September 25, 2017 Taking Ball Four

In case you missed the subtlety of yesterday’s post, it was about the implications of having an obligation disguised as an opportunity and failing to take action. Today’s post is the inverse both in circumstances and advice.

Many young batters, especially those who can hit for power, often prefer to go for the fences rather than take a mundane walk. The glory of the home run or even a single is far more attractive to them than doing nothing to get on base. Ironically, the data show that most of these young hitters have very little success with this approach and consequently, the team suffers because they could have had an opportunity to score a run if the hitter at least made it to first. Pitchers recognize these hitters quickly and throw junk even with a full count leading the hitter to swing wildly rather than take ball four.

Sometimes, we have a similar opportunity in our daily interactions with others. Someone may say or do something that so strongly tempts us to provide unsolicited advice or guidance because of our worldly experiences (aka old age). However, when we offer that advice we often don’t put ourselves in the other person’s shoes or examine the circumstances from their point of view (age, experience, gender, mindset, etc.) and our input does not come across as intended. Our advice and counsel may also come across as correction which can offend or more strongly deter our friend from heeding it.

There are many colloquial sayings about “taking ball four.” Let sleeping dogs lie; People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones; etc. Interestingly, Muphry’s law states that “If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.” Choosing to take ball four is often misperceived as inaction and sooooo many of us deplore failing to act. Just remember, choosing to not do something is still doing something and sometimes not doing something is the best course of action. The key is being a disciplined, confident enough hitter to know when to take ball four or swing at strike three.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *