Monday, September 6, 2010
Testament to patience
As a people, we suck at patience.
And, if it's possible, we're getting suckier.
People can't wait for anything. Email "takes too long." The guy driving 80 ahead of you is "too slow." How many times have you cursed your phone because you're not online in 10 seconds? I know I've done it more than once.
We can't wait for food. We can't wait for a delivery. We can't wait for service of any kind. And we're getting worse.
As a manager for more than 10 years, I've watched the people I hire grow more and more impatient with how "slowly" things move. And that includes their own progress. If they are not evaluated to have progressed at the warp-speed idea that they have in their heads, they are offended. Sometimes they get pissed off. Sometimes they're mad at themselves. Sometimes they're mad at me. Sometimes it's both. Personally, I blame all the Red Bull.
People are impatient in their jobs, impatient in their marriages, impatient with their kids, impatient with their kids' teachers and coaches, impatient with their pets, impatient with their government, impatient with their whole damn life.
Fortunately, there is John Lindsey.
Lindsey is a baseball player in the Dodgers organization. He will report to the team today after getting called up to the major leagues on Sunday.
Lindsey is 33 years old. He has played in the minor leagues for 16 YEARS. And until today, he had never been an active member of a major league baseball team.
How many players do you think he has seen quit in that time because they didn't have enough patience, either with themselves or with the organization or with baseball in general?
Yet, Lindsey kept going.
This season in Albuquerque, he has 144 hits in 106 games. He's hitting .356 with 25 home runs and 97 RBIs. This is his second time with the Dodgers. He started with the Rockies in 1995, then went to the Mariners in 2002 and the Marlins in 2005. He was ready to hang it up in 2006, but the Dodgers' Triple A manager at the time convinced L.A. to sign Lindsey.
Lindsey did well in the minors for two years, then returned to the Marlins in 2009 before coming back to the Dodgers.
Through all the doubts, and the "what am I still doing here" and the "these idiots have their heads up their ass," Lindsey plugged away.
He is the oldest Dodger to make his major league debut since 1954 (excluding Takashi Saito's first appearance in 2006).
September is going to be a tough time for the Dodgers. They're not going anywhere and those games aren't any fun. But for Lindsey, I can only imagine what's going through his head:
"Finally. ... I'm glad I stuck with it."