Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why I Am Leery of Enjoying FAILblog Too Much

Alan Wiggins was one of the key success stories for the San Diego Padres in 1984. Making the very difficult move from the outfield to second base, he had gotten along well defensively and contributed steadily on offense, enabling the Padres to get an extra bat in the lineup. In spring training of 1985 Wiggins confessed that he had developed a dependence on drugs, and needed to fight his way clear of it. The Padres were understanding of this, up to a point, but in the second week of the season Wiggins had a relapse, and had to seek further treatment.

It was late June when he was ready to return to the team, but by this time the Padres were playing real well, and they had reached the conclusion that they didn't really need Alan Wiggins -- not only that they didn't need him, but that he did not deserve to walk among them anymore; yessir, they took a vote on it, and they decided that they just didn't want any of his kind around. The owner of the team took the same position, and took it with such determination that it was clear she would, if need be, fight in court for the right to throw Alan Wiggins away like a lump of rotten cheese.

Now that was, to tell the truth, a right arrogant, self-righteous attitude, and as I think I mentioned earlier in the book, it has been my experience that the Lord rarely wastes much time in punishing this particular failing in us. I mean, I've found that a lot of times it is just damned difficult to figure out what the Old Bugger is up to; I don't know too much about it, but I was raised to believe in God, and there are a number of areas which I was led to believe were his assignment to which it seems to me he don't pay as much attention as he might. He is, however, quite alert to punishing arrogance and re-instructing us in humility; in fact, I think this is the only one among his deific duties that he really enjoys, and I've found that he can be tremendously creative in accomplishing this task swiftly."

- Bill James, originally from the San Diego Padres comment in the 1986 Baseball Abstract, reprinted in This Time Let's Not Eat The Bones

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