Another great read from Mitch Ablom, this time on the Detroit Tigers and their unforgettable 2006 season, “What A Seson”

In it he discusses two different encounters he had with the Tiger’s Skipper, Jim Leyland.

First, shortly after losing game 5 and the series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“His feet were bare and hoisted on the desk. A cigarette burned in an ashtray. A thin glass of wine was half-consumed. For a good stretch then, Leyland spoke in a deep but somber voice, like a proud father who had watched his kids stumble but knew this was just part of life.

“I’ve been to two World Series now, I’ve won one and I’ve lost one, and I can tell you,” he said, “as long as I have a butt, this game is gonna be played by human beings.”

And human beings will make mistakes. But human beings also will do amazing things, things that inspire and excite, things that convince you that surprise is one of the best parts of life.”

The next encounter he discusses was after the Tigers beat the Oakland A’s and were on to the World Series to face the Cardinals.

“It was well after the final out, and most of the players had headed for the bus to the plane that would take them to wet and cold St. Louis. No one knew, at the time, that that trip would be their last games of the year. Trunks were being wheeled out. The halls were still buzzing with possibility.

I walked down to Leyland’s office, figuring he was gone. But there he was, all by himself, feet bare, up on the desk, the cigarette going, the half-glass of wine by his side.

“Come on in,” he said again.

And he talked calmly and proudly about the players down the hall. He was in no hurry, even though everyone else was. Perhaps he knew that at his age, at his stage, you savor the good moments when you can.

Finally, after giving a few details of the night’s performance, he took a drag on his cigarette and allowed a small head nod.

“We done pretty good here from 71 wins, huh?” he said.

Pretty good indeed. Take a page from the manager. Put your feet up, have a beverage. Think about all the stinking fun we had this year with baseball. Yes, baseball. Repeat after Rogers. I’ve seen it. I got to be a part of it. It’s fantastic.

So what does this have to do with anything? It has to do with everything.

Be it a baseball game, the game of life, or the game of business, everyone should take a page from Leyland. Regardless of whether you’ve just closed a big sale, or lost it. Regardless of if you’ve just won the big game, or let it slip away. Regardless of if you’re stressed out about bills or everything is up to date.

The fact that you are able to compete, to worry, to participate, to attend, to get up in the morning and tackle any of these issues – this is reason enough to sit back, kick your feet up, enjoy a beverage, and appreciate the moment every now and then – win or lose. If you take it all for granted, you won’t realize any of it until it’s all gone. And then what?



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