My father’s words may have been cliche when he told me, “It’s not about whether or not you fall down, Jeff, it’s about whether or not you get back up”, but no words could have been more uplifting to my beaten, battered soul.
At the time, I was in the lowest place I had ever been.
Defeated. Destroyed. Desolated.
To say I had lost the will to live, that I didn’t care about anyone or anything anymore — including myself — can not be overstated.
I was, literally, done.
Until I started to believe — really, truly believe — that the cliche was right, that I could measure myself by my ability to get back up, that deep down inside, I had guts.
My situation proposed two options: give up and be nothing forever or fight like hell to be the best Jeffery Lung I could possibly be.
One second chance was all I needed. And I didn’t waste it.
It definitely wasn’t easy. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I f***ing did it. And I’m proud as hell to say I f***ing did it.
Of course, not everyone has the guts to get back up. And, somehow, those somebodies often find themselves with third and fourth and fifth chances.
But how many chances is too many chances, Charlie Sheen? How long before we ought to just give up on you like you’ve given up on yourself, Milton Bradley? Destructive behavior is destructive behavior, whether it’s a lifestyle, an addiction or anger management issues; and if one is not willing to help himself, then, in my opinion, he isn’t worth helping. Period.
There are too many other issues that the world and its resources should be concerned about. I think it’s time we send the Charlie Sheens of the world a message: we don’t care about you or your problems anymore. If you screw up, you’re done. No more chances, no more tries, no more fake mea culpas.
It didn’t work for Steve Howe.*
And after twenty plus years of insanity, I highly doubt it’s gonna work for a silver-spooned brat who just doesn’t get it (and by “it” I mean, life, in general).
Hate me. Go ahead. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Steve Howe is dead now. He died in a car wreck. He was strung out on meth at the time.
Does this mean, Al, that you would have taken Steve Howe back 6 times like Steinbrenner did? He picked up Strawberry and Gooden too. He loved reclamation projects.
Now, first of all, I have to say that it’s a pretty low blow to compare me to satan incarnate. Am I older than god and incontinent? No. But the question itself is interesting. Baseball, like life, seems to be all about reclaiming, recycling and otherwise reusing. Honestly, is there any other reason that Kyle Farnsworth still has a job?
The first part of the question is easy. The only Howe that I would take multiple times is Gordie and any true Michigander would be right there with me. But if you look at baseball right now, how many players are in their newest incarnation as the result of some sort of experiment, some sort of reclamation? Rick Ankiel. Josh Hamilton. The existence of the designated hitter shows the natural (or unnatural, depending on who you ask) evolution of this philosophy.
But I guess here’s what I’ll say. If you can pick up a guy who’s iffy and he’s not going to be a cancer in the clubhouse, why not give it a try? And if you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work but you have a new approach this time, I say go for it. In the end, that’s what sets your run of the mill GM or owner apart from the greats. The great ones recognize who can still contribute and in what way while the other guys just fish around and hope for the best.
Here’s a good rule of thumb, though. Kyle Farnsworth is beyond reclamation. Can we just agree on this once and for all?