Dear Children's Children's Children... Oct.
Man, I hate to scare you.
But I have to!
Beware the baseball stadiums. There are Beasts of Terror
lurking in them, hiding behind Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig,
Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Thurmon Munson
-- and all the best of the best.
Last night I was watching the Boston Red Sox playing
the New York Yankees in a fierce battle for the right
to play in the World Series. It looked bad for the Yankees.
Boston was coming on strong, tying up the series with
a 3-3 win and forcing the first playoff for any team
that came from behind three games.
The Yankees swept the Red Sox in the first three games,
and only had one to win to be the best out of seven
games. But then the Yankees let up--became Complacent--and
the Beast of Baseball Terror began to rule--at least
in the Yankee dugout.
police were called in for the safety of the teams
Next thing you know, kids, grown men and women are
throwing baseballs down at umpires and players from
the stands, hurling them like missiles at players who
earn tens of millions of dollars, as well as at umpires
who call players safe and out.
The Baseball Beast of Terror erupted inside them, like
some poison inside their veins. They grabbed anything
and threw it down, trying to hit people on the field
during the eighth inning.
More than 200 riot police stormed the field. They looked
like they were fighting some wild Terrorists because
they had shields and face masks, and big batons and
The baseball players and umpires left the field, fearful
someone would throw and hit them with a bottle or ball,
injuring them so they couldn't play or officiate.
Kids, it was ugly.
What was ugly about it was just a few days ago (Oct.
5) I wrote a story about how I thought the Presidential
debates were childish and immature name-calling bouts.
The Beast Of Terror Will Be Watching The Political Debates
Rather Than The World Series)
I felt if a child watched the debates and heard grown
men calling each other liars, cheats and thieves it
would detract from the image of a leader--especially
a moral leader like the President or future one of the
Curt Schilling, an example of a player rising
to the occasion
From a false sense of paternalism, I promoted to you
kids how watching the Yankees and Red Sox play was far
better, because sports players rose to the occasion,
and played straight and fair, competing only against
their own personal bests, and seeking to win because
of their skill and talent rather than preying on the
weaknesses of others to rise to the top.
Last night shattered all those illusions.
One of the Yankee players slapped a ball out of a pitcher's
glove, an obvious illegal act of interference hoping
that no one--none of the millions of viewers or six
umpires or more than 50,000 fans watching the game live--would
see he knocked the ball out of the glove intentionally.
at First Base:
base runner slapping a ball out of a Red Sox pitcher's
What happened, kids, is the people I was promoting
to you as being the "good guys" turned out
to be the "bad guys" for the moment. It became
a toss up about sportsmanship--who was worse? The fans
and players in baseball or the Presidential debate players?
Vigilance is about keeping our Courage stronger than
our Fear, our Conviction healthier than our Intimidation,
and the energy to take the Right Actions for future
generations flexed so we don't fall into the quagmire
of Complacency and just give in or give up to our Beasts
Last night, a bunch of fans at Yankee stadium became
Beasts. Not everyone did, kids, just some. But what
was bad about it was the fans next to them let them
throw the balls and bottles and other trash.
night a bunch of fans became Beasts
You can't stand by and let others endanger others.
That's as bad as throwing things yourself, maybe worse.
Ultimately, what stopped the madness was the presence
of riot police with clubs threatening the unruly in
the crowd. Of course, what could 200 police do against
50,000 fans? Realistically, not much.
But, they did quell the crowd.
And I wondered about you kids. How could I tell you
kids to watch the Yankees rather than the Presidential
debates when the Yankees and Red Sox were acting just
as bad--or, at least their fans were?
What I should have told you to do is to watch for the
ever-present Beast of Terror in both areas, and to have
your Sentinelsl of Vigilance ready to battle the Beast
when and if he stuck up his ugly head full of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency.
must try to swing...
I forgot, kids, life is like a game. We all get thrown
curve balls, breakers, change ups, sinkers, fast balls
and often we just stand at the plate looking at the
pitch go by, wondering why we didn't even swing the
Nobody bats 1.000 kids. That's perfection. It may be
a worthy goal to seek, but to feel bad because you don't
achieve it, that's not right.
the Bat of Vigilance
But, swinging the Bat of Vigilance at every pitch is
okay. If we're keeping Courage, Conviction and Right
Actions for the Children's Children's Children at the
top of our minds, then we're not afraid to swing our
Bat of Vigilance at any ball coming our way.
Last night, that didn't happen.
Last night, the Bat of Vigilance was broken, splintered,
smashed by the Terror Ball.
For a few minutes I watched my beautiful game of baseball
crumble into a pile of Terror Beasts, not much different
than any war-torn street in any third-world country
where violence commands.
The debris was swept away quickly by grounds crews.
Eventually, the riot police left the field. Order was
But the price of that order was expensive.
Pledge of Vigilance will help ward off the Beast
of Baseball Terror
Many, like myself, who found a respite from Terrorism
in baseball, were reminded that the Beast of Terror
lurks just about everywhere, and to let down one's guard
and presume that Beast doesn't exist is nothing more
That's why tonight when I watch the Yankees and Red
Sox play for the right to compete in the World Series,
I'm going to take my Pledge of Vigilance before the
It will remind me to fight off the Beast of Baseball
Terror--if and when it raises its ugly head again.
For you, kids, the lesson is: "Don't leave home
without your Pledge of Vigilance!" And, when you
are home, keep it close by. You never know where the
Beast might leap next.