you so much!! I have some amazing people around me that have helped along the way. I’m very blessed. 🙂

      • Reply

        Lyn Leahz

        August 29, 2012

        God is always in our midst, that is for sure…calling out to His people, saying, “Come with me! I’m real! I’m here!” 😉

        • Reply

          Baseball Serendipity

          August 29, 2012

          AMEN! 🙂

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