When you spend a lot of time in a baseball clubhouse, you pick up on a lot of baseball phrases. Some I can print, some I can’t, but one I’ve always liked is, “Wear it.”
Best I can tell, it can be used in two ways. When a pitcher gets shelled but stays in the game to eat innings, he wears it. He takes it for the team, right there for everyone to see. And when a pitcher gets beat up and takes the blame afterward, he wears it. He owns up to his mistakes and lets the weight fall on his shoulders.
Baseball players struggle from time to time, but it’s easy to respect them when they wear it, and both A.J. Burnett and Phil Coke wore it last night. A lot was made of Burnett, and rightfully so. He wasn’t very good, and Sam was standing right next to him when Burnett said he let the city down. Coke wasn’t very good either. Sent in to face the Phillies lefties, he let two of them — Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez — hit solo home runs that became the difference in the game.
“It was a disappointing way to lose the game,” Coke said. “Having had a hand in contributing to losing the game, I’m especially disappointed with what I did, and I’m embarrassed.”
Baseball players struggle from time to time, and they lose big games once in a while. Nothing to do but wear it and move on. Second chances are coming up tomorrow.