Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Life--According to Ron Roenicke

If there's one thing you can say about Milwaukee Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke, it's that he is more than willing to take a risk.  Starting Zach Greinke on three days rest the final day of the regular season in a game the Crew had to win to secure home field advantage in the 1st round of the Playoffs, starting Jerry Hairston at 3rd base when he had mainly been a bench player since being acquired mid-season, coming back with Greinke on 3-days rest again in Game 2 of the NLDS, a squeeze play in a tie game Sunday when the Diamondbacks had all the momentum going their way--all of which have paid off handsomely.

Roenicke is living proof that those who aren't afraid to fail are the least likely to fail.   Did he think that Greinke might get shelled early in either of those short-rest starts--thereby blowing out the bullpen for the playoffs?  He might have--but he also had a feeling that his big-money ace would dig down and find a way to give them at least five good innings--and the best chance to win.  Was there a good chance that Jonathan Lucroy might whiff on the bunt attempt--or worse yet pop it up, resulting in a rally killing double play?  Absolutely--but he stuck with his gut feeling that "Luc" would come through with another clutch play.

If any of these moves had backfired, Roenicke would be getting roasted on sports talk radio both here in Wisconsin and nationally as well.  But I'm guessing that he would have sat there in front of all the microphones and the cameras and told reporters that the unsuccessful plays were his fault.  He wouldn't rant about how the players are bums or how the umpires had a terrible strike zone or that the ballpark was too dark while the Brewers were hitting.  And by "manning up" he would earn the respect of not only the players--but the fans as well.

Ron is from the old school philosophy on life--where you have to go out and make your own success in the world.  You can't live worried about everything you do not working out exactly as you had hoped.  If you experience failure, you accept the result--look at what you need to do better--and work hard to be more successful the next time.  Just think where we could be as a country and a society if more people had Ron Roenicke "flashing them signs" from the dugout as they play the game of life.

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