Goldman: Rehearsals for retirement

From SABR member Steven Goldman at The Hardball Times on May 16, 2018:

Sometimes we hang on too tightly. Sometimes we hang on too little.

If we are lucky, in the course of our lives we will come to many partings of the ways with ourselves. How boring it would be to remain the same person from cradle to grave, never evolving. Evolution can be a painful business, and rebirth can be as distressing in its own way as birth itself, for it requires disposing of outdated self-images and relinquishing old dreams.

The thing you grew up wanting to do becomes the thing you’ve done and then, after many repetitions, becomes the thing you want to be done with. Alternatively, the thing that you haven’t done but might still dream of doing may now be beyond you, and this too is difficult to accept. There are, of course, those who will never reach that last turning, and more power to them: May they blessedly sleepwalk through the rest of their days.

Ballplayers often don’t have a choice in the matter. As wonderful as it is to conjure stories out of nothingness, a writer might, like Prospero on some depressed whim abjure the rough magic of words, break his staff, and drown his book, or he might not, or he might do so and then reconstitute them and begin telling tales again. It’s all optional so long as the market will indulge him. Time will make that decision for all but a handful of baseball players.

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Originally published: May 16, 2018. Last Updated: May 16, 2018.